Vermont’s Champlain Region State Historic Sites Open May 27th

Vermont’s Champlain Region State Historic Sites Open May 27th

Vermont’s Champlain Region State Historic Sites

Lake Champlain Bridge, Chimney Point, Addison, Vermont

The State Historic Sites in Vermont’s Champlain Region open to the public on Saturday, May 27, 2017 at 9:30 am.

The Champlain Region State Historic Sites are Chimney Point, Mount Independence, and the Hubbardton Battlefield.


Chimney Point

Champlain Region State Historic Sites- Chimney Point

Chimney Point Roadside Sign
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Located on Lake Champlain in Addison, Chimney Point is one of the most strategic locations on the lake. It is one side of a natural bottleneck of the lake. In 2017 there are two new exhibits that feature artifacts from the Lake Champlain Bridge archaeology work. The exhibits showcase evidence of nearly 9,000 years of human habitation here.

Champlain Region State Historic Sites, Chimney Point Center

Chimney Point Visitor Center

The grounds include a short trail with interpretive signs and a historic pier from the old 1929 Lake Champlain Bridge and a walk across the new bridge. Visitors can try the new bridge area map quest — forms are available at Chimney Point in Vermont or at the New York Visitor Center on the New York side of the bridge.

The site is open Wednesdays through Sundays and Monday holidays, 9:30 am to 5 pm. Admission is $5.00 for adults and free for children under 15. For more information call (802) 759-2412.

Mount Independence

Mount Independence

Mural of Mount Independence Showing
Bridge Across Lake Champlain to Fort Ticonderoga

Click Image to Enlarge

Mount Independence in Orwell is a National Historic Landmark, named after the Declaration of Independence in 1776. The hill, formerly called Rattlesnake Hill, at the time of construction was manned by about 12,000 American troops – making it the most heavily manned fortification in North America at its time.

This year is the 240th anniversary of American, British, and German occupation, and a new book on its Revolutionary history is coming out in July. This year’s highlight event is ‘Soldiers Atop the Mount’ living history weekend, August 26 and 27, with a 5K walk on the 26th.

Champlain Region State Historic Sites - Mount Independence

Mount Independence Visitor Center

The museum also offers six miles of trails to walk. Open daily, 9:30 am to 5 pm.

Admission is $5.00 for adults and free for children under 15. For more information call (802) 948-2000.

Hubbardton Battlefield State Historic Site

Champlain Region State Historic Sites Hubbardton Battlefield

Hubbardton Battlefield Roadside Sign
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Hubbardton Battlefield State Historic Site is the site of the only Revolutionary War battle fought in what would become Vermont. It is one of the best-preserved battlefields in America, retaining most of its original setting. Here on July 7, 1777 Colonel Seth Warner’s New England troops fought a rearguard action against British forces that were pursuing the American army retreating from Fort Ticonderoga. The American victory at Hubbardton saved those troops for use in later Patriot victories at Bennington and Saratoga.



Hubbardton Battlefield reenactmentThis year is the 240th anniversary of the July 7, 1777 battle, and it will be celebrated with a battle weekend on July 8 and 9. Up to 400 re-enactors are expected.

Open Thursdays through Sundays and Monday holidays, 9:30 am to 5 pm. Admission is $3.00 for adults and free for children under 15. For more information call (802) 273-2282.


The last day of the season is Sunday, October 15. Other Vermont State-owned Historic Sites opening on May 27 are the President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site in Plymouth, Justin Smith Morrill Homestead in Strafford, and Old Constitution House in Windsor.

For more information, click here.

Guns Over The Champlain Valley:
A Guide To Historic Military Sites And Battlefields
Author: Coffin, Howard

The Champlain Valley is one of the most historically rich regions of the country. Fort Ticonderoga, Saratoga, Fort William Henry, Crown Point, Plattsburgh, Bennington and Valcour Island all lie along the ancient warpath that is the Champlain Corridor.
In this lively and informative new travel guide to historic places and events, the author leads you to each venue, describing the events and their long-lasting impact.  Adventure awaits you with Guns over the Champlain Valley.
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More About Lake Champlain History:

Watch out for Turtles

Keep an Eye Out for Turtles

Watch out for Turtles

Springtime means turtles on are on the move. The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is asking for the public’s help in keeping them safe. Female turtles are looking for places to deposit their eggs, sometimes choosing to lay along the shoulders of roads, which can end in tragedy.


“Turtles often cross roads as they search for a nest site,” said Steve Parren, biologist for the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. “They are a slow-moving animal in today’s fast-paced world, so they have a tough time making it safely across the road. Turtles grow slowly and live a long time, so losing a mature breeding female is a huge loss to the turtle population.”

Turtle nesting activity peaks from late May through June. At this time of year, drivers should keep an eye out for turtles in the road, especially when driving near ponds and wetlands.

To decrease the number of turtles killed by vehicles, the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department has collected data to find stretches of road that are hot-spots for wildlife migrations. They are working closely with VTrans, and with Jim Andrews from the Vermont Reptile & Amphibian Atlas, among other partners.


“When you spot a turtle in the road, you may be able to help it across. First be sure you’re in a safe spot to stop and get out of your car, as human safety comes first,” said Andrews. “If you’re going to move a turtle off the road, always move it in the direction it was traveling. They know where they’re going.”


Watch out for Turtles - Snapping turtle

Snapping turtle

According to Andrews, most turtles can simply be picked up and carried across the road. However, if the turtle has no colorful lines, spots, or other markings, it is probably a snapping turtle, so people should not get too close to the animal to avoid being bitten. Snapping turtle’s necks are nearly as long as their shell. Instead, people should push the turtle across the road with an object like a shovel or broom.


Andrews is also asking paddlers, boaters, and anglers to report turtle sightings throughout the state to the Vermont Reptile & Amphibian Atlas website at The reports help conservationists keep track of the status of these species so they can act if a species appears in decline.

“Sending in a report is quick and easy,” said Andrews. “Just snap a photo or two of the turtle, and submit your observation via the website or email. We’re constantly impressed with Vermonters’ commitment to conservation and willingness to help us save turtles.”

Observations can be submitted to the Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas online at or



Other Lake Champlain Wildlife Articles:

Sandbar Wildlife Management Area

Sandbar Wildlife Management Area

 Sandbar Wildlife Management Area


Sandbar Wildlife Management Area (WMA) located in the town of Milton, Vermont borders Lake Champlain on either side of Route 2. Most of its 1,560 acres are a refuge with no public access. Sandbar Wildlife Management AreaHowever, the upland part of the WMA northeast of Route 2 is open for public use, as is Delta Island. One may also boat along the Lamoille River and in nearby Lake Champlain, or drive along Route 2 and stop at pull-offs there.

Sandbar State Park and the Sandbar Causeway to South Hero are other areas from which one may see wildlife in the refuge. Boats can be launched into the Lamoille River at the boat access off Cub Road, or into the Lake across from Sandbar State Park. The WMA is owned by the State of Vermont and managed by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.



The Lamoille River has created a vast delta at its mouth in Lake Champlain, and this makes up most of the WMA. It includes an abandoned channel that extends through the wetland north of the river. The channel bed is at lake level and supports lush aquatic vegetation. Earthen dikes were constructed to control water levels in the marsh.

wild Rye Sandbar wma

Wild Rye

This WMA is 70% wetland and 30% forested upland. The wetlands are a mix of open water emergent marsh and floodplain forest. The marshes contain water and yellow pond lilies, pickerelweed, sago and large-leaved pondweed, spiked water milfoil, bladderwort, duckweed, arrowhead species, water-plantain, cattail, three-way sedge, other sedge species, rushes, bulrushes, water-dock, water smartweed, buttonbush, winterberry, and one of the finest stands of wild rice in Vermont. Blue flag, sweetflag, least spike-rush and burreed grow along the shores.



Sandbar Wildlife Management Area shagbark hickory

Shagbark hickory

Apparently the forest, based upon notes from late 1700’s land surveys, has changed little over 200 years. Some of the original sand-plain forest community still remains. Swamp white oak-silver maple forest occurs along the river in the rich alluvial soils.

There are also nearly pure stands of silver maple. Eastern cottonwood, American elm and red maple. The uplands are a mix of hemlock, white pine, northern white-cedar, red oak, aspen, gray birch, shagbark hickory, white ash, and red and sugar maple. There are a few small fields and several large forested bluffs as well. Wild rye is one unusual plant found in the refuge.



Fish and Wildlife

Remember: it is illegal to harm or harass endangered animals. Viewing them from a distance with binoculars is recommended.

White-tailed deer, red fox, gray squirrel, coyote, beaver, mink, otter, muskrat and raccoon are all commonly found mammals. Occasionally visitors may meet a cottontail rabbit or even a moose.

Waterfowl and water birds are abundant on the refuge. Breeding ducks include black, wood, ring-necked and mallard ducks, goldeneyes and hooded mergansers. A greater variety of ducks pass through during migration, along with many shorebird species. Marsh – dwelling birds like soras, pied-billed grebes and common moorhens can be heard in the cattails. Great blue herons commonly fly overhead and forage in the shallows.

Songbirds include eastern bluebird, veery, wood thrush, blue-gray gnatcatcher, warbling vireo, yellow-throated vireo and Baltimore oriole. Upland game birds are American woodcock, common snipe, wild turkey and ruffed grouse. Several impressive raptors can easily be seen at the WMA. Turkey vultures are common.


Osprey, or Fish-hawk

The State-endangered osprey has made a dramatic comeback in the Sandbar area. Breeding pairs of osprey have built large nests, some of which can be viewed from Route 2. Northern harriers hunt in the marshes. Bald eagles are occasionally seen here as well.

Since there is so much wetland at Sandbar WMA, it is an excellent habitat for reptiles and amphibians. Some of the amphibians that may be found include blue-spotted, spotted, red-backed and Jefferson’s salamanders, green, gray tree and northern leopard frogs,

Sandbar Wildlife Management Area Spiny softshell turtle

Spiny softshell turtle

bullfrogs, American toads and spring peepers. Milk, brown and garter snakes can also be found.

State-endangered spiny softshell turtles sometimes are seen sunning themselves along the Lamoille River. The mouth of the Lamoille River  is one of the few places in Vermont where spiny softshell turtles occur, in addition to other more common turtle species.

Where allowed, you mayfish for small and large-mouth bass, walleye, yellow perch, brown bullhead, northern pike and longnose gar.



Sandbar WMA/Rte 2 Causeway culvert

Sandbar WMA/Rte 2 Causeway culvert
Click Image to Enlarge

Sandbar WMA is open to regulated hunting, trapping, fishing, hiking and wildlife viewing, except in the refuge.

Fishing is allowed in the immediate area of the Route 2 culvert (shore fishing only), and out in Lake Champlain beyond the refuge boundary.



Sandbar was the first WMA in Vermont. The State legislature began buying land on the Lamoille River delta in 1920. Some funds were provided through the Pittman-Robertson Act, which requires a tax on firearms and ammunition. Some of the land was acquired by the Agency of Transportation and transferred to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department as mitigation for the Route 2 corridor.

Sandbar WMA Map

Sandbar WMA Map
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Sandbar WMA is located on either side of Rte 2 in Milton, Vermont, just south of where Rte 2 crosses Lake Champlain at the southern end of the Lake Champlain Islands.



Other Articles on Lake Champlain Valley WMA's:



Gunboat Island – Lake Champlain Islands

Gunboat Island


Gunboat Island, also known as Garden Island, is part of the Lake Champlain Islands Management Complex (LCIMC).  The island is located just south of Valcour Island in the Town of Peru, NY. Gunboat Island juts sharply out of the water with 15 to 20 foot bare limestone cliffs and has no recreational facilities. At less than 1 acre in size, it is one of the smallest of Lake Champlain’s islands.



Gunboat Island was known as Petite Isle at the time of the Revolutionary War. British ships had to sail around Gunboat Island to attack the American fleet commanded by Benedict Arnold.

Legend has it that the British fleet mistook the island for one of Arnold’s gunboats and opened fire on the island. This mistaking of the island for a gunboat is how the island got its name. This story is very similar to reports of British bombardment of Carleton’s Prize in Vermont.

Other notes:

SUNY Plattsburgh maintains a data buoy southeast of Valcour/Garden Islands in Lake Champlain. The buoy collects information on surface weather and lake water temperatures (from the surface to a depth of 50m). Data is provided here for general use, but attribution to SUNY Plattsburgh and our funding agencies is requested for any further distribution. Support for the data buoy comes from NOAA Lake Champlain Sea Grant, the Lake Champlain Research Consortium, and SUNY Plattsburgh (Center for Earth and Environmental Science and Lake Champlain Research Institute).

Other Articles About Lake Champlain Islands:   List of Lake Champlain's Islands

Kids Fishing Events Scheduled For May & June In Vermont

Over Three Dozen Kids Fishing Events Scheduled For May & June In Vermont

Over Three Dozen Kids Fishing Events Scheduled For May & June In Vermont


Over three dozen children’s fishing events are scheduled for May and June throughout Vermont, offering the opportunity for kids and families to enjoy the sport of fishing as well as the state’s natural resources.

“Fishing is a wonderful way for families and friends to take in Vermont’s great outdoors and spend time with each other,” said Ali Thomas, education manager with Vermont Fish & Wildlife. “Between several educational programs run by Vermont Fish & Wildlife, and an assortment of kids fishing derbies and clinics hosted by local organizations across the state, there is tons of fishing fun to be had in the coming weeks.”


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One of the more popular programs is “Let’s Go Fishing” (LGF), which uses trained volunteer instructors to teach and encourage young people and their families about fishing. The instructors teach basic fishing skills, how to use different types of tackle, the importance of good aquatic habitat, fishing ethics and fishing regulations.

Free LGF clinics are found throughout the state during any time of the year. For a complete list of LGF clinics, visit the “Fishing Events and Programs” page at

Over Three Dozen Kids Fishing Events Scheduled For May & June In Vermont

Reel Fun Vermont

Vermont Fish & Wildlife also has a “Children’s Fishing Program” providing kids with the opportunity for a fun and successful fishing experience at locally organized events. Organizers of these events often include charitable, community, or non-profit groups such as fire departments, fish and game clubs, Rotary and Lions clubs, town recreation committees, 4-H clubs, and scouts groups, among others. The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department provides eight-to-ten-inch stocked trout for the program.

A complete list of the children’s fishing events is updated periodically onthe “Fishing Events and Programs” page at

Additionally, for the third consecutive year, Vermont Fish & Wildlife and the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation are teaming up to enhance fishing opportunities and experiences at Vermont State Parks through the “Reel Fun” initiative. The program provides free fishing rods and tackle to state park visitors for loan to use at 18 different Vermont State Parks.

To buy a fishing license or learn more about fishing in Vermont, visit


Other Lake Champlain Fishing Articles: