Hiking events

Hike with History at Crown Point | Local News

CROWN Point – On a gray and humid New Year’s Day, with temperatures around freezing point, history buffs and outdoor adventurers joined in a first day hike around the Crown Point State Historic Site. Crown Point Fort.

Although they had a sense of winter weather, unlike soldiers and settlers in the 18th century, today’s hikers were best prepared for the elements with clothing and footwear made with modern synthetic materials such as Thinsulate. , polypropylene and Gore-Tex.


Dressed in period clothing and carrying a flintlock, Crown Point Museum Director and historical interpreter Kris Jarrett discussed the history and structure of the fort. He was joined by Crown Point Historic Site Manager Lisa Polay.

“I represent a British irregular from the French and Indian War who patrolled the area and reported on the movement of troops and materiel. You could say I was the telegrapher of that time. I’m dressed a bit like Roger’s Rangers, Jarrett said.

Although his clothes, mostly wool, were fashioned in the 1700s as materials, Jarrett confessed: “My shoes are not 18th century leather because they are too expensive and not suitable for muddy ground like this -this.”

Jarrett mentioned that he had to wear a mask due to the current pandemic as it was an anachronism from the rest of his attire, but during the occupation of the fort in 1775-1776 there was an outbreak of smallpox with 50 or more deaths per day. Initially, there was a smallpox hospital at Crown Point, which was later moved to Ticonderoga.

“It’s kind of scary, like you haven’t had enough of this pandemic,” Polay added.

So far, no trace of burial or cremation of the bodies has been found.


The tour started at the water’s edge where the troops and attackers would have arrived. Today, the new Crown Point Bridge spans the Lake Strait. This is where the French erected Fort Saint-Frédéric of which not much remains. It was pointed out that earthworks were just as important as walls in the defense of forts.

Taking care not to slip on any ice under the wet snow covering the ground, the group then headed to “His Majesty’s Fort of Crown Point” as it was officially called. Jarrett and Polay pointed out the features of the fort which consists mainly of the remains of officers’ and soldiers’ barracks which have been partially rebuilt.

Most of the damage was initially caused by a fire that took several days to bring under control due to the wood and tar used for many parts of the structure.


As an event to celebrate the New Year outdoors, Day One Hikes were one of many events across the state and country held at state parks, historic sites, wildlife areas, trails and public lands. Day one event options ranged from staff self-guided hikes, or volunteer-led hikes, with some locations offering multiple options allowing people the time and space to socially distance while enjoying the winter wonders of nature.


According to the fort’s website, the French built Fort Saint-Frédéric between 1734 and 1737 and used it as a base for raids on British colonies in New York and New England. As a result, the British mounted various expeditions to take control of Crown Point, and in 1759 they were finally successful.

They immediately began construction of new fortifications which they called “His Majesty’s Fort of Crown Point”. Covering over seven acres, it was one of the largest built by the British in North America.

In 1775, at the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, American colonists captured the fort and seized much-needed cannons and heavy ammunition. Crown Point was occupied by General John Burgoyne’s army in 1777 after the American evacuation to Mount Independence and remained under British control until the end of the war.

The ruins of Fort St. Frederic, “His Majesty’s Fort of Crown Point”, and surrounding lands were acquired by the State of New York in 1910.


The Crown Point Historic Site is officially open from May 28 to October 30, but the grounds are available for walking or snowshoeing. Call 518-597-3666 or check out his Facebook site for more information.

Email Alvin Reiner at:

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