An essential part of summer is hitting the beach, and the hot, sunny days we’ve had lately are driving us to water. Current Lake Champlain water temperatures are a refreshing 70 degrees. Within the region we have numerous choices for beachgoers. Let me introduce you to a few of our favorites located on two different lakes.
Situated in the southern portion of the Town of Ticonderoga are the northernmost waters of Lake George. The name Ticonderoga is derived from the Iroquois word meaning “land between two waters” and Ticonderoga has both Lake Champlain and Lake George waterfront. Travel the Portage, the historic route for Native Americans and soldiers, to Black Point Road which will lead you to the town’s Black Point Beach. The beach is open daily through the summer from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., and access is free. On-site you will find both sandy and grassy areas, a volleyball court, and a picnic pavilion. In addition, a new bath house provides a place to change or use the facilities.
From the beach you will see tremendous views of the surrounding Adirondack Mountains and an exceptional view of Roger’s Rock. This rock-faced cliff is the site where British military commander, Robert Rogers, made his famous escape by sliding down the face of this rock to frozen Lake George during the French and Indian War.
Find two public beaches in the Village of Port Henry located within the Town of Moriah. Port Henry is blessed with a considerable amount of Lake Champlain waterfront - all available for the public to enjoy. At the village's southern end is Bulwagga Bay Campground. Aside from camping it offers Bulwagga Beach open daily to the public from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., with no access fee. This is a great beach for young children as the water is relatively shallow, even out at the perimeter ropes, and Champ himself is close by to entertain youngsters.
At the northern end of the village is Champ Beach Park, a campground, beach, and playground nestled between Mill Brook and Lake Champlain. The beach is open and free to the public from Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., and has a tremendous view of the Lake Champlain Bridge. Close to the beach is a playground and a basketball court.
This campground and beach sits adjacent to Port Henry’s popular fishing pier for those family members that prefer attempting to land the big one and practice their cast.
If you have attended any of the Soundwaves concerts held at Ballard Park on Main Street in Westport, then you may have already found your way to the town’s public beach. Behind the performance pavilion is a short, shady trail leading to the water. The beach offers incredible views across the lake to Vermont’s Green Mountains, and use of it is free! There is usually plenty of on-the -water boating activity to watch as it is located next door to the Westport Marina and Galley Restaurant. Boats can be seen coming to and from their slips and others will be stopping in for lunch, a snack, or dinner. This is a great, convenient opportunity for beachgoers too. Westport Public Beach is open daily, 10am until 6pm.
A little farther north up NYS Route 22 in Willsboro you will see the sign for Noblewood Park. Looking in at the park from Route 22 is deceiving. It appears to be predominantly wooded, with no visible sign of water. Don’t let that discourage you, Noblewood has some of the best beach front imaginable on Lake Champlain. In addition it also has access to the Boquet River shoreline. The park itself covers close to 70 acres, with camping, hiking trails, and a large lodge facility that groups can rent for gatherings.
Getting to the beach is a little hike from the parking area, but the path is all downhill winding through a shady forest. Or talk to one of the helpful park attendants about hopping aboard a kayak and paddling down the Boquet River from an upstream access point.
At the mouth of the Boquet is a huge sand bar that makes a gorgeous stretch of natural beachfront. The attendants will set you up with kayak, paddle, and PFD. Use of the kayak is included with your $5 per car day-use fee. The park is open daily from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
These are just a few options for taking to the water on a hot summer day. When you are in the Lake Champlain Region you are never far from several choices. Our lakes, ponds and rivers are around every bend.
This week we're talking awesome ADK swim holes: