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Lakes to Locks Passage

The Great Northeast Journey begins on the Amtrak Adirondack.

Let the Amtrak Adirondack transport you on your discovery of this Great Northeast Journey as it speeds along the Upper Hudson River, Champlain Canal, and Lake Champlain, on it's way to Montreal, Quebec. Your adventure will lead you through a spectacular landscape steeped in the historical events that shaped our nation.

Begin your voyage of discovery by commemorating the 250th anniversary of the French and Indian War; also known as the "Seven Year's War" and, by our neighbors in Canada, as the "War of Conquest." You can step back in time as sites along the way have planned events and activities where you will experience recreated camps, military life, and tactical demonstrations. Relive history exactly where it happened while enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of 18th century life.

French & Indian war re-enactment at Rogers Island Visitor's Center in Fort Edward.

Jolt the senses on your visit by attending a hot-air balloon festival. The bright splashes of color set against the backdrop of gentle green landscapes and clear blue skies will create vivid memories. Festivals are planned for Cambridge, the Lake George Area, and St-Jean-sur-Richelieu in Quebec. Engaging activities and entertainment at these festivals may make you want to float weightless across the sky!

There are hidden treasures and popular attractions at every stop along Lakes to Locks Passage for you to personalize your journey. At Saratoga Springs, you might rent a bicycle and head east on Route 29 to "Old Saratoga on the Hudson." The friendly riverfront community of Schuylerville will introduce you to the Champlain Canal and Upper Hudson River. There, at Lock 5, you can take a "Lock Through" excursion from Champlain Canal Tours and hear of life when the canal bustled with commercial activity. The quieter, recreational pace of the canal now affords many wildlife and bird-watching opportunities while you meander along on your tour.

Take advantage of Amtrak "One Way Fares," which allow for stopovers. Disembark the train at the Fort Edward-Glens Falls stop. Visit Rogers Island Visitor's Center, the birthplace of the Army Rangers and the site of a large British encampment during the French and Indian War. At the Old Fort House Museum, you can learn about dramatic changes that took place 250 years ago. Then, bike to Lake George via the Feeder Canal Trail and the Warren County Bikeway or call the Amtrak Train-Catcher Service to visit the Lake George Battlefield Park and Fort William Henry before re-boarding the train to continue your journey.

The Amtrak Adirondack.

The Adirondack stop at Whitehall is at the juncture of Lake Champlain and the Champlain Canal, just a few miles from the Vermont border. Board a Carillon Cruise, departing from Skenesborough Museum and see unspoiled views from the water of the "Birthplace of the U.S. Navy." Catch a show at the Bridge Theater, a one-of-a-kind showplace spanning the canal directly over Lock 12, or attend a concert at Riverside Veteran's Memorial Park.

North of Whitehall is the Ticonderoga stop. The collections at Fort Ticonderoga are not just the Fort buildings or the objects in the Museum. The Fort also owns 2,000 acres of land in both New York and Vermont. These land holdings include four gardens, the Carillon Battlefield, military earthenworks, farmland, an orchard, and forests. Explore historic Fort Ticonderoga, stroll the LaChute River Interpretive Trail, and visit the community's two museums in downtown Ticonderoga.

Ausable Chasm, the "Grand Canyon of the East," was America's first natural tourist attraction.

Directly on the Adirondack line, the Village of Port Henry, sits on a bluff above Lake Champlain and boasts an array of turn-of the century buildings. The Iron Center, in a restored carriage house, lavishly documents the local history of iron mining. Outdoor pleasures abound, at lakeshore campgrounds, on rental boats from local marinas, or fishing off Powerhouse Park Pier. Keep an eye out for eagles and osprey who also enjoy the fishing here. Directly across Bulwagga Bay, the site of Fort St. Frederic will host one of New York State's commemorative events of the French and Indian War 250th in August during the Annual Encampment at Crown Point State Historic Site.

Westport's restored 19th century Amtrak Station is unique. It not only serves passengers, but is home to summer productions by the Depot Theatre and a year round art gallery. The hamlet of Westport overlooks Lake Champlain with Vermont's Green Mountain vistas on the horizon. You'll find architecture from the 1700s and early 1800s, a total of 41 historically significant buildings. You can rent a boat, take a "Captain and You Cruise" from the Westport Marina, dine on the water's edge, or play championship golf nearby.

New York's "Adirondack Coast" is epitomized by the hamlet of Port Kent. From here you can pick up the scenic ferry to Vermont or set off for a visit to Ausable Chasm, "The Grand Canyon of the East" and the nation's oldest natural tourist attraction. View spectacular waterfalls, traverse natural stone walkways, raft, tube or kayak the legendary waters of the Ausable River through a maze of breathtaking rock formations.

Highly popular are rafting tours, conducted by an experienced guide, that navigate between the towering cliffs of the "Grand Flume" and through the rapids around "Whirlpool Basin." Nearby is Wickham Marsh Wildlife Area where birding opportunities abound.

Cook Mountain provides wonderful views of the Champlain Valley, the Green Mountains, northern Lake George and the Adirondacks.

Amtrak's stop at Plattsburgh is just two blocks from the bustling waterfront. The Champlain Valley Transportation Museum operates a replica sail ferry, the Weatherwax, from the Old Base Marina. Hop aboard for an interpretive tour to Crab and Valcour Islands. History buffs won't want to miss other local historical museums, Kent Delord House, Battle of Plattsburgh Interpretive Center, and the Clinton County Historical Association. Soak up the sun at the Plattsburgh City Beach, the largest freshwater beach in America or at the beach in Point au Roche State Park just north of the city. This 825 acre park also offers twelve miles of trails for hiking, biking or cross-country skiing.

For great fishing opportunities stop at Rouses Point, host to seasonal derbies and events. The village park and overlook provide views of Vermont and Quebec, just over the Canada border.

Along this route are the fields and forests that are home to one of the nation's finest birding destinations as well a gently rolling terrain, hamlets and back roads made for world class bicycling.

Cross the border into "French Canada," and you can soak up the European atmosphere of cosmopolitan Montreal or the special treats of the countryside.