Valcour Island: Battle of the Waves

Valcour Island sits off the western shore of Lake Champlain, just south of Plattsburgh. It’s another of those spots in upstate New York where what you see today doesn’t even start to tell the story of the place’s history.

Valcour Island was the site of a naval battle during the Revolutionary War in which Benedict Arnold contested dominance of Lake Champlain just enough to prevent the British from pushing south in 1776.

There is only a half mile of water between Valcour and the shore. Though it always beckoned to me, sitting out there, right across from a big concrete boat ramp in Peru NY, I always felt better staying close to shore when paddling with my sons.

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Paradox Lake Camping

New York has many special regions, but my favorite as an avid skier and hiker is the Adirondacks. Recently on a week of “funemployment” before starting my new job, I chose Paradox Lake for a few days of camping, kayaking and hiking.

Paradox Lake

I met up with John on a Monday morning and we trekked up the Thruway to the town Paradox; a rural town in the eastern foothills of the mountains that is home to beautiful Paradox Lake and a well-maintained campsite, complete with a beach. We set up camp quickly in anticipation of a rainstorm that never arrived, and took the kayaks out for happy hour on Birch Island; a small island just a two hundred yards from the shore.

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Ausable Point Campground, NY

Years ago I picked up a used Coleman pop-up camper. I can say that it was without a doubt, the second or third smartest decision I have made in my entire life. My family has had a lot of fun in that thing.

ausable point campsite

The DEC Ausable Point campground, just south of Plattsburgh on the shore of Lake Champlain, is one of our favorite spots. In spite of our busy schedule I was able to block out three days so I could get back to Ausable Point with my boys.

Schedule uncertainty prevented me from reserving a choice beach or river site, but we were happy to set up across from the small boat launch that would let us put our canoe right into the lower Ausable.

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