Lake Champlain: Wikis

  
  
  

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Lake Champlain
Lake Champlain near Burlington harbor
Location New York / Vermont in USA; and Quebec in Canada
Coordinates 44°32′N 73°20′W / 44.533°N 73.333°W / 44.533; -73.333Coordinates: 44°32′N 73°20′W / 44.533°N 73.333°W / 44.533; -73.333
Primary inflows Otter Creek, Winooski River, Missisquoi River, Lamoille River, Ausable River, Chazy River, Boquet River, Saranac River
Primary outflows Richelieu River
Catchment area 21,326 km2 (8,234 sq mi)
Basin countries Canada, United States
Max. length 180 km (110 mi)
Max. width 19 km (12 mi)
Surface area 1,130 km2 (440 sq mi)
Average depth 19.5 m (64 ft)
Max. depth 122 m (400 ft)
Water volume 25.8 km3 (6.2 cu mi)
Residence time 3.3 years
Shore length1 945 km (587 mi)
Surface elevation 29 m (95 ft)
Islands 80 (Grand Isle, North Hero, Isle La Motte, see list)
Settlements Burlington, Vermont; Plattsburgh, New York
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

Lake Champlain (French: lac Champlain) is a natural, freshwater lake in North America, located mainly within the borders of the United States (states of Vermont and New York) but partially situated across the Canada – United States border in the Canadian province of Quebec.

The New York portion of the Champlain Valley includes the eastern portions of Clinton County and Essex County. Most of this area is part of the Adirondack Park, offering tremendous views of the High Peaks region and many recreational opportunities in the park and along the relatively undeveloped coastline of Lake Champlain. The city of Plattsburgh is to the north and the historic village of Ticonderoga in the southern part of the region.

Contents

Geology and physiography

Landsat photo

The Champlain Valley is among the northernmost valleys considered part of the Great Appalachian Valley reaching from Quebec to Alabama. The Champlain Valley is a physiographic section of the larger Saint Lawrence Valley, which in turn is part of the larger Appalachian physiographic division.[1]

Hydrology

Lake Champlain is situated in the Lake Champlain Valley between the Green Mountains of Vermont and the Adirondack Mountains of New York, drained northward by the 106 miles (171 km) long Richelieu River into the St. Lawrence River at Sorel-Tracy, Quebec northeast and downstream of Montreal. It also receives the waters from the 32 miles (51 km) long Lake George so its basin collects waters from the northwestern slopes of the Green Mountains of Vermont, the north and west slopes of the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts and the northern most eastern peaks of the Adirondack Mountains of New York State.

The lake is fed by Otter Creek, the Winooski, Missisquoi, and Lamoille Rivers in Vermont, and the Ausable, Chazy, Boquet, and Saranac Rivers in New York. Lake Champlain also receives water from Lake George via the La Chute River.

It is connected to the Hudson River by the Champlain Canal.

Geology

Lake Champlain is one of a large number of large lakes spread in an arc from Labrador through the northern United States and into the Northwest Territories of Canada. Although it is smaller than the Great Lakes of Ontario, Erie, Huron, Superior, or Michigan, Lake Champlain is a large body of fresh water. Approximately 1,130 km2 (440 sq mi) in area, the lake is roughly 180 km (110 mi) long, and 19 km (12 mi) across at its widest point. The maximum depth is approximately 400 feet (120 m). The lake varies seasonally from about 95 to 100 ft (29 to 30 m) above mean sea level.

Coral reef

The Chazy Reef is an extensive Ordovician carbonate rock formation which extends from Tennessee to Quebec and Newfoundland. It occurs in prominent outcropping at Goodsell Ridge, Isle La Motte, the northernmost island in Lake Champlain.

The oldest reefs are around "The Head" of the south end of the island, slightly younger reefs are found at the Fisk Quarry and the youngest (the famous coral reefs) are located in fields to the north.[2] Together, these three sites provide a unique narrative of events which took place over 450 million years ago in ocean in the Southern Hemisphere, long before the emergence of Lake Champlain - 20 thousand years ago.

History

The lake was named for the French explorer Samuel de Champlain, who encountered it in 1609. While the ports of Burlington, Vermont, Port Henry, New York, and Plattsburgh, New York are little used nowadays except by small craft, ferries and lake cruise ships, they had substantial commercial and military importance in the 18th and 19th centuries.

There is some confusion and conflicting information on Native American names for the lake. Many historical works give Caniaderi Guarunte as the Iroquois name for the lake (meaning: mouth or door of the country), because the waterway was an important northern gateway to their lands.[3] A number of other sources give Petonbowk (meaning the lake in between) as the Abenaki name for the lake.[4] The St. Francis/Sokoki Abenaki Band who make their home along the Masipskiwibi (Missisquoi, "Crooked River") River in Northwestern Vermont call the lake Bitawbagok with same meaning as Petonbowk.[5] Some recent articles [6][7] appeared during the Champlain Quadricentennial (2009) claiming Ondakina as the “local” native name for the lake-- but none cite any verifiable source.

Map showing the Lake Champlain-River Richelieu watershed.

Colonial America and the Revolutionary War

In colonial times, Lake Champlain provided an easily traversed water (or, in winter, ice) passage between the Saint Lawrence and the Hudson Valleys. Boats and sledges were usually preferable to the unpaved and frequently mud-bound roads of the time. The northern tip of the lake at Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec (St. John in colonial times) is a short distance from Montreal. The southern tip at Whitehall (Skenesborough in colonial times) is a short distance from Saratoga, Glens Falls, and Albany, New York.

Forts at Ticonderoga and Crown Point (Fort St. Frederic) controlled passage of the lake in colonial times. Important battles were fought at Ticonderoga in 1758 and 1775. Following a frenetic shipbuilding race through the Spring and Summer of 1776 by the British at the north end of the lake and the Americans at the south end, a significant naval engagement was fought on October 11 at the Battle of Valcour Island, which saw the destruction of the first US Navy vessel to carry the name Enterprise. While the battle was a tactical defeat for the Americans and the small fleet led by Benedict Arnold was almost entirely destroyed, it was a strategic victory. The British invasion was delayed long enough so that the approach of Winter prevented the fall of these forts until the following year, allowing the Continental Army to grow stronger and enabling the later victory at Saratoga.

War of 1812

The Battle of Lake Champlain, also known as the Battle of Plattsburgh, fought on September 11, 1814, ended the final invasion of the northern states during the War of 1812. Fought just prior to the signing of the Treaty of Ghent, the American victory denied the British any leverage to demand exclusive control over the Great Lakes and any territorial gains against the New England states.

Three US Naval ships have been named after this battle including the USS Lake Champlain (CV-39), the USS Lake Champlain (CG-57), and a cargo ship used during World War I.

Following the War of 1812, construction was begun on "Fort Blunder," an unnamed fortification built by the Americans at the northernmost end of Lake Champlain to protect against any further attacks from British Canada. Its nickname came from a surveying error: the initial phase of construction on the fort turned out to be taking place on a point .75 miles (1.21 km) north of the Canadian border. Once this error was spotted, construction was abandoned and many of the materials used in the aborted fort were scavenged by locals for use in their own homes and public buildings. The signing of the Webster-Ashburton Treaty in 1842 later adjusted the U.S. boundary northward to include the strategically important site of "Fort Blunder." Following this in 1844, work was commenced once again, replacing the remains of the 1812 era fort with a massive new Third System masonry fortification known as Fort Montgomery, portions of which still remain today.

Modern history

A 1902 photograph of Fort Henry at Lake Champlain.

In the early 19th century, the construction of the Champlain Canal connected Lake Champlain to the Hudson River system, allowing north-south commerce by water from New York City to Montreal and Atlantic Canada.

In 1909, 65,000 people celebrated the 300th anniversary of the discovery of the lake. Attending dignitaries included President William Howard Taft, along with representatives from France, Canada and the United Kingdom.[8][9]

On February 19, 1932, boats were able to sail on Lake Champlain. No living person could remember the lake being free of ice during the winter up until then.[10]

Lake Champlain briefly became the nation's sixth Great Lake on March 6, 1998, when President Clinton signed Senate Bill 927. This bill, which reauthorized the National Sea Grant Program, contained a line declaring Lake Champlain to be a Great Lake. Not coincidentally, this status allows neighboring states to apply for additional federal research and education funds allocated to these national resources. Following a small uproar, the Great Lake status was rescinded on March 24 (although Vermont universities continue to receive funds to monitor and study the lake).

"Champ" Lake Champlain Monster

One of the more enduring mysteries surrounding Lake Champlain is the legend of Champ. Reminiscent of the Loch Ness monster, Ogopogo and other phenomena of cryptozoology, Champ is purportedly a giant aquatic animal that makes the lake its home. Sightings have been sporadic over time. Regardless, locals and tourists have developed something of a fondness for the creature and its legend and representations of Champ can now be found on tee shirts, coffee mugs, and many other tourist souvenirs. The Vermont Lake Monsters, a minor-league baseball team, have a cartoonish version of Champ as their mascot.

Ecology

A pollution prevention, control, and restoration plan for Lake Champlain[11] was first endorsed in October 1996 by the governors of New York and Vermont and the regional administrators of the EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency). In April 2003, the plan was updated and Quebec signed onto it. The plan is being implemented by the Lake Champlain Basin Program and its partners at the state, provincial, federal and local level. It is renowned as a model for interstate and international cooperation. It primary goals are to reduce phosphorus inputs to Lake Champlain; reduce toxic contamination; minimize the risks to humans from water-related health hazards; and control the introduction, spread, and impact of nonnative nuisance species in order to preserve the integrity of the Lake Champlain ecosystem.

Agricultural and urban runoff from the watershed or drainage basin is the primary source of excess phosphorus which exacerbates algae blooms in Lake Champlain. The most problematic blooms have been cyanobacteria, commonly called blue-green algae, in the northeastern part of the Lake, primarily Missisquoi Bay.[12]

In order to reduce phosphorus inputs to this part of the Lake, Vermont and Quebec agreed to reduce their inputs by 60% and 40%, respectively by an agreement signed in 2002.[13] While agricultural sources (manure and fertilizers) are the primary sources of phosphorus (about 70%) in the Missisquoi basin, runoff from developed land and suburbs is estimated to contribute about 46% of the phosphorus runoff basin-wide to Lake Champlain and agricultural lands contributed about 38%.[14]

In 2002, the cleanup plan noted that the lake had the capacity to absorb 110 metric tons (110 LT; 120 ST) of phosphorus each year. In 2009, a judge noted that 218 metric tons (215 LT; 240 ST) were still flowing in annually. Sixty municipal and industrial sewage plants discharge processed waste from the Vermont side[15]

In 2008, the EPA expressed concerns to the State of Vermont that the Lake's cleanup was not progressing fast enough to meet the original cleanup goal of 2016.[16] The State, however, cites its Clean and Clear Action Plan[17] as a model that will see positive results for Lake Champlain.

Although there are pollution issues, Lake Champlain is safe for swimming, fishing, and boating, and it is considered a world-class fishery for salmonid species (Lake trout and Atlantic salmon) and bass. About 81 fish species live in the Lake and more than 300 bird species rely on it for habitat and as a migration route.[18]

By 2008 there were at least six institutions monitoring lake water health: 1) In 2002 the Conservation Law Foundation appointed a "lakekeeper" who criticizes the state's pollution controls, 2) Friends of Missisquoi Bay was formed in 2003, 3) the Lake Champlain Committee , 4) Vermont Water Resources Board hired a water quality expert in 2008 to write water quality standards and create wetland protection rules, 5) In 2007 the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources appoints a "Lake czar" to oversee pollution control. Clean and Clear, an agency of the Vermont state government established in 2004 and 6) the Nature Conservancy which focuses on biodiversity and ecosystem health.[19]

Biologists have been trying to control lampreys in the lake since 1985 or earlier. Lampreys are native to the area but expanded until they were wounding nearly all Lake trout in 2006 and 70-80% of salmon. This had been reduced by pesticides in 2008 so that 35% of salmon were affected and 31% of lake trout. The goal was 15% of salmon and 25% of lake trout.[20]

The causeway connecting Colchester and South Hero.

Railroad

Through history there were four significant railroad crossings over the lake. Currently, only one such crossing remains.

  • The "floating" rail trestle from Larabees Point, Vermont to Ticonderoga, New York. This crossing used a floating trestle that was abandoned in 1918 due to many accidents resulting in locomotives and rail cars being dumped in the lake. This crossing was operated by the Addison Branch of the Rutland Railroad.
  • The Island Line Causeway. This marble rock landfill causeway stretched from Colchester, Vermont (on the mainland) three miles north and west to South Hero, Vermont. Two breaks in the causeway were spanned by a fixed iron trestle and a swing bridge that could be opened to allow boats to pass. The Rutland Railroad (later Rutland Railway) operated trains over this causeway from 1901-1961. The Railway was officially abandoned in 1963, with tracks and trestles removed over the course of the ten years that followed. The marble causeway still remains, as does the fixed iron trestle that bridges the lesser of the two gaps. The swing bridge over the navigation channel was removed sometime in the early 1970s. The main three mile causeway is a recreation area, Colchester Park, for cyclists, runners, and anglers. Two smaller marble rock landfill causeways were also erected as part of this line that connected Grand Isle, Vermont to North Hero, Vermont and from North Hero to Alburgh (town), Vermont.
  • The Rouses Point, New York rail trestle. This wooden trestle carried two railroads (the Rutland Railroad and the Central Vermont Railroad) over the lake adjacent and to the south of the US 2 vehicular bridge. This trestle carried rolling stock from sometime in the late 19th century until 1964. The iron swing bridge at the center (over the navigation channel) has been removed, but most of the wooden piles that carried the railroads still remain and can easily be seen looking south from the U.S. 2 bridge. The Rouses Point side of the bridge has been converted, in part, to an access pier associated with the local marina.
  • The Swanton, Vermont, to East Alburg, Vermont rail trestle. This wooden trestle was built in the same manner as the Rouses Point trestle. It crosses the lake just south of Missisquoi Bay and the Canadian border, running directly south of the VT 78 highway causeway. This rail crossing carries the New England Central Railroad, and is still being used to this day.

Infrastructure

Lake crossings

The Alburgh Peninsula (also known as the Alburgh Tongue), extending south from the Quebec shore of the lake into Vermont, shares with Point Roberts, Washington, and the Northwest Angle in Minnesota as well as Province Point (see below) the distinction of being reachable by land from the rest of its state only via Canada. However, unlike the other three cases, this is no longer of practical significance since highway bridges across the lake do provide access to the peninsula within the United States (from three directions, in fact). A few kilometres to the north-east of the town of East Alburgh, Vermont, however, the southernmost tip of a small promontory, Province Point, is cut through by the US-Canadian border.

The Champlain Bridge between New York and Vermont, demolished in December of 2009.
The LCTC ferry slip at Grand Isle, Vermont.

Mainland

There are two roadways across the lake, but only one is open as of October, 2009. The Champlain Bridge across the southern part of the lake, connecting Chimney Point in Vermont with Crown Point, New York, was closed indefinitely due to structural problems that could have led to a collapse.[21] In 2009, the bridge was used by 3,400 drivers per day,[22] and driving around the southern end of the lake adds two hours to the trip. The bridge was determined to be beyond repair, and both states agreed to work on a replacement as quickly as possible.[23] On December 28, 2009, the bridge was destroyed in a controlled demolition, making way for a new bridge scheduled to open in 2011.[24]

To the north, US 2 runs from Rouses Point, New York to Grand Isle County, Vermont in the town of Alburgh, before continuing south along a chain of islands towards Burlington. To the east, Vermont Route 78 runs from an intersection with US 2 in Alburgh through East Alburgh to Swanton. The US 2-VT 78 route technically runs from the New York mainland to an extension of the mainland between two arms of the lake and then to the Vermont mainland, but it provides a direct route across the two main arms of the northern part of the lake.

Ferry

North of Ticonderoga, New York, the lake widens appreciably; ferry service is provided by the Lake Champlain Transportation Company at:

The most southerly crossing is the Fort Ticonderoga Ferry, connecting Ticonderoga, New York with Shoreham, Vermont just north of the historic fort.

Railroad

The Swanton, VT, to East Alburg, Vermont, rail trestle.

Waterways

Lake Champlain has been connected to the Erie Canal via the Champlain Canal since the canal's official opening September 9, 1823, the same day as the opening of the Erie Canal from Rochester on Lake Ontario to Albany. It connects to the St. Lawrence River via the Richelieu River, with the Chambly Canal bypassing rapids on the river since 1843. Together with these waterways the lake is part of the Lakes to Locks Passage.

Surroundings

Major cities

Burlington, Vermont (pop. 38,889, 2000 Census) is by far the largest city on the lake, having a larger population than the 2nd and 3rd most populated cities/towns (Plattsburgh, New York, and Colchester, Vermont, respectively) combined. The fourth-largest community is the Burlington suburban city of South Burlington.

Islands

At sunset, looking west from Grand Isle to Plattsburgh and Crab Island

Lake Champlain contains roughly 80 islands, three of which comprise four entire Vermont towns (most of Grand Isle County). The largest islands:

USCG Burlington main installation.

Lighthouses

Aids to navigation

All active navigational aids on the American portion of the lake are maintained by USCG Burlington station, along with those on international Lake Memphremagog to the east.[30] Aids to navigation on the Canadian portion of the lake are maintained by the Canadian Coast Guard.[31]

Parks

There are parks in the Lake Champlain region of both Vermont and New York. Two on the New York side of the lake include Point Au Roche State Park, which features many hiking and cross country skiing trails. A popular public beach is located on park grounds, and the Ausable Point State Park. The Cumberland Bay State Park is located on Cumberland Head, with a campground, city beach, and sports fields.

Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife boat docked near ECHO Aquarium.

On the Vermont side, two parks are located on Grand Isle, the largest of the lake islands: the Sand Bar State Park and the Grand Isle State Park. The Sand Bar State Park has a 2,000 feet (610 m) natural sand beach. The following activities are available at the Sand Bar State Park: swimming,canoe and kayak rentals, food concession, picnic grounds and a play area. The Grand Isle State Park is a 226 acres (91 ha) campground located on the shoreline. It is the second largest campground in the state of Vermont.[citation needed] Besides camping, it has a sand volleyball court, nature walk trail, a horseshoes pit and a play area.

Public safety

Coast Guard Station Burlington provides "Search and Rescue, Law Enforcement and Ice Rescue services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year."[30] Services are also provided by local and state governments bordering on the lake, including Vermont State Police,[32] New York State Police Marine Detail,[33] and Vermont Fish and Wildlife wardens.[34]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ "Physiographic divisions of the conterminous U. S.". U.S. Geological Survey. http://water.usgs.gov/GIS/metadata/usgswrd/XML/physio.xml. Retrieved 2007-12-06. 
  2. ^ University of Vermont Professor of Geology, Charlotte Mehrtens
  3. ^ Thomas Pownall (1976). A topographical description of the dominions of the United States of America. Ayer Publishing.  [ http://books.google.com/books?id=ZOKCelPf1f4C A topographical description of the dominions of the United States of America by Thomas Pownall]
  4. ^ John Charles Huden (1962). Indian place names of New England. Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation.  [ http://books.google.com/books?id=j-dyAAAAMAAJ Indian place names of New England by John Charles Huden]
  5. ^ Abenaki
  6. ^ Indian Summer | Seven Days
  7. ^ Champlain's journal: Entering 'The Lake Between'
  8. ^ Hyde, Bruce (January 3, 2008). My Turn:Get ready to celebrate the 400th. The Burlington Free Press. 
  9. ^ 1909 Champlain Tercentenary Celebration of the Discovery of Lake Champlain.
  10. ^ [.http://www.bartonchronicle.com/index.php/reviews/books/110-asurpriseoneverypage Barton Chronicle] retrieved August 21, 2009
  11. ^ "Lake Champlain Management Plan, April 2003". http://www.lcbp.org/impofa.htm. 
  12. ^ Watzin, M.C. (2007). Monitoring and Evaluation of Cyanobacteria in Lake Champlain: Summer 2006.. Lake Champlain Basin Program.  [1] Abstract online
  13. ^ "Missisquoi Bay Phosphorus Reduction Agreement, August, 2002" (PDF). http://www.lcbp.org/PDFs/missbay_agreeEN.pdf. 
  14. ^ Troy A., Wang D. and Capen D. (2007 http://www.lcbp.org/publication_detail.aspx?id=211). Updating the Lake Champlain Basin Land Use Data to Improve Prediction of Phosphorus Loading.. Lake Champlain Basin Program. 
  15. ^ Page, Candace (9 July 2009). "Sewage:Judge sides with CLF, throws out Montpelier permit". Burlington, Vermont: Burlington Free Press. pp. 4A. 
  16. ^ Page, Candace (June 3, 2008). EPA scolds state on efforts to clean up Lake Champlain. The Burlington Free Press. 
  17. ^ "Vermont Clean and Clear Action Plan". http://www.anr.state.vt.us/cleanandclear/. 
  18. ^ Lake Champlain Basin Atlas: Plants and Animals, 2004.
  19. ^ Page, Candace (December 14, 2008). Lake Champlain gets another watchdog. Burlington Free Press. 
  20. ^ Page, Candace (January 22, 2009). Lamprey wounds decrease. Burlington Free Press. 
  21. ^ McKinstry, Lohr (October 17, 2009). "Vital bridge at Crown Point closed". The Press Republican. http://www.pressrepublican.com/archivesearch/local_story_290052622.html. Retrieved October 31, 2009. 
  22. ^ NYT article of Dec 12, 2009 (page A12)
  23. ^ "New York, Vermont to replace Lake Champlain bridge". New York State. 2009-11-09. http://www.state.ny.us/governor/press/press_1109092.html. Retrieved 2009-11-28. 
  24. ^ Associated Press (2009-12-28). "Controlled explosions bring down Lake Champlain Bridge, unsafe NY-VT span was closed in Oct.". LA Times. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/wire/sns-ap-us-bridge-closed-demolition,0,1331812.story. Retrieved 2010-01-04. 
  25. ^ "www.pressrepublican.com/homepage/local_story_222221553.html". http://www.pressrepublican.com/homepage/local_story_222221553.html. 
  26. ^ "www.nasw.org/users/nbazilchuk/Articles/cormorants.htm". http://www.nasw.org/users/nbazilchuk/Articles/cormorants.htm. 
  27. ^ "www.nrb.state.vt.us/wrp/decisions/upw/1998/upw9802dec.pdf" (PDF). http://www.nrb.state.vt.us/wrp/decisions/upw/1998/upw9802dec.pdf. 
  28. ^ "www.historiclakes.org/explore/islands.html". http://www.historiclakes.org/explore/islands.html. 
  29. ^ "www.dec.ny.gov/pubs/57578.html". http://www.dec.ny.gov/pubs/57578.html. 
  30. ^ a b United States Coast Guard (March 5, 2009). "USCG: Station Burlington, Vermont". http://www.uscg.mil/d1/staBurlington/. 
  31. ^ Canadian Coast Guard (December 9, 2009). "Canadian Coast Guard - Marinfo". http://www.marinfo.gc.ca/en/Balisage/BalisageAutomne.asp?lstVoyage=931. 
  32. ^ Vermont State Police (2009-11-12). "Recreation Unit and Education Unit". http://www.dps.state.vt.us/vtsp/rec_enforce.html. 
  33. ^ New York State, Division of State Police. "Marine Detail". http://www.troopers.state.ny.us/specialized_services/Marine_Detail/. Retrieved 2009-12-11. 
  34. ^ "Vermont Fish and Wildlife". http://www.anr.state.vt.us/fw/fwhome/laws_info.cfm. Retrieved 2010-01-04. 

External links


region — only part of the much longer drainage basin and overall valley which reaches the Atlantic Ocean north of Nova Scotia via the St. Lawrence Seaway.]]

The Champlain Valley (or more technically correct, the Champlain Lake Valley) is a region of the United States around Lake Champlain in Vermont and New York extending slightly into Quebec, Canada — as part of the St. Lawrence River drainage basin drained northward by the Richelieu River into the St. Lawrence River at Sorel-Tracy, Quebec (northeast of Montreal) — but the Richelieu valley is not generally referred to as part of the Champlain.

The Champlain Lake Valley is also the most heavily populated region in Vermont, broadly stretching eastward from the lake's shore to the spine of the Green Mountains. The state's largest city, Burlington is located on the lake; the city's associated suburban communities encompass part of the central section of the valley. Beyond urbanized Chittenden County, however, the valley's landscape is primarily open pasture and row crops, making the Champlain Valley the most productive agricultural region of Vermont.

The New York portion of the Champlain Valley includes the eastern portions of Clinton County and Essex County. Most of this area is part of the Adirondack Park, offering tremendous views of the High Peaks region and many recreational opportunities in the park and along the relatively undeveloped coast line of Lake Champlain. The city of Plattsburgh is to the north and the historic village of Ticonderoga in the southern part of the region.

Geology and physiography

The Champlain Valley is among the northernmost valleys considered part of the Great Appalachian Valley reaching from Canada to Alabama.

The Champlain Valley is a physiographic section of the larger Saint Lawrence Valley province, which in turn is part of the larger Appalachian physiographic division.[1]

Lake Champlain is situated in the Champlain Valley between the Green Mountains of Vermont and the Adirondack Mountains of New York, drained northward by the Richelieu River into the St. Lawrence River at Sorel-Tracy, Quebec (northeast of Montreal) and fed by Otter Creek, the Winooski, Missisquoi, and Lamoille Rivers in Vermont, and the Ausable, Chazy, Boquet, and Saranac Rivers in New York. Lake Champlain also receives water from Lake George via the La Chute River.1809

References


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Champlain Valley article)

From Wikitravel

Contents

The Champlain Valley is the fertile (mostly rural) strip of land that borders Lake Champlain's eastern (Vermont) and western (New York) shores .

Understand

This region borders Lake Champlain which is a large, fresh water lake stretching over 100 miles in length and nearly 12 miles wide at its broadest point. Named for French explorer, Samuel de Champlain, it divides New York State and Vermont, and stretches north across the Canadian border into Quebec province. After the Great Lakes, Lake Champlain is the next largest fresh water lake in the United States. Flowing south to north, the lake is connected to the Richelieu River in the north (flows into the St. Lawrence River near Montreal), and to the south Lake Champlain connects to the Champlain Canal, and by extension the Hudson River. Lake Champlain is therefore connected to the Atlantic Ocean indirectly at both extremities. Exceeding 400 feet deep at its most profound, the lake nevertheless freezes solid in many areas during the dead of winter. The principle cities on Lake Champlain are Burlington, Vermont and Plattsburgh, New York. Ferries and bridges allow automobiles to cross the lake at various points.

Do

Champlain Area Trails (CATS) [1] is a network for hiking, walking, skiing, snowshoeing, birding, tracking, and picnicking in and around the Champlain Valley in New York State’s Adirondack Park. CATS trails encompass a rich tapestry of preserved wildlife habitats, pastoral farmland, historic villages, scenic woodlands, and a diverse aquatic system of streams, rivers, wetlands, ponds including the Boquet River and Lake Champlain.

Eat

There are many restaurants in Burlington, Vermont. A notable place for dining is in the church street marketplace. Ben and Jerrys has hometown ice cream there.

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Simple English


Lake Champlain is a natural freshwater lake in North America along the borders of New York and Vermont and partially across the United States-Canada border in the province of Quebec. The lake was named for the French explorer Samuel de Champlain, who discovered it in 1609.

A region of large freshwater lakes

Lake Champlain is one of a large number of large lakes spread in an arc from Labrador through the northern United States and into the Northwest Territories of Canada. Although it is much smaller than the Great Lakes of Ontario, Erie, Huron, Superior, or Michigan, Lake Champlain is a large body of fresh water. Approximately 1130 km² (435 square miles) in area, the lake is about 180 km (110 miles) long, and 19 km (12 miles) across at its widest point. The maximum depth is about 400 feet. It contains about 80 islands, including an the entire country of Grand Isle County in Vermont.

Colonial America and the Revolutionary War

In the colonial times, Lake Champlain gave an easily blocked water (or, in winter, ice) passage between the Saint Lawrence and the Hudson Valleys. Boats and sledges were usually preferable to the unpaved and frequently mud-bound roads of the time. The northern tip of the lake at Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec (St. John in colonial times) is a short distance from Montreal. The southern tip at Whitehall (Skenesborough in colonial times) is a short distance from Saratoga, Glens Falls, and Albany, New York.

Forts at Ticonderoga and Crown Point (Fort St. Frederic) controlled passage of the lake in colonial times. Important battles were fought at Ticonderoga in 1758 and 1777. A important naval battle was fought in 1776 at Valcour Island: in the Battle of Valcour Island, Benedict Arnold delayed British ships enough to prevent the fall of these forts until the following year, allowing the Continental Army to grow stronger and allowing the later victoryat Saratoga.

References








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