Lake Champlain is a large, freshwater lake in the northeastern United States and part of the Canadian province of Quebec. The heart of a region, it provides numerous recreational opportunities, not to mention plenty of picturesque vistas. Set along its shores are various cities and towns, the likes of which include the capital of Vermont, and where the cities end along the coast, recreational areas often begin.
Lake Champlain is approximately 120 miles long from top to bottom and has a width of around fifteen miles at its widest point. A small portion of the upper reach is found in Quebec, while the majority of the lake is situated between the Adirondack Mountains of New York State and Vermont's Green Mountains. Thanks largely to the surrounding mountains, the sightseeing opportunities that can be enjoyed in the Lake Champlain Valley are simply divine. The best views are arguably enjoyed from the loftier area peaks, some of which can be climbed with relative ease. All you basically need are a good pair of hiking boots and some stamina.
The nickname of the "Sixth Great Lake" is commonly applied to Lake Champlain. This has everything to do with its considerable size. While not too wide, Lake Champlain is long and claims a shoreline that is approximately 600 miles long. Another interesting thing to note is the number of islands that are scattered across the lake. There are about 70 of them, and many can be accessed by driving along Highway 2. State parks such as Grand Isle State Park and Burton Island State Park call some of the islands home for those who are interested in recreation. As for the state parks that can be found along the Lake Champlain shores, the majority are found on the Vermont side, though the New York side should not be overlooked in terms of recreation.
Summer is the peak vacation season in the Lake Champlain region, and the activities that visitors come looking to enjoy include boating, swimming, fishing, and hiking. This doesn't mean that summer is the only season to consider when planning a trip to the area. In the winter, for example, ice fishing and ice skating can be enjoyed, and it's possible to cross-country ski, snowmobile, or go snowshoeing on land.
For those who are looking to enjoy some urban exposure, the Vermont capital of Burlington sits on the Lake Champlain shores. On the New York side, Plattsburgh serves as the main hub. Slightly more low-key, the historic town of Essex can make for a fine place for a walking tour, and a visit to the site of Fort Ticonderoga is something that many area visitors take an interest in. Both are found on the New York side.
Rolling hills, picturesque farms, historic churches, and just some of the other sights that call the Lake Champlain region home, and there is no shortage of enticing shopping and dining opportunities in the area. The lodging options are also relatively complete and include vacation rentals, campgrounds, bed and breakfasts, and motels. In other words, this is a region that caters to everyone when it comes to things to do and places to rest.
As for getting there, the Lake Champlain Region is within relatively easy reach of numerous big cities, including New York City and Montreal. Depending on where travelers are coming from, it is possible to fly in, drive, or take a train. Ferries ply the Lake Champlain waters, providing an interesting means of transportation upon arrival, and some can accommodate vehicles, thus saving drivers a considerable amount of time when trying to cross from one side to another. The most popular ferry route connects Burlington to Port Kent during the late May to early October period. Other ferry routes include the Plattsburgh NY to Grand Isle VT route and the Charlotte VT to Essex NY route.