Fort Crown Point, NY

Just over the bridge from Addison, VT sits the remains of two 18th Century forts: Fort Saint-Frédéric built by the French in 1731 and Fort Crown Point built by the British in 1759. During colonial times and the American Revolutionary War, Crown Point was an important strategic location on the west shore of Lake Champlain about 15 miles north of Fort Ticonderoga. Fort Saint-Frédéric was the only permanent fortress between New France and the British colonies to the south. During the French and Indian War, the British gained control of this area, and the French retreated and destroyed their fort to keep it out of the hands of the British. The British, then, built their new fort just a couple hundred yards up the hill from the footprint of that of the French.

After the French and Indian War, the British fort and its cannons were seized by the Green Mountain Boys militia from Vermont on May 12, 1775, at the start of the Revolutionary War. The fort was used as a staging ground by Benedict Arnold during the Revolution for his navy on Lake Champlain. After the destruction of that navy the fort was abandoned to the British in 1777, then in 1780 the British, having lost the American Revolution, abandoned the fort and it was left to deteriorate. In 1968 the remains of the fort were declared a national historic landmark, and work began on its restoration.

In the spring of 2020 people in Vermont were taking the threat of Covid-19 seriously, many businesses were closed for months (mine being one of them) and residents were discouraged from congregating and traveling. However, that left us plenty of opportunity for exploring the area around us. What’s more socially-distant than a walk out in nature? Here we are blessed with an abundance of nature, as well as sites such as this one. I’ve passed by it many times crossing the bridge from Addison to Crown Point but never stopped to look around. Fort Ticonderoga to the south in Ticonderoga, NY is a bigger affair with reenactors and events and gardens and paid entry, the same isn’t true of Fort Crown Point. It’s a ruins in a meadow, just park your vehicle and walk over to it. The grounds are maintained and the ruins are safe to walk through on self-guided tours, and when you have nothing but one empty day after another to fill with self-made adventure (and a girlfriend learning to shoot photography) this is an ideal spot for a photo walk. Then, on the way back to Vermont you can stop at Goodies for a creemee and consider the day complete.