In Clayton, new life for an old bridge

Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 5:28 PM EDT
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CLAYTON, New York (WWNY) - In Clayton, a historic bridge unused for more than half a century is getting some new traffic, and nature lovers are rejoicing.

Built in the late 1800s, the trestle bridge on what is now the Sissy Rivergate trail used to support trains carrying precious cargo, But for the past 50 years it has sat untouched.

Thanks to a mixture of state grants and private donations, The Thousand Islands Land Trust has been able to restore it for a new purpose.

“The Thousand Islands is a great place to live, to work to play. This bridge and this trail system is just one more perk to that,” said Spencer Busler, Assistant Director of the Land Trust.

Now, the trestle bridges a gap between the Sissy Rivergate trail and Clayton’s Riverwalk. It’s created a new seven mile path from the Riverwalk all the way to LaFargeville.

Trail-goers say they’re excited about the possibilities.

“Been looking forward to that. It’s a wonderful, wonderful thing. Many people are going to enjoy walking that trail,” said Bonnie Borello Tuesday.

Bonnie’s friend Mary McConnell spends her summers in the Thousand Islands and says she was pleased to learn about the trail’s restoration.

“I don’t know what trail she’s taking me on. I just go with her, and we see so much wildlife. Just beautiful trails,” McConnell said.

Before the bridge was restored, people with have to cut across a stream to get from one trail to the other - and likely get wet.

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