lake champlain

Summer Is Legendary in the Lake Champlain Region

The miles of rolling hills, sparkling lake views and sunsets that dip into the distant peaks and ridges of the Adirondack and Green Mountains make the Lake Champlain Region of New York a vision of summertime magic.

Summer is the perfect time to get outside and dig into all the region has to offer. Come and explore the mountains, lakes and historical sites. Immerse yourself in the local communities, and sample some of the area’s freshest foods.

Here are a few highlights to bookmark for your visit.

Your Legendary Summer Starts Here

Start with big lake adventures, savor big flavors and even bigger history, then end with total relaxation.

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Visit Cultural Attractions

You’ll find a hefty dose of history and culture in the Lake Champlain Region.

First up: Historic Ausable Chasm. Known as the “Grand Canyon of the Adirondacks,” this sandstone gorge offers breathtaking waterfalls and cliffside trails. Besides hiking and climbing, visitors can follow a trail suspended over the Ausable River and enjoy rafting and canoeing down below.

Next, head to 2,000-acre Fort Ticonderoga, where 18th century history comes alive with daily weapon demonstrations, cannon firings, fife and drum parades and stories about the lives of soldiers stationed there throughout different conflicts. Built by the French between 1755 and 1757, the fort later was taken by the British and then continental militia. Visit the museum with one of the largest collections of 18th-century military artifacts in North America and exhibitions about art, gardening and cooking. Then, take a relaxing happy hour cruise on Lake Champlain aboard the Carillon, a 1920s era tour boat.

For more recent history, take the Star Trek Original Series Set Tour in Ticonderoga and step back to 1966. Guided tours, photo opportunities and an immersive experience are available at this mockup of a Star Trek set.

lake champlain

Keep It Fresh

All that hiking, boating, swimming and living history works up an appetite. Did you know the Lake Champlain Region is brimming with some of the best year-round farmers markets and farm-to-table restaurants in the Adirondacks? Take advantage of the local bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Sink your teeth into the region’s farms and flavors at Essex Food Hub markets, located in both Essex and Westport, or ‘Agri-Alley,” a meeting of three farms on Mace Chasm Road near Ausable Chasm. Everything from formal dining to lunch and midday treats are on the menus!

Cool Off With Watersports

Stay active and cool when boating or paddling on glittering Lake Champlain, the sixth-largest lake in the country. Take a swim off one of the many lake beaches or camp by a local pond. Why not charter a fishing boat or take your boat out into “The Narrows,” a slice of water rich with old shipwrecks and geological wonders?

Hike the Champlain Area Trails

The Champlain Area Trails (or CATS) is a network of gently rolling hills, meadows, crests and water features. The more than 200 miles of trails, have been wowing birders, hikers and casual strollers looking for a slice of paradise in New York for years. Looking for a less strenuous outing? Take your pick from an assortment of scenic walks through downtowns and forests, many less than a mile long and ideal for all ages and abilities. The Boquet River Nature Preserve trail meets Federal Accessibility Guidelines so come out stroll this beautiful  1.15 mile long trail. 

Road Cycling

If you like road biking, strap on your helmet and pedal off to the Adirondack Coast Bikeways, a network of 14 themed loops included in the 1,600 miles of the Lake Champlain Bikeways, which circle Lake Champlain and go as far as Quebec. Consult the Lake Champlain bikeways map and pick a route filled with scenery and historic sites. Connect with a section of the Empire State Trail, 110 miles of which pass through the Champlain Valley. 

Charming Towns

Westport, N.Y., the birthplace of the Adirondack Chair, offers art galleries and the Split Rock Wild Mountain Forest Preserve, featuring more than 11 miles of hiking trails. While you are there, try to catch a show at the Depot Theatre – located in a historic, functioning 1876 train station.

Essex is where you will find the Adirondack Art Association, featuring works by local artists. Stop in the hamlet of Port Henry, to see if you can spot Champ, the Lake Champlain Monster, or climb the fire tower at the summit of Belfry Mountain.

Elizabethtown, located on the Bouquet River, features the Adirondack History Museum and the Rosenberg Gallery, which specializes in Adirondack art, not to mention farmers’ markets.

And in Crown Point, you can visit the Champlain Memorial Lighthouse or even take the walk to Vermont over the Lake Champlain Bridge Heritage Area.

Get your summer started in the Lake Champlain Region.

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