Historic Sites in the Capital Region and North Country: From Crown Point to Schuyler Mansion

May 01, 2024

While New York is most famous for the bustling metropolis of New York City, the state also boasts a wealth of historic sites throughout. The Capital Region and North Country offer a journey through time with their fascinating historic sites. From military fortifications to grand estates, this region is a treasure trove for history enthusiasts. Take a look at some of the most significant historic sites in this area, from iconic Crown Point to the elegant Schuyler Mansion, that you won’t want to miss!


Crown Point ruins on a grassy hill with a view of the lake in the bakground

Crown Point State Historic Site

First on the list is Crown Point State Historic Site, nestled along the picturesque shores of Lake Champlain. This strategic location played a crucial role in colonial history, serving as a vital military stronghold during the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. Visitors can explore the well-preserved ruins of Fort Crown Point, which once stood as a formidable bastion overlooking the lake. The sweeping vistas from the fort’s ramparts offer breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape, transporting visitors back to a time of colonial conflict and conquest.


Building interior with preserved barrels, pails, saw, and other colonial-era tools

Fort Ticonderoga

While in the North Country, make sure to see Fort Ticonderoga, often referred to as the “Key to the Continent” due to its strategic location between Lake Champlain and Lake George. This historic fortification witnessed some of the most significant battles of the American Revolution, including the daring capture of artillery by Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys in 1775. Today, visitors can tour the meticulously restored fort, marvel at its impressive collection of artillery pieces, and immerse themselves in the daily life of soldiers stationed there centuries ago.


Wood fort with canon and American flag in the foreground, view of mountains in the background

Fort William Henry

Further south on the shores of Lake George stands Fort William Henry, a testament to colonial military prowess. Constructed during the French and Indian War, this fortification played a pivotal role in the struggle for control over the strategic waterways of upstate New York. Visitors can enjoy views of Lake George while exploring the fort, where living history demonstrations and immersive exhibits offer a glimpse into life on the frontier during the 18th century.


Grassy hill with American flag overlooking the green valley below

Grant’s Cottage

For more tranquil surroundings, head to Grant’s Cottage, nestled atop Mount McGregor just north of Saratoga Springs. This unassuming retreat served as the final residence of General Ulysses S. Grant, where he completed his memoirs and reflected on a lifetime of service to his country. Visitors can tour the modest cottage and its surrounding grounds, gaining insight into the private life of one of America’s most revered military leaders and statesmen.


Canon on the Saratoga Battlefield at sunset

Saratoga National Historical Park

While nearby, make sure to visit Saratoga National Historical Park, a site that commemorates the pivotal Battles of Saratoga, which marked a turning point in the American Revolution. Here, visitors can explore the grounds where American forces, under the command of General Horatio Gates, achieved a decisive victory over the British Army in 1777. The park’s Visitor Center offers informative exhibits that detail the events leading up to the battles and their profound impact on the outcome of the war. A scenic driving or walking tour takes visitors through the battlefield, allowing them to reflect on the courage and sacrifice of those who fought for American independence.


Yellow colonial home surrounded by green trees and grass

Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site

Forty minutes south of Saratoga National Historical Park is the Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site, located in the heart of Albany. Built in the 18th century for Revolutionary War general Philip Schuyler and his family, this magnificent mansion offers a glimpse into the lives of New York’s colonial elite. Visitors can wander through lavishly furnished rooms adorned with period antiques and learn about the Schuyler family’s contributions to American history. Guided tours provide insight into the mansion’s architectural splendor and its significance as a center of political and social life during the colonial era. Make sure to secure a reservation, as all public and private tours are by appointment only at Schuyler Mansion.


From the rugged fortifications of Crown Point to the stately halls of Schuyler Mansion, the Capital Region and North Country of New York State abound with historic sites that bring the past to life. Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious about the events that shaped our nation, these destinations offer a captivating journey through time! Where will you decide to pack your bags, grab your camera, and travel to first this year?