Lake Champlain is every water lover's dream come true. Its spectacular setting in the shadow of the Adirondack peaks, its gentle breezes and its comfortable temperatures make it hard to resist sailing, boating or windsurfing these waters.
And then there are the uncrowded beaches, the lakeside restaurants, the quaint communities, the historic lighthouses and the full service marinas hugging its 585 miles of magnificent shoreline.
You can even watch for Champy - our legendary cousin of the Loch Ness monster.
(Enterprise file photo)
Under the stars
Whether looking to tent or park your RV, our campgrounds are many and varied, and ready to welcome you.
On the beach
Our magnificent, uncrowded beaches will amaze you, including "America's largest freshwater beach" at Plattsburgh.
On the water
Whether you prefer the wind in your sails or the thrill of powerboating, Lake Champlain is perfect! You'll find a string of great marinas and boat launches. And our lake is connected by canal to the Hudson River and New York City to the south and the St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes to the north.
Beneath the surface
Lake Champlain is a diver's paradise, offering all of the underwater beauty of one of North America's most interesting lakes as well as one of America's greatest collections of shipwrecks, dating back to the American Revolution. Our diving services will help you explore this unseen world.
With pole in hand
As deep at 400 feet in places, Lake Champlain is home to over 60 species of fish, including bass and salmon. Add the hundreds of sparkling lakes, rivers, streams and brooks of the Adirondacks and you have one of the world's greatest fishing destinations!
On two wheels
We offer some of the finest bicycling anywhere, including a 1,100-mile network known as Lake Champlain Bikeways. It includes a total of 36 loops ranging from 6 to 50 miles, as well as a 350-mile route around the entire lake.
From the shores of Lake Champlain to the peaks of the Adirondacks, our region is simply a paradise for visitors in search of nature at its grandest. And it's all remarkably accessible.
There are hundreds of miles of hiking trails, short and long, easy or advanced. Or you can take advantage of one of the dozens of established parks, attractions or tour routes to sample our splendor.
Ausable Chasm and High Falls Gorge take you right up close to the surging waters and ancient rocks of the Adirondacks.
Whiteface Mountain lets you see it all from the top. Enjoy a gondola ride or take a drive up the scenic road to the summit.
Point Au Roche State Park and Ausable Point offer year round trails and a chance to glimpse birds and other wildlife in their natural habitat, as do King's Bay and Wickham Marsh.
The Lake Champlain Birding Trail will help you enjoy one of America's great birding destinations, as you watch our geese, ducks, herons, raptors and too many other species to mention!
History for all ages
Lake Champlain welcomed Samuel de Champlain in 1609, who claimed our area for France. It was the beginning of more than 200 years of struggle between France, Britain and the new American notion for control of what would become one of the most strategic corridors of commerce and power in North America.
The Battle of Plattsburgh Bay, the defining battle of the War of 1812, took place on Sept. 11, 1814, at 8:45 a.m. That day began almost 200 years of peace and friendship with our former enemies.
Today, the military, social and commercial history of our nation and our region comes alive through a network of museums, historic sites and commemorations that you and your family will want to include in your visit.
Our military history includes key forts and battle sites of the French & Indian War, the American Revolution and the War of 1812.
Among the many historic stops along the "Lakes to Locks Passage ... the Great Northeast Journey" National Scenic Byway are Fort Ticonderoga, one of American's greatest landmarks, and the fortifications at Crown Point. And be sure to visit the new Battle of Plattsburgh Association and The Battle Of Plattsburgh Interpretive Center, both located on the Old Base Oval in Plattsburgh. The Interpretive Center showcases a diorama of the land and water battles that changed the course of history. Also housed in one of the Old Base buildings is the new Champlain Valley Transportation Museum, with a collection of artifacts tracing the long history of water and land transportation in the Champlain Valley.
Plan your visit to coincide with the Battle of Plattsburgh Commemoration, which takes place each year during the week after Labor Day. Watch live re-enactments on the land and the lake. Take a boat trip to Crab Island, the only military cemetery in the country where Americans and their foes are buried side by side. More than 150 British and American soldiers, sailors and marines who died in September 1814 rest together on the island.
Be sure to see the famous Adirondack Museum at Blue Mountain Lake, the finest collection of Adirondack artifacts in the region. And learn about the Underground Railroad at John Brown's Farm in Lake Placid. The 1812 Homestead in Willsboro is an authentic working farmstead. Country Dreams Farm offers wagon and sleigh rides and hands-on experiences of what life was like in the region in the 1830s.
Now a bustling economic development zone, the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base lies on hallowed ground, dating back to 1776. The Base was the oldest combat-ready military installation in the country, sending Army troops from Plattsburgh Barracks, and then airmen from the Air Base, to every conflict in our history, from the Revolutionary War through the Cold War, to Desert Storm, until closing in 1995. The old base is home to 26 buildings listed on the National Historic Registry.
Other aspects of history in our region are preserved and presented at sites like the Kent-Delord House Museum in Plattsburgh, with exhibits interpreting one family's life in the late-18th through early-20th centuries. The house served as British headquarters during the invasion and occupation of Sept. 6-11, 1812.
The Alice T. Miner Colonial Collection & Museum in Chazy has a world-renowned collection that includes a colonial kitchen, samplers, china, furniture and silhouettes from the 18th and 19th centuries. Also in Chazy is the newly opened Heart's Delight Farm Museum and Exhibit, telling the fascinating story of philanthropist William H. Miner and his 100-building experimental farm community in the early 20th century.
The Clinton County Historical Association and Museum includes such treasures as one of the rifles awarded to the Aiken's Volunteers, 130 school boys who helped to defend Plattsburgh during the Battle of Plattsburgh.
You'll also want to explore our delightful downtowns and hamlets, including rich architecture, restaurants, and shops of downtown Plattsburgh, and follow the heritage trail to the lakefront, called Plattsburgh Landing. Then off to historic Keeseville and its National Historic District, Chazy and the Miner Institute, and the charming lakefront communities of Rouses Point, Willsboro and Westport.