Book Debuts at Old Fort Niagara July 3-5 Sackets Harbor, NY -- A new guidebook to 19 French and Indian War historic sites invites travelers to follow three state and nationally-designated byways to forts, battlegrounds and freshwater destinations in New York and Pennsylvania. The Great Lakes Seaway Trail has published Waterways of War: The Struggle for Empire 1754-1763, A Traveler's Guide to the French & Indian War Forts and Battlefields along America's Byways in New York and Pennsylvania.   "Travel and history are great natural tourism partners. This new guidebook to the French and Indian War is a result of the first collaboration of New York's three federally designated byways and provides travelers with a wonderful vehicle for exploring New York's history and our waterfronts," says New York State Assemblyman Steven Englebright, chair of the Assembly Committee on Tourism, Parks, Arts & Sports.   The swift waterways and footpaths of power along the St. Lawrence River, Lake Ontario, Niagara River and Lake Erie in New York and Pennsylvania helped decide the outcome of the French & Indian War. George Washington started the clash of empires in the wilds of western Pennsylvania. A peace treaty 10 years later ended French claims in the North American interior. Other larger-than-life figures from colonial history involved in the war include Robert Rogers, Sir William Johnson, Chief Hendrick, Joseph Brant, General Montcalm and others, and out of this conflict came the American ballad "Yankee Doodle."   "New York's state and nationally designated scenic byways are not just roads, but roads with exciting and significant stories to tell, and the Great Lakes Seaway Trail has partnered with the Revolutionary Byway and Lakes to Locks Passage to present the fascinating, it-only-happened-here story of the French and Indian War battles that took place along our freshwaters. Traveling these routes to our historic sites is a win-win arrangement for travelers, the host byway communities and New York State's economy," says New York State Department of Transportation Scenic Byways Program Coordinator Mark Woods.   "Leisurely wandering along the byways offer its own refreshing experience of the freshwater coastline environments that influenced victory and defeat in the struggles to establish an empire on the rugged North American continent," says Great Lakes Seaway Trail President and CEO Teresa Mitchell.   Lakes to Locks Passage Executive Director Janet Kennedy says, "A journey along the three byways offers an authentic American experience of the landscapes of history, well-kept military architecture, battlefields and waterfront staging areas."   Rachel Bliven with the Mohawk Valley Heritage Corridor Commission says, "The byways offers a unique way to experience history by traveling roads that were once the footpaths and horse trails into battle and now lead to our historic sites. The Mohawk River-Oneida Lake-Oswego route has been used since prehistoric times for travelers moving between the Great Lakes and the Hudson River. The modern highways of the Revolutionary Byway follow this same ancient trail across the heart of New York State."   NYS French & Indian War 250th Anniversary Commemoration Commission Vice Chair Nicholas Westbrook says, "This guidebook tells a multi-cultural story about the birth of nations: the United States, Canada, Britain, France, and numerous native nations. This is an international story, not merely a local or regional one. The French and Indian War was a world war and here along the byways is where history in your own backyard dramatically becomes world history."   The 60-page, full-color, coffee table-style guidebook will be available at historic sites, reenactment events, and bookstores and online at www.seawaytrail.com.   The book will be available at the July 3-5, 2009 re-creation of the July 1759 siege at Old Fort Niagara in Youngstown, NY. More than 2,700 historic re-enactors are expected for the 2009 New York State 250th French and Indian War Anniversary Commemoration Commission's 2009 "Signature Event."   Also look for the "Waterways of War" guidebook at the July 18-19, 2009 Founder's Day Celebration in Ogdensburg, NY. In 2010, Ogdensburg will host the final 250th French and Indian War Anniversary Commemoration Commission "Signature Event."

# # #

Contact: Teresa Mitchell, Great Lakes Seaway Trail, 315-646-1000 See Backgrounder online at www.seawaytrail.com, click in French & Indian War block