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Now hear this: Bypath launches audio tour

Fourteen historical sites featured at local historic points along the Erie Canal

Colonie Historian Kevin Franklin takes questions from a tour group at the Old Military Crossing in Colonie.

Colonie Historian Kevin Franklin takes questions from a tour group at the Old Military Crossing in Colonie.

— “Not only do you get the local story, but you get the local voice,” Hamilton said.

Town Supervisor Paula Mahan narrates the story for the Old Military Crossing in Colonie, once believed to be a place where Henry Knox lost one of his canons in the icy waters as he was on his way to Fort Ticonderoga in 1776, Hamilton said.

Hamilton said they are still adding small signs to each location, and some will have QR codes that can be scanned by smart phones to go directly to the audio recordings of that specific site.

While the audio tour can be accessed from anywhere, Hamilton urged that it only be used while walking along the byway, and not driving or biking.

“It’s trying to bring the story to whoever’s standing there, and that sort of story doesn’t go too well if you’re zipping by in a car,” Hamilton said.

The coalition is also working on making a brochure to accompany each tour to put at visitors’ centers and town halls, Hamilton said. They also plan to add more sites to the tour once it has started gaining followers. Hamilton said they won’t be able to see who’s calling the number, but will be able to see which recordings are listened to. They also suggest visitors leave a message by pressing 0, so the group can collect feedback on the tours.

While the tour is already up and ready to go, it will officially launch on Aug. 10 as part of the Eighth Annual Canal Splash!, which celebrates the history, cultural and beauty of the New York State Canal System and Erie Canalway Trail.

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