TICONDEROGA — Nestled between Vermont’s Green Mountains and New York’s Adirondacks, Fort Ticonderoga boasts spectacular views, one of the finest military museums in the country, and programs for all ages to enjoy. For autumn travelers, Fort Ticonderoga is an iconic destination to visit.
“It’s really the combination of the power of the place, the significance, and the beauty that really makes it a wonderful place to visit, particularly during the fall,” said Beth Hill, president and CEO of The Fort Ticonderoga Association. “It’s a wonderful time to come. It’s a great time of year in the region.”
During the approximately 14 tours a day, visitors to Fort Ticonderoga in the autumn will discover entirely new experiences. The battlefield trail is often more accessible in the fall months, and the fortifications and earthworks are more visible on the ground. This can provide visitors with an even more immersive look into the history of the Fort.
Mount Defiance allows visitors to see the scope of the geography that made Fort Ticonderoga the historic location that it is today. The heights of Mount Defiance offer a bird’s-eye view of the incredible landscape, which Hill refers to as “America’s most historic landscape.”
“In the fall, you have this majestic perspective with the beauty of the site, and combine that with all of our programs,” said Hill. “It really is just a wonderful time to make that road trip and come up here to experience what we have to offer.”
Fort Ticonderoga’s programs are specifically designed to bring history and stories to life. Their tours include narrated cruise tours that feature beverages, sights along the waterfront, and a glimpse into the underwater archeology of the Fort. Sonar technology allows visitors to get a sense of the remnants of history that remain hidden under the depths of the Fort to this day.
“I definitely think that is one of the best ways for visitors to understand the epic history that happened right here in our region that was defining for the world, yet we’re fortunate it’s right here in our area,” said Hill. “That’s a wonderful experience.”
Their extensive museum collection currently has on display an exhibit on the origins and evolution of the militia, with the oldest known American military uniform coat in existence.
“Really important parts of our history are on exhibition,” said Hill. “Our museum collections are some of the most significant in the world.”
Along with their signature programs of weapons demonstrations, battle reenactments, historic shoe-making and tailoring, the King’s Garden, a 6-acre corn maze that contains history clues is also part of the family-friendly experience. Each year, the shape of the maze and the historical clues change to tell a new story and immerse guests even more in the history of the land.
The history of Fort Ticonderoga is “complicated and defining,” said to Hill, but the museum is dedicated to peeling back a layer every year. Annually, the museum staff delves into a particular moment, year, and garrison to curate their exhibitions.
“This offers a different window into the past and different experiences,” said Hill. This year, Fort Ticonderoga is featuring the year 1716 and the New York Independent Company.
“There’s so much that is new each year, but there are still the anchoring experiences that are beloved and retain the Fort Ticonderoga experience,” she added. “All of those experiences make us a unique destination. We have something for everyone of all ages.”
The calendar offers a robust schedule of activities from November to April. Online experiences are offered as well, along with a membership program that allows visitors to visit for free all year.
“We have so much to share and offer our visitors,” said Hill. “With the beauty of the place, you feel the presence of our past and can explore and experience the sight that builds lifetime memories for people.”
Fort Ticonderoga is owned and operated by a non-profit educational organization called The Fort Ticonderoga Association. All proceeds support the mission of education and preservation. For more information, visit: www.fortticonderoga.org
This story appeared on page 6 of the October 4, 2023 print edition of the Spot