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Insider’s Guide to Visiting Fort Ticonderoga this Independence Day Weekend

Rob Johnson, Black Sky Entertainment

1) Arrive early and plan to spend the day, or three! Daily programming brings to life Fort Ticonderoga’s epic story through programs and exhibits, historic gardens, the Carillon Battlefield hiking trail, canoe rentals, Mount Defiance, and hands-on family activities. Beat the crowds, and hop on as many tours as you can!

2) Declare your Independence! Ever wonder what it was like the first year of independence? Walk in the marching steps of newly formed Continental soldiers at Fort Ticonderoga in 1776 as historic interpreters demonstrate weapons of independence and explain the daily military duties of soldiers garrisoning the Fort.  Be sure to catch the awesome musket demonstration, help in some of the construction work building huts, and be sure to take the Key to the Continent Tour.

DSC_71533) Have you ever wondered how the army was supplied? See artificers in action in the shoe maker’s and tailor’s shops busily working to resupply soldiers with clothing, shoes, and equipment. Discover how these soldiers prepare their cannons, ammunition, and themselves to meet the British army. See rations cooked, logs hewn, and the Fort’s 1776 restoration in action. Experience the raw power of oxen as these thousand-pound animals pull lumber for 18th-century soldiers’ huts.

 4) So much fun and learning for kids! Fort Ticonderoga is featuring a new special tour and exciting program for kids this year!  Complete special tasks as you explore Fort Ticonderoga and receive rewards for helping the soldiers with their daily duties. Scavenger Hunts and Rewards pamphlets can be picked up at the guest services desk in the Log House Welcome Center!

F&D Corps5) Listen to the stirring tunes of the Fife & Drum Corps! Get into the Independence Day spirit by to the step of the Fife & Drum Corps playing patriotic music. Performances going on all day. Explore how drumbeats, trilling fifes and songs created an 18th-century world of military music.

6) Visit Mount Defiance. Ascend to the summit of Mount Defiance to get the birds-eye view of this epic military landscape and discover how this height shaped the Fort’s history. Enjoy the splendor of our region’s beauty and learn why Fort Ticonderoga was the site of America’s first victory of the American Revolution! Tours are offered daily at 4 pm.

7) Discover the objects of Independence. Exhibitions staff will lead you on a guided tour of this remarkable museum’s highlights. Begun more than a century ago, the Fort Ticonderoga museum has North America’s largest and most important collection of 18th-century military material culture. Get the scoop on the most significant, rare, and interesting pieces in the collection.

Cam w kid in garden8) Get your hands dirty! Discover the techniques used to keep our garden thriving! Guests of all ages are invited to practice alongside garden staff as they demonstrate seeding, plant division, and care methods for blooming plants. From the key to the continent to the site of America’s first preservation effort, take a garden tour and learn about the layered legacy of Ticonderoga’s landscape. When you’re done exploring the gardens, make sure to grab a bite at America’s Fort Cafe for delicious garden to table food! Don’t forget to stop at the museum store on your way out!

toactasoneunitedbody9) Enjoy an evening of fun, too! On July 4th, Fort Ticonderoga will be putting on a special evening program called “To Act As One United Body.”. This program is your chance to enlist in the Continental Army. Your whole family can join together as new recruits to see what it was like to be a soldier at Ticonderoga in 1775 at the dawn of the American Revolution. Raise your hand to affirm your allegiance to the 13 United States of America, and your journey will begin. Tours begin at 6:30 pm. Reserve your spot by calling 518-585-2821

10) Go to town!  On the evening of July 4, a spectacular fireworks display will be put on by the town of Ticonderoga in the Bicentennial Park downtown. “The Best Fourth in the North” is an explosion of color worth seeing!