Historic sites, tours, museums, and attractions

The Lake Champlain Region boasts more than 400 years of history — from Native Americans and America's early explorers to the Revolutionary War and beyond. Throughout the region, there are museums, historic sites, buildings, bridges, and other Lake Champlain attractions that serve as testaments to the region's storied past.

Win a Stay

Why history?

Learning an area's history and culture is a fun and easy way to engage with it on a deeper level. Don't just pass through on your Adirondack getaway. Fully experience all that the Lake Champlain Region has to offer!

Walking tours: guided and on your own

One of the best ways to get a sense of the past is to walk through the area's historic towns and villages. The region's history is written in structures — from churches and lighthouses to family homes and libraries — most of which has preserved Greek Revival and Federal architecture. Take a walking tour of one of the hamlets, such as Keeseville, Port Henry, Westport, or Essex, an entire hamlet that is on the National Register of Historic Places. There are plenty of shops, art galleries, restaurants, and more along the way.

Fort Ticonderoga and Crown Point

Discover how this part of the world impacted national history with a visit to the French and British war forts of Ticonderoga and Crown Point. Both sites were strongholds during the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. Explore ruins, walk through the museums, and attend military encampments, demonstrations, and historic reenactments. While Fort Ticonderoga is closed in the winter, it does open on select days for special events, including living history events, workshops, and lectures that are well worth the visit.

An aerial view of a stone, star-shaped fort on a bright green landscape near a lake and mountains.

Museums

The region also has many museums that offer a variety of perspectives on local and regional history. Follow the story of the Lake Champlain Region's iron use, the USS Monitor, and the Civil War, or attend one of the many Lake Champlain events that celebrate the region's legendary history.

  • The Hancock House-Ticonderoga Historical Museum is an elegant, engaging spot where local history and historic furnishings tell local stories.
  • In Crown Point, the Penfield Homestead Museum is a living history museum with numerous historic buildings on the grounds, as well as a scenic walking trail.
  • Did you know that the Adirondacks have a long history of mining? Learn about how mining and industry shaped the small towns we know and love at the Iron Center Museum!
  • While you're in Ti, don't miss the Ticonderoga Heritage Museum, where mining, giant pencils, and more come together for great fun.
  • Looking for history about the whole region? Head to Elizabethtown to visit the Adirondack History Museum, where engaging exhibits and a real fire tower await!

 

Historic Walking Tour of Essex

The entire hamlet of Essex is on the National Register of Historic Places. Take a walking tour of one of the most intact collection of pre-Civil War architecture in America.

This charming...

Location: 
Route 22
POB 250, Essex, 12936
  
Westport Walking Tour

This tour will guide you through the evolution of Westport from its early industrial and agricultural beginnings to a summer resort that has responded to dramatic changes in expectations for rest...

Location: 
1 Main Street, Westport, 12993
  
History s'Peaks

Looking for a new adventure that will let you explore the Adirondacks and learn cool things? Get in on the latest challenge! New in 2021, History s'Peaks is an Adirondack museum challenge in the...

Location: 
, ,
  
Hancock House-Ticonderoga Historical Museum

The Georgian-style Hancock House, an exact replica of Thomas Hancock's (John Hancock's uncle) former Beacon Hill home in Boston, was built as a home for the New York Historical Association. The...

Location: 
6 Moses Circle, Ticonderoga, 12883
  
Willsboro Walking Tour

Willsboro was first settled in 1765, as Willsborough Falls, or simply, “The Falls.” Ironworks from 1801 was a major economic driver. Most of the buildings seen today were constructed between the...

Location: 
, Willsboro, 12996
  
Elizabethtown Walking Tour

First known as Pleasant Valley, Elizabethtown was first settled in 1798, by veterans of the Revolutionary War. Its development as the county seat resulted in many striking homes built by the...

Location: 
, Elizabethtown, 12932
  
Port Henry Walking Tour

Explore Port Henry's historic downtown and learn about Moriah's industrial legacy on A Walk Through History, a self-guided walking tour. The architectural walking tour section of the brochure...

Location: 
14 Park Place, Port Henry, 12974
  
Keeseville Walking Tour

Booklet available from: Adirondack Architectural Heritage. Fee for booklet.

The first dam at Anderson Falls on the AuSable River was built in 1808 to power a sawmill. Since that time, and...

Location: 
1 Mill Street, Keeseville, 12944
  
Ticonderoga Walking Tour

Ticonderoga began with the fort and was soon a center of paper production. It has more than three dozen buildings listed on the National Register.

Did you know the former Agway building (...

Location: 
, Ticonderoga, 12883
  
LaChute River Walk

Take a lovely loop around Bicentennial Park with many interpretive signboards to learn about history and nature.

Hiking

This is an easy walk.

Snowshoeing

This level...

Location: 
Bicentennial Park, Ticonderoga, 12883
  
Port Henry-Moriah Historic Buildings

Port Henry was one of the wealthiest villages in New York in the late19th century. Those high up in the Witherbee & Sherman Mining Company could afford the finest.

History and Heritage...

Location: 
Park Place, Port Henry, 12974
  
Ironville Walking Tour

First named Irondale, this area is known as the “Birthplace of the Electric Age," since it was here that the first industrial application of electricity in the United States took place.

...

Location: 
703 Creek Rd, Crown Point, 12928
  
Willsboro Heritage Center Museum

The Willsboro Heritage Society, Inc. was first formed in 1974 to study the history of Willsboro and create an interest in the town's colorful past. The group is deducted to preserving information...

Location: 
6 Gillilland Lane
POB 212, Willsboro, 12996
  
Lake Champlain Underwater Historic Preserves

 (photo courtesy Lake Champlain Maritime Museum)

Contact the NYS DEC or the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in Basin Harbor, VT for information. Call 518-897-1200 for a detailed brochure....

Location: 
, Westport, 12993
  
Anderson Falls Heritage Society Museum

The museum offers visitors an extensive collection of historical photos, artifacts, some local family histories, summer programs focused on area history, and displays about local schools, churches...

Location: 
96 Clinton Street, Keeseville, 12944
  
Ticonderoga Heritage Museum

Ticonderoga history is inexorably linked to paper mills, graphite mining and pencils. The museum is housed in the former main office of International Paper Company, the area’s largest industry and...

Location: 
137 Montcalm Street, Ticonderoga, 12883
  
Penfield Homestead Museum

Museum of local history. Birthplace of the Electric Age. 1826 homestead, carriage barn, church, threshing barn, cow barn. Take our historic walking tour along the edge of Putnam's Creek. Fishing...

Location: 
703 Creek Road, Crown Point, 12928
  
The Iron Center Museum

End of June to Columbus Day, Mon/Tues/Wed, 12-2pm. Thur/Fri/Sat, 12-3pm. Donation.

Railroad and mining history exhibits are presented by the Town of Moriah Historical Society in a restored...

Location: 
34 Park Place, Port Henry, 12974
  
Champlain Memorial Lighthouse

The site of the Champlain Memorial Lighthouse has a rich historic past. It was originally occupied by a windmill, built by the French in 1737. The Champlain Memorial Lighthouse rises from a small...

Location: 
NYS DEC Campground
Bridge Road, Crown Point, 12928
  
Fort Ticonderoga

Fort Ticonderoga is a bucket list destination! Bring the family and enjoy hands-on activities, daily weapon demos, boat tours, world-class museum exhibits, beautiful gardens, friendly animals, and...

Location: 
102 Fort Ti Road, Ticonderoga, 12883
  
Lake Champlain Maritime Museum at Basin Harbor

Explore the vibrant history and characters of the Champlain Valley. View a large collection of original small watercraft built over the last 150 years. Learn about the largest collection of wooden...

Location: 
4472 Basin Harbor Road, Vergennes, 05491
  
Adirondack History Museum

 

Elizabethtown's original central school provides ample space for a large collection of artifacts from over 200 years of Essex County history and culture. The 2021seasonal exhibits...

Location: 
7590 Court Street, Elizabethtown, 12932
  
Crown Point State Historic Site

The historic Crown Point is definitely a "don't miss" stop in the Lake Champlain Region! 

The grounds are free to explore; there is an admission fee at museum.

Grounds are open from...

Location: 
21 Grandview Drive, Crown Point, 12928