For Release: Tuesday, December 6, 2022
Newly Constructed Bridge and Trail Improvements Expand Recreational Opportunities for Outdoor Enthusiasts
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced the completion of the Little Sandy Creek Bridge, a 110-foot structure that extends over Little Sandy Creek in the Winona State Forest. The newly constructed bridge, located in the town of Boylston, Oswego County, is part of the new one-mile Little Sandy Creek Trail, completed this fall in partnership with the Winona Forest Recreation Association (WFRA) (leaves DEC website).
“In the region and across the state, DEC continues its commitment to connect more New York families and visitors to the great outdoors,” said Region 6 Director Randall Young. “By investing in strategic infrastructure projects like the Little Sandy Creek bridge and trail improvements in Winona State Forest, DEC is increasing access to year-round recreation opportunities for all outdoor enthusiasts.”
Winona Forest Recreation Association President Matt Westerlund said, “The Little Sandy Creek bridge construction is one critical component to the larger ‘event loop expansion’ project, which will provide recreational users, as well as event participants, one of the longest course loops available, about 25K. This makes Winona events a stand out in the recreational event community. Our events are world class, and are becoming more widely known across the USA and beyond. The bridge allows for a connection to areas underutilized, and logistically impossible to reach without the bridge. It is a game changer for us.”
The new Little Sandy Creek Trail connects the existing Winona Way trail to the Bargy Road trail. The network continues on to the newly added Stinson Creek Trail, leading to the Raspberry Trail. The new trail segments were constructed by DEC Operations staff and volunteers from WFRA.
The 9,233-acre Winona State Forest is located in southern Jefferson County and northern Oswego County on the western edge of the Tug Hill Plateau, and includes 31.1 miles of cross-country ski trails, 8.7 miles of snowmobile trails, and 9.9 miles of forest roads.
Winona State Forest has become one of New York’s premiere destinations for outdoor recreation. Trails and forest access roads provide miles hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, biking, and snowmobiling. The forest also provides opportunities for hunters, birders, and those who simply enjoy being outdoors. Events include the Tug Hill Tourathon ski race, Tug Hill Challenge Sled Dog Race, snowshoe races, fat tire bike races, and trail running events, among others.
This project was funded with approximately $56,000 from NY Works and is part of the Adventure NY Initiative to connect New Yorkers with the outdoors. Under the State’s Adventure NY Initiative, DEC is making strategic investments to expand access to healthy, active outdoor recreation, connect more New Yorkers and visitors to nature and the outdoors, protect natural resources, and boost local economies.
Questions regarding this project may be directed to Regional Forester Keith Rivers by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at (315) 785-2610.
Photos of the Little Sandy Creek Bridge with Regional Director Young and partners below:
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