Fort Ticonderoga - Where History and Horticulture Add Up to a Whole Lot of Fun

Sunday, July 10, 2016


You don't have to be a history buff to enjoy Fort Ticonderoga.  I figured that out last year when we visited, and again recently when we went back again.  But if you are interested in history, particularly where it concerns New York State, or horticulture...or.... spectacular views of the Adirondack Park and Lake Champlain, Fort Ticonderoga has something for everyone.

Fort Ticonderoga

History at this site began as long ago as 1609 when Samuel De Champlain battled the Iroquois on the Ticonderoga peninsula.  This area later saw the French and Indian War and the American Revolution.  In 1785 the Fort became the property of the State of New York.  Later, in 1803 ownership of the site was transferred jointly to Union and Columbia Colleges until 1820 when the fort and its 546 acres garrison grounds were purchased by NY merchant, William Ferris Pell.  In 1909 the Pell family began restoration of the for and the creation of a museum. In 1960 Fort Ticonderoga was named one of the first National Historic Landmarks.  A popular destination for school field trips in conjunction with NYS studies, it's definitely an important reminder of a time in our history when wars were fought right here in our own backyard.  If you're looking for a great day trip for your family, I highly recommend putting Fort Ticonderoga at the top of your list.
The fort itself is probably the most impressive thing you'll encounter when you visit.  With its massive walls and scenic views, this is not a place you'll soon forget.  But there's so much more to Fort Ticonderoga than the fort!!  Read on and see what else this destination as in store!

Overlooking Lake Champlain

Site of the American Revolution, Fort Ticonderoga

National Historic Register Site, Fort Ticonderoga

Fort Ticonderoga

The fort has a pretty impressive list of visitors too.....

Fort Ticonderoga

One of my favorite parts of the tour is definitely the King's Garden.  We were a little between seasons on this visit - just past spring blooms and a little to early for the summer display which I'm told is peak at the end of July, but even minus a full display of annuals, you can't argue this garden is a sight to behold.

The King's Garden

Fort Ticonderoga NY

Fort Ticonderoga

Fort Ticonderoga

Fort Ticonderoga

Fort Ticonderoga in Upstate NY

Fort Ticonderoga Historical Site

Fort Ticonderoga

Fort Ticonderoga
For more garden pictures, use link below for last year's post .

On our way back to the King's Garden parking lot, we spotted an Osprey nest where Mama and her two babies were enjoying a little morning sun.

King's Garden at Fort Ticonderoga

This year we took advantage of the other museum opportunities and took a ride on the Carillon.

Lake Champlain

How glorious it was to sit and relax on a 90-minute, narrated cruise down Lake Champlain.  Our docent, Eliza, brought history to life as she embodied various characters from history telling us the story of Fort Ticonderoga's past.
Fort Ticonderoga Boat Cruise

Fort Ticonderoga
Our Docent, Eliza, giving us the history.

Fort Ticonderoga

Once we finished with our cruise, we returned to the Fort for lunch at America's Fort Cafe, overlooking Lake Champlain and the Green Mountains of Vermont.  Normally you might not expect anything special when dining in a museum cafe, but let me tell you......the food here is downright amazing.  Fresh, reasonable and delicious.....this is one time you won't want to pack your own lunch. Do yourself a favor and enjoy lunch at the cafe.  After lunch, you'll surely want to browse the museum store, one of the best and most extensive I've seen.  

After lunch, we hopped in our car to continue with the final portion of our day as we drove up Mount Defiance.  The short but steep walk from the parking area to the summit was worth it, but be warned that it is a short but challenging task, especially on a hot, humid day or if you are not able bodied. Once there though......the view is well worth the effort.  A partial view is available partway up the mountain and also from the parking area, but for the full enchilada you've got to go all the way!

Lake Champlain at Fort Ticonderoga

Fort Ticonderoga
View from the summit at Mt. Defiance

Fort Ticonderoga
View from parking area at Mt. Defiance

I hope I've convinced you to plan a visit to Fort Ticonderoga this summer or fall. The Fort is open until mid-October with events happening daily.  Be sure to check out their website for more information.  http://www.fortticonderoga.org/  To read my previous blog posts about the Fort and the King's Garden: King's Garden Post and Fort Ticonderoga, America's Most Historic Landscape.  
Thanks for reading!  Check out the sidebar of the blog - In the Spotlight - for more ideas of fun things to do this summer right here in Upstate NY!

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