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Fort Ticonderoga formerly Fort Carillon, is a large 18th-century star fort built by the French at a narrows near the south end of Lake Champlain, in northern New York State. It was constructed by Canadian-born French military engineer Michel Chartier de Lotbinière, Marquis de Lotbinière between October 1755 and 1757, during the action in the “North American theater” of the Seven Years’ War, often referred to in the US as the French and Indian War. The fort was of strategic importance during the 18th-century colonial conflicts between Great Britain and France and again played an important role during the Revolutionary War.

The site controlled a river portage alongside the mouth of the rapids-infested La Chute River, in the 3.5 miles (5.6 km) between Lake Champlain and Lake George. It was thus strategically placed for the competition over trade routes between the British-controlled Hudson River Valley and the French-controlled Saint Lawrence River Valley.

During the 1758 Battle of Carillon, 4,000 French defenders were able to repel an attack by 16,000 British troops near the fort. In 1759, the British returned and drove a token French garrison from the fort. During the Revolutionary War, when the British controlled the fort, it was attacked on May 10, 1775, in the Capture of Fort Ticonderoga by the Green Mountain Boys and other state militia under the command of Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold, who captured it in the surprise attack. Cannons taken from the fort were transported to Boston to lift its siege by the British, who evacuated the city in March 1776. The Americans held the fort until June 1777, when British forces under General John Burgoyne occupied high ground above it; the threat resulted in the Continental Army troops being withdrawn from the fort and its surrounding defenses. The only direct attack on the fort during the Revolution took place in September 1777, when John Brown led 500 Americans in an unsuccessful attempt to capture the fort from about 100 British defenders.

The British abandoned the fort after the failure of the Saratoga campaign, and it ceased to be of military value after 1781

1. THE FORT

Fort Ticonderoga has been beautifully restored under the guidance of a non-profit organisation. As well as the exterior being in excellent condition the interior of the fort looks as good as the day it was built. 

You can visit the inside of the buildings where there are rooms laid out as they would have been during the occupation by the Revolutionary Forces. There are also exhibit rooms that detail the history of the Fort as well as munitions and uniforms from the period.

To bring the stories of the Fort to life there are daily programmes through the summer including craft demonstations; including woodworking, shoe making, tailoring, animal husbandry and marine arts. There also some living history demonstrations of musket maintenance, pipes and drums and cannon firing.

Fort Ticonderoga New York
The Fortifications
The canon batteries used to defend Fort Ticerondoga from invasion
The ceremonial canon firing
Inside the barracks
Demonstration of traditional shoe making

2. THE KINGS GARDEN

Gardens have been part of Ticonderoga’s history for centuries. French, British and American armies found nourishment in the vegetables grown in the fertile gardens located below the fort walls along the shores of Lake Champlain. In the 19th and 20th century, the lush and historic landscape transformed into a unique private country American estate. Museum founders celebrated Ticonderoga’s defining Colonial and Revolutionary history while adding new gardens and orchards to the landscape. Today visitors to the 6-acre King’s Garden explore centuries of garden history, savor the fragrant heritage flowers, and discover how Fort Ticonderoga cultivates its gardens today to feature its incredible history and create curated culinary experiences and sustainable agricultural practices

The Kings Garden
A view through a gate to the walled garden
A stunning display at the Kings Garden
A sunflower
A blue gate
The secret garden
An avenue of trees

3. LAKE CHAMPLAIN

For an additional fee to the general admission you can take a ride on Lake Champlain on the beautifully restored wooden launch, The Clarillon. The boat tour is a very relaxing 45-minute long cruise up and down the lake, passing many of the historical sites associated with the French – British and American Revolutionary Wars. You are joined on the trip by a guide who points out the sites on the route and gives an indepth explanation on the historical events that passed along this significantly strategic waterway.

There is an on-board concession so you can buy some snacks – including alcoholic beverages – to make your journey even more enjoyable!

The Carillon - a journey on Lake Champlain from Fort Ticonderoga
The waters of Lake Champlain
Lake Champlain
A view from the bow of the Clarion

In Summary …

  • If you love history this is a great day out for everyone – including families. We enjoyed it despite it involving the British getting badly beaten.
  • Allow 2 to 3 hours for your visit. Especially, if you are visiting the King’s Garden. You will probably be longer if you do the boat tour.
  • The weather in Upstate New York is hard to predict so come prepared for a bit of everything!

Planning your visit to Fort Ticonderoga

Address:102 Fort Ti Rd, Ticonderoga, NY 12883
Website:https://www.fortticonderoga.org/
Telephone:T: (518) 585-2821
Hours:

May 7-October 31, 2022 | Tuesday-Sunday | 9:30am-5pm

Admission Fees

Adult: $25.00
Senior: $23.00
Child: $13.00
Child: Free Under Age 5, No ticket required

5

Best time to visit Lake Champlain / Ticonderoga

Average temperatures in Ticonderoga vary an incredible amount. Considering humidity, temperatures feel cold for about half of the year and otherwise nice with a chance of rain or snow throughout most of the year. The area is less temperate than some — in the 34th percentile for pleasant weather — compared to tourist destinations worldwide. Weeks with ideal weather are listed above. If you’re looking for the very warmest time to visit Ticonderoga, the hottest months are July, August, and then September. See average monthly temperatures below. The warmest time of year is generally early August where highs are regularly around 83.2°F (28.4°C) with temperatures rarely dropping below 62.8°F (17.1°C) at night.

Other places to visit around Ticonderoga

1. THE STAR TREK ORIGINAL SERIES SET TOUR

If you are travelling through upstate New York you might want to take a trip into the small town of Ticonderoga to visit the Star Trek Original Series Set-Tour. You might ask why is it in Ticonderoga – and you’ll need to go for yourself to find out! This is not just a place for Trekkies to visit it is a fascinating insight into TV history. its authenticity has been confirmed by members of the original cast, including William Shatner (Captain James T Kirk) who makes regular visits here.

2. AUSABLE CHASM

Known for its natural beauty, the Watkins Glen State Park features a series of waterfalls and gorges that are sure to amaze anyone. An almost two-mile hike will take you past 19 waterfalls and up over 800 stone steps.

There are a number of small trails leading off of the Gorge Trail, giving way to a number of other outdoor activities close by the main trail. There are tent and trailer campsites, swimming pools, picnic facilities as well as guided tours of the local topography.

Leashed dogs are allowed on the outer rim trails but not on the Gorge Trail.

The entrance to the park is right on Main Street in Watkins Glen. You are never far from the conveniences of a town while being able to get away to the wonders that are the gorges and waterfalls of Watkins Glen State Park.

Where to stay near Ticonderoga

1. CIRCLE COURT MOTEL – TICONDEROGA

AAA-rated motel in historic Ticonderoga. Nearby attractions include: Fort Ticonderoga, Lake George, Lake Champlain, museums, and restaurants. Ample boat parking available. In 1918, when the automobile was making travel more popular, Effie Andrews established the first “Tourist Home” in Ticonderoga. From that humble beginning, the establishment has grown into a 16-unit motel with all the amenities to assure your stay will be as comfortable as possible.

2. TROUT HOUSE RESORT – HAGUE

Trout House is located on the peaceful shores of northern Lake George, and has been a popular summer destination for generations of families. The sleepy village of Hague is surrounded by the Lake’s majestic Adirondack Mountains. Enjoy swimming from our 400′ sandy beach, fishing from our dock, kayaking to the islands, hiking to the lookout, or biking to the Hague Market.

3. NORTHERN LAKE GEORGE RESORT

Peaceful and secluded, Northern Lake George Resort is a serene Adirondacks family escape. Discover stunning lawn areas, a variety of water sports including plenty of rowboats and canoes, and two-story villa accommodations – all right here. All around are the exciting pursuits of the Adirondack mountains: skiing, tennis, and golf are available to you when you stay at Northern Lake George Resort. Those, plus a whole lot more! Because this resort brings the rich, ancient heritage of the Adirondacks into focus. Northern Lake George Resort is a tribute to history and a thoroughly modern family getaway. Whether you’re into fishing and want to cast a line with the experienced guides that the resort offers, or you want to explore the mountains with some hiking excursions, this is the place where you can do it all. Relaxed, refreshed, rejuvenated. Escape to the last of the original “Old Hotels of Lake George!”

 

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