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Visiting Fort Ticonderoga
Fort Ticonderoga is a military fort in the Adirondacks of NY just barely over the Vermont border overlooking Lake Champlain. Because of its location it is a great stop to add to your travels in Vermont or Lake George, NY.
The History of Fort Ticonderoga
Fort Ticonderoga is very prettily situated on Lake Champlain and is also a strategically good place to build a fort. The fort was built by the french in the mid 1700 as a means to keep the British away from Lake Champlain and trade venture in the north. It came under British control during the Battle of Ticonderoga in 1759 and it was the sight of two famous battles in the Revolutionary war with both side capturing it for a time.
This historic fort has served many roles since its time in the Revolutionary war, including hospital, school, and summer home. For the last few decades it has been open for visitors, and I highly recommend a visit.
Things to do in Fort Ticonderoga
Listen to a tour of the fort
My kids hate tours because they say they are hard to follow and never interesting. But we listened to two different tours because the speakers were so fascinating. I really recommend the family guided tour if you have kids under 8. Truly up there with the best family tours we have ever taken, and the tours are included in your admission.
Soldiers life programs
Different demonstrations are ongoing around the fort. My kids especially enjoyed the tailoring. Here they learned about all the different uniforms that were used by soldiers stationed at the fort and were able to watch artisans make the uniforms by hand. In fact these tailors keep everyone at the fort in period clothing year round.
The other favorite was musket maintenance where they were able to watch and help keep old muskets gleaming and ready to use at a moments notice.
Visit the King’s garden at Fort Ticonderoga
This formal garden on the grounds of the fort is worth a quick visit and a great place for family pictures. There are plenty of places to run around and get the wiggles out.
These formal gardens are expansive and take up almost as much room at the fort itself. There are garden tours available several times throughout the day. If you can’t make it for a tour, take your own tour and enjoy these lovely gardens.
If you visit in the fall like we did, there is also a hay maze and apple picking.
How long do you need to tour Fort Ticonderoga?
I think it really depends on the age of your kids, their interest in military history and what events are on for the day. On a typical day I would plan on 3-6 hours for your visit depending on your love of all things military.
If your kids are really young you may only be able to spend an hour or two, but it is still worth visiting in that amount of time!
Ferry from Ticonderoga to Vermont
If you are driving, I recommend taking the Ticonderoga ferry even if you are just taking it across Lake Champlain and back again. My kids still talk about that ferry ride and how much fun it was. It is a great way to plan a road trip to Fort Ticonderoga and then you can visit Burlington Vermont or Brattleboro Vermont from there.
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