Work Begins On Trail At Former French FortPosted: Updated:
Work has started. People could be walking an interpretive trail on the site of the former Fort de La Presentation as early as this fall or next spring. An army of volunteers has been planning the trail for almost 20 years.
“It feels great. It's just a weight off of our shoulders. It's just a great moment,” said Tim Cryderman, vice president Fort Presentation Association.
An outdoor plaza and peace garden will be installed near the site's monument. Signs along the trail and the plaza will tell the history of the French colonial and native-American settlement founded in 1749. One of the largest settlements along the St. Lawrence river at the time, its significance stretches far beyond Ogdensburg.
“It was the founding of Ogdensburg and everything from here just spread out. This is the genesis of northern New York,” said Cryderman
Cryderman and others involved with this project say its striking view of the river is one of its best features. The site with its monument and interpretive signage already hosts history days for area schools and military re-enactments.
With their first big project underway, the association's volunteers are now brimming with confidence. They envision other projects that could be built there that could draw hoards of tourists
“We're looking at an interpretive center and we're looking at the fort being built. It will be built,” said Marsha Hough, former Fort Presentation board member.
The site needed a massive environmental cleanup before the trail could be built. It's part of a larger plan for Ogdensburg's waterfront, which is now viewed as vital to the city's revival.