Rich in history and stunning beauty, Valcour Island on Lake Champlain has long been a popular destination for recreational boaters as protected bays and deep anchorages provide safe harbor for even the largest of sailboats.
Located one mile offshore from Peru Dock in Peru (near Plattsburgh NY), this historic island is accessible only by boat and well worth the trip.
At 1,100 acres, Valcour is the fourth largest island on Lake Champlain. It offers varied topography with rocky, craggy outcroppings, limestone bluffs and sandy beaches. It is entirely protected within New York’s Adirondack Park and classified as primitive, meaning it’s managed to achieve and maintain a condition as close to wilderness as possible. As a result, Valcour is home to a number of rare plant species as well as the largest Great Blue Heron rookery on Lake Champlain.
More than seven miles of hiking paths circle the two-mile-long island, winding past quiet beaches, a series of paddle-in campsites, and Bluff Point Lighthouse.
Built in 1874, the Bluff Point Lighthouse overlooks the site where, almost 100 years earlier, a desperate battle in the war for independence was fought. In the early morning of October 11, 1776, an American naval force, under the command of Benedict Arnold, concealed itself on the western side of Valcour Island, waiting for an impressive British fleet sailing south down the lake. The British discovered the motley crew shortly after 10 a.m., and turned to engage the Americans in what would be the first naval battle of the Revolutionary War, known as the Battle of Valcour Island.
Bluff Point Lighthouse - also known as the Valcour Island Light - is open to public on Sundays throughout the summer. Visitors may receive a guided tour by contacting the Clinton County Historical Association.