Dividing the states of New York and Vermont, Lake Champlain is the home to many different types of outdoor activities. One can enjoy a day out on the water sailing, power boating, kayaking, canoing, SCUBA diving, and more!
The southern end of Lake Champlain is narrow, and eventually ends at the town of Whitehall, which marks the beginning of the Champlain Canal. While out on the lake, be mindful the Champ, the elusive lake monster; keep your camera handy, just in case you spot him!
Lake Champlain Towns and Points of Interest
- Whitehall defines the southern terminus of the lake and the beginning of the Champlain Canal. The town offers all the amenities that one needs, including free docking including power and water. The Skenesboro Museum, located right along the canal, contains a rich history of canal, military and lake history. Skene Manor, a historic mansion, is located on the hillside overlooking the town; the mansion offers tours and food on select days of the week.
- Ticonderoga is located just south of where the lake opens, this town had protected the country for many years in its day. Now the fort is a historical site which visitors can come an relive history.
- Crown Point is located another fort that once protected the country. It is a nice walk in the steps that makes one think that things were once very different on the lake.
- Port Henry is located just north of Crown Point on the western side of the lake. This town offers a beach, campground, free state boat launch and free docking at the Village Pier. This area once prospered because of its iron ore deposits, but today is a small village. Today it is the center of Champ sightings, and Champ memorabilia is found at most village festivals.
Interestingly the Village Pier is owned by the NYS canal corporation, one of three constructed on the lake (Plattsburgh and Rouses Point are the others). The pier follows the same rules as all canal terminal walls, and docking is limited to 48 hours per calendar month. There are no power or water available, but the town and beach is a short walk away.
- Westport is a busy town just south of the Narrows. This is a small town, with restaurants being most of its attraction to the boater. There is a free state boat launch on the northern side of bay and a large marina with a respectable amount of supplies to the south.
- The Narrows of Lake Champlain are lined with steep cliffs and small and large bays that offer magnificent anchorages for wind coming in any direction (Both NY and VT side.)
- Vergennes is home to the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum (Basin Harbor) and Otter Creek. The LCMM offers a glimpse into the history of the lake, while Otter Creek is navigable about 7 miles upstream into town, where there is a free city dock. Vergennes is a nice city which gives a great view of the waterfall from your boat.
- Burlington is a great city offering many things to see and do. It is protected from the lake by a break wall where there a slips and moorings for rent, or one can anchor and dingy in. There are many restaurants, supplies and recreational activities.
- Valcour Island is an Island on the NY side of the lake, it is a primitive island that is a very popular anchorage. Its coves on every side of the island can protect boats regardless of the wind or wave direction. Onshore there is a lighthouse and hiking trails, and many beaches line the coves. Come early, good spots go fast!
- Plattsburgh is the second largest city located on the lake, and offers many spots along the shore to explore, including the boat basin (protected harbor), Wilcox Dock (Semi-Protected Canal Terminal Wall), the Saranac River Outlet Area (no docking, dingy in) among others. There is a river walking trail as well as many historical site from the wars that formed this country.
- Point Au Roche offers a protected anchorage (fee for using moorings in larger bay, free in smaller bay where Boat Launch is located), and offers a beach, hiking trails and an historic building. A nice stop for those who enjoy scenic walks.