The Burgoyne Trail

History will have new meaning for you if you follow U.S. Route 4 between Whitehall and Stillwater. The Lake Champlain and Hudson River route has always been of strategic importance in the control of North America and roughly parallels the route of British General Burgoyne as he marched southward to defeat at Saratoga. Celebrations are planned throughout the width and breadth of this country but few will commemorate a place with greater historical significance than “The Burgoyne Trail.” We might suggest you pick up the trail at Whitehall. Driving south on Route 4, you will be driving along the Champlain Barge Canal. Continue south and you will follow Burgoyne’s march through Fort Ann, Hudson Falls, and Fort Edward; then on to Bemis Heights where the British General encountered over 9,000 colonists entrenched in an area where the road squeezes through a defile between hills and river just as Route 4 still does. The first “Battle of Saratoga” took place here at Freeman Farm. But finally, on October 17, 1777, Burgoyne finally surrendered to General Horatio Gates. Despite the four years of continued fighting until victory at Yorktown, this success at Saratoga was truly the “turning point of the American Revolution.” A vacation “must” for every North Country visitor is a visit to the National Historic Park at Stillwater. So, spend yet another day in the North Country and take a few hours to relive the history of 200 years ago.