Top of the Morning

There are several reasons why I am an early riser, but most importantly it is because I don’t want to miss the opportunity to enjoy a Lake Champlain sunrise. I’m lucky. My deck and backyard overlook the lake so I get a light show frequently. Believe me, sunrises here can be awesome; jaw-dropping even. Mother Nature can produce an absolutely fabulous display to welcome the new day. I will share a few pictures with you, but really my attempts at capturing the beauty are nothing like experiencing it in person.

An artist with a lens

We are very fortunate to have talented photographer, Shawn Michener, living in our region. His work is truly extraordinary, as you can see here. He also obviously enjoys rising early to view our beautiful sunrises.

Mouth of Mill Brook - photo credit Shawn Michener

Stevenson Road - photo credit Shawn Michener

Suitable sites

Of course I highly recommend that you too, become an early riser when you visit our Lake Champlain Region.The reward will make it all worthwhile. But where can you catch the best views, you might ask. I can tell you it will be no problem. There are dozens of suitable sites, but I will give you some simple ideas.

Be sure to charge the cell phone or even pack the camera.

Port Henry from drone - photo credit Shawn Michener

North of the Lake Champlain Bridge connecting Crown Point, NY to Chimney Point, VT, the lake widens.  Having more sight distance across the water expands your ability to thoroughly enjoy one of these colorful spectacles and all the reflection. Let me point out some public access waterfront locations so you can enjoy these light shows too.

The Crown Point State Historic Site has hundreds of acres for you to explore and will provide you with several vantage points looking east; many with the gorgeous Lake Champlain Bridge in the foreground.

Traveling north along NYS Route 9N and 22 from Crown Point toward Port Henry, there are a few pull offs that will also give you fantastic easterly views. This is just north of the stretch known as the “rock cuts,” a windy stretch of 9N and 22 that makes its way between the rocky cliffs of the Adirondacks and the lake.

Sunrise over Bullwagga Bay

Within Port Henry you have several options. This former village within the township of Moriah has a vast amount of public land along it’s waterfront, maybe the most of any Adirondack Coast community. Find great viewing areas in Bulwagga Bay Park, Port Henry Champ Beach Park, and Powerhouse Park and Pier near the New York State boat launch.

From Port Henry Pier - photo credit Shawn Michener

Westport will offer you even more options. Right off 9N and 22 Ballard Park in the hamlet of Westport overlooks the lake and Westport Marina as you face the Green Mountains of Vermont. Within the hamlet of Westport Routes 9N and 22 split. You will want to stay on 22 as it clings closer to the shoreline and will give you several vantage points like Westport’s NYS boat launch.

Ballard Park - photo credit Shawn MichenerWestport Boat Launch - photo credit Shawn Michener

Leave Route 22 just north of the boat launch to get on to County Route 9, also known as Lake Shore Road, headed toward the town of Essex. Lake Shore Road passes through a wooded area at first, but opens to grand vistas near Whallons Bay. The hamlet also has a waterfront park, Begg’s Park. From there you can even view the ferry crossing to Charlotte, VT.

North of Essex you can access Noblewood Park on the way to Willsboro. This waterfront park sits at the mouth of the Bouquet River. The views are always awesome, but under a sunrise, unbelievable.

Westport Boat Launch - photo credit Shawn Michener

Hikes with bird's eye views

If you are up for a bit more of a challenge, and to get more of a bird’s eye view, consider one of the Champlain Area Trails that take you to a summit overlooking the lake and Vermont. You will have miles of sight distance. Three I could easily recommend are: Coot Hill/Big Hollow Trail, Cheney Mountain and Rattlesnake Mountain. These three hikes range from easy to moderately difficult. You can choose to your liking, but of course you will be hiking before daylight so that will add to the degree of difficulty. Don that headlamp, grab the camera and be sure to share your pics with us.

Brighten up your fall or winter with a trip to the Lake Champlain Region. We have delightful overnight options and enjoyable annual events. Start planning today!


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