Visitors are encouraged to take a stroll and learn more about Zebulon Pike | Education

SACKETS HARBOR – As part of the Pike National Historic Trail, a much shorter trail will highlight the initiative here on April 27.

On Saturday, April 27 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM, the Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site will host the “Pike Hike & Bike,” honoring the life and legacy of Brigadier General Zebulon Montgomery Pike.

Mayor Alex M. Morgia has declared April 27 as Zebulon Pike Day in the village.

“Recognizing Pike’s presence in Jefferson County will help raise awareness of his journey, as well as the history of Jefferson County/Sackets Harbor and the many cultural, educational and recreational opportunities offered in the area,” reads the proclamation issued by the indicates day.

Before the War of 1812, Pike was a well-traveled explorer of the American West as an Army captain on orders from President Thomas Jefferson. He explored the southern parts of Louisiana territory. He steadily rose in rank until he was promoted to brigadier general after fighting in the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811 during Tecumseh’s War, a conflict between the U.S. and Tecumseh’s Confederacy led by the Shawnee leader Tecumseh in the Indiana Territory.

While the War of 1812 was underway, Pike was ordered to lead a campaign north of Sackets Harbor into Canada.

“Pike led the easy capture of York (modern-day Toronto) after landing his 1,600 regulars across Lake Ontario against a much smaller combined British force,” according to American Battlefield Trust. “Although the garrison was easily captured, retreating British soldiers set fire to the buildings, resulting in a terrible explosion when the flames reached the powder magazine. The explosion injured 222 soldiers and killed another 38, with Pike among those killed.”

Pike later died aboard his ship. His body is said to have been returned to Sackets Harbor in a barrel of spirits in 1813.

The nonprofit Pike National Historic Trail Association was founded in 2007 to promote and preserve Pike’s legacy. It is seeking federal designation of the trail.

The trail, which would run along public highways, would honor Pike’s explorations. In 1805-1806 Pike explored the source of the Mississippi newly acquired from France in 1803. He led an expedition to present-day Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota. His second expedition was to the American Southwest and parts of New Spain (Mexico) in 1806-1807. The Pike National Historic Trail would wind its way through the areas the expeditions visited. In total it is 4,123 miles. If we add canoe trips and surveying activities, the total is 15,000 kilometers.

The Sackets Harbor Pike Trail, 2.5 miles away, is an extension of the Pike National Historic Trail Association’s tri-national trail celebrating northern pike. Pike covered 4,123.6 miles. When freight voyages and surveys are added, his total rises to 15,000 miles.

Pike was first buried at the Navy Yard, now the historic battlefield. In 1820 he was reburied in the “new” Madison Barracks cemetery, where a monument was added in 1885. Pike was reburied again in 1909 at the relocated military cemetery on Dodge Avenue in the village.

Pike Bike & Hike maps will be available at the event and commemorative stickers will be available for free.

“Brigadier General Zebulon Montgomery Pike served in Sackets Harbor during the War of 1812,” said Constance B. Barone, director of the Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site. “The newly constructed Mexico-US-Canada pike route is a visible reminder of its importance in American history. Many locations in the United States are named after him, but Sackets Harbor can truly lay claim to him, as Pike is buried in our military cemetery.