It's the perfect time in history

What is there to do during this in-between the seasons time of the year? It's actually the perfect time of year to delve into the fascinating history and legendary tales of the Lake Champlain Region! While some of the bustling warmer-weather attractions may not be open yet, this quieter time of year sets the stage for exploring the rich historical heritage of this area. From wandering through historic sites to taking part in the mysteries of local legends, there's something waiting to be discovered! So no matter whether the weather gives you winter, spring, or something in-between to work with, this is the perfect time to immerse yourself in the captivating history that shapes the identity of the Lake Champlain Region.

Crown Point State Historic Site

For a beautiful and interesting lakeside experience travel to the Crown Point State Historic Site, and explore at your own pace when there are fewer tourists and you can take your time poking around this fascinating location! The grounds are open sunrise until sunset year-round, free of charge. Crown Point State Historic Site is dedicated to the preservation of the ruins of two fortifications from the colonial wars between the British and French. Prior to the American Revolution, both British and French colonial powers laid claim to the Champlain Valley. The ruins of the British fort include massive limestone barracks, earthen fort walls, and redoubt ruins. Interpretive signs are present on the grounds and the site is also especially scenic, perfectly placed on a peninsula jutting into Lake Champlain. If the weather is wintry, this is a great place for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, and this is also a prime spot for birding, so don't forget your binoculars!

For an optional add-on adventure, across the Lake Champlain Bridge lies Chimney Point State Historic Site, featuring an exhibit on the Western Abenaki peoples who once inhabited Vermont.

There is on-site museum that is open in the warmer months, operating Wednesdays through Sundays, mid-May through mid-October. A fee is required to enter the museum.

Crown Point Fort Ruins

Champlain Memorial Lighthouse

Across the road from the fort ruins is a historic light house, in Crown Point State Campground, and you'll definitely want to take a walk over to view this stunningly restored piece of the  Lake Champlain Region's history. The lighthouse was originally built in 1858, serving as a navigational aid for boaters passing through the half-mile-wide channel between Crown Point, New York and Chimney Point, Vermont, and remained in active service until 1930. In 1912, the lighthouse was transformed into a memorial for Samuel de Champlain featuring a bronze statue of Samuel Champlain and an original Auguste Rodin bronze sculpture named "La France." Although restored, parts of the original lighthouse remain, including parts of the foundation, interior brick, and cylindrical shaft that holds the spiral stone staircase. In warmer months when the campground is open, visitors can climb the spiral staircase inside to the top of the lighthouse for an incredible view of Lake Champlain. 

Champlain Memorial Lighthouse

History or story?

Just a short distance from Crown Point is Bulwagga Bay, the "Home of Champ", the region's legendary lake monster. No trip to the Lake Champlain Region is complete without scanning the surface of the lake to try for a rare sighting of Champ, also fondly known as Champy. Stories of a mysterious serpent-like inhabitant told by indigenous Haudenosaunee and Abenaki people who lived and hunted here are among the oldest tales from the region, dating back centuries. So is the lake monster real history or simply an old story? Either way, Champ is an important part of the local culture of the region and through the years, has been sighted many times, most frequently in Bulwagga Bay. Today, Champ, real or not, is a celebrated and much adored resident of the Lake Champlain Region, and is even protected by law on both sides of the lake. While you're in the area, give the lake a scan to see if you're one of the lucky few who can claim a Champ sighting. Even if you don't get a glimpse of Champ enjoying the waters of the lake, you can visit one of the tributes to the famous lake monster on land. Look for the Champ Sightings display along Route 9 in Port Henry and the Origin of Champ historic marker and sculpture at the Bulwagga Bay Campground.

Champ sightings sign in Port Henry

If the weather doesn't cooperate with your plans, there's always the opportunity to explore the area by way of shoppingdining, and general sightseeing. Keep an eye on the Lake Champlain Region events calendar for updates and additions. However you decide to spend your time here, we wish you a happy and safe visit to the Lake Champlain Region! 


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