The Adirondacks have a full array of activities for everyone regardless of the season. After thirty years of exploring the area during our vacations, we discovered Fort Ticonderoga. Our visit took place in the winter, but the Fort is open year round (check the website for their daily schedule, www.fortticonderoga.org).
This living history museum updates its special events and reenactments each year to keep things fresh and relive its multiple roles in shaping our country. This one Fort was involved in five battles and two wars! It’s no wonder that this restored fort was named one of the first National Historic Landmarks.
“Relive the defining moments in America’s history when nations fought to control a continent. Located within the shadow of the Adirondack Mountains and overlooking Vermont’s picturesque Green Mountains, Fort Ticonderoga guards the historic portage between Lake Champlain and Lake George. The French and their native allies failed to conquer this region during the French & Indian War. And a generation later, the British failed during the Revolutionary War. In the end, Americans controlled Lake Champlain, and therefore controlled the continent. ” Visit: www.fortticonderoga.org
Fort Ticonderoga is located in New York on the La Chute River between the north tip of Lake George and southern end of Lake Champlain. Vermont is clearly visible on the other side of the river. The Fort provides beautiful views of the area, but if you have the time opt for an additional hike on Mount Defiance. Mount Defiance is included with admission to the Fort and is accessible by car or by foot (open May-Oct.). If you choose to hike, you can follow in the historic footsteps of General Burgoyne’s troops (British forces!). This summit hosts amazing views of the Fort and surrounding area. There’s also a picnic pavilion for a relaxing break.
Additional views of the area can be found on Mount Independence in Vermont. Mount Independence is also a National Historic Landmark and it is “one of the largest and most well preserved Revolutionary War archaeological sites in America.” Visit: http://historicsites.vermont.gov/directory/mount_independence
Our family found enjoyment in the variety of things to learn and discover. The younger kids enjoyed running around the open spaces, playing with the cannons, sitting in the barracks, and watching the reenactment battle in the woods. The young adults took a more formal approach with photographing the landscapes and unique french military architecture and engineering. As for myself, I love a good day outdoors, breathing fresh air and getting some exercise. I also enjoy historically rich places such as Fort Ticonderoga that allow you to be closer to a part of history that you could never access on your own. It makes you feel like you’ve traveled in a time machine, but fortunately your interaction won’t change history.
Fort Ticonderoga Fun Facts
“Ticonderoga” comes from the Iroquois word tekontaró:ken, meaning “it is at the junction of two waterways”
- The Ticonderoga pencil, (our family favorite), is named for the fort.
- The Fort played a part in the French and Indian War & The American Revolution!
- This Fort protected New York and New England from British invasion from Canada
- Benedict Arnold’s treasonous history began here
- The capture of the Fort from the British was the first offensive action in the American Revolution by the colonists
- The Fort’s cannons were instrumental in ending the Siege of Boston
- In 1972 this museum was one of the first 26 accredited by the American Association of Museums
More fun facts: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Ticonderoga
Visit the Fort
- 102 Fort Ti Road, Ticonderoga, NY
- The fort opens annually around May 10, the anniversary of the 1775 capture, and closes in late October. They’re open Daily May – October 9:30 am – 5:00 pm daily (last ticket sold 4:30pm). From November – April the fort is only open for special event programs.
- Adults $24.00
- Seniors $22.00
- Children (5-12) $12.00
- Children (4 and under) Free
- Other fun options to add to your visit- Tickets
- Boat Cruise
- After Hours Tours
- Training in handling artificats
**”One general admission ticket is valid for TWO DAYS worth of admission! Visit Fort Ticonderoga and Mount Defiance on your first day, and then on your second day, expand your experience on Lake Champlain aboard the 1920s replica tour boat, Carillon!”
Note: We stopped off at the Ticonderoga Elementary school playground on 116 Alexandria Ave to add a little more fun for our adventure.
Family Adventure Rating ❤️❤️❤️❤️
Cost– This adventure will cost a family of five about $84 plus travel. You can spend more if you’re a history buff and want a more full experience. You can also enjoy the general admission and go for the hikes that bring you to historic areas. Yes, there’s a gift shop and your family might want historic parchment or silly wigs, but you can avoid it if you like. Save some money and bring water bottles and snacks or even pack a lunch.
Parking & Transportation– There’s plenty of parking at the park. If you don’t have a car, the Ticonderoga Amtrak Station will get you close.
Location– This fort is located near a treasure trove of vacation fun. You are just above Lake George (55 min to the vacation end) and everything it has to offer. You are also close to ski resorts and vacation resorts like Gore Mountain (1 hr),Killington, VT (90 min) and Ridin Hy Ranch (35 min).
Day Trip or Overnight– This is an overnight trip for everyone that does not live within driving distance. You don’t need to spend multiple days here unless you really enjoy and want to take advantage of the history it offers (admission is good for two consecutive days). However, this is an awesome add-on if you’re already vacationing in the area.
Experience– We had no idea this fort was here and found it as we tagged along with a family friend who wanted to watch a reenactment. We were pleasantly surprised to find such an amazing piece of history and so well intact. The architecture, stories, and guns were all we needed to please every member of the family. We would love to return in warmer weather to enjoy the beautiful hikes.
Combination– If you’re on vacation there’s an unbelievable amount of activities and amenities within 30-90 minutes of the fort. Check out Visit Lake George and the links to some of our favorites above in Location.