Ruins of the French fort at the Crown Point State Historic Site
State seeks public input for historic site, campground
CROWN POINT | An updated management plan (UMP) is in the works for the campgrounds and historic area at Crown Point, and the public is invited to participate in a brainstorming meeting Thursday, March 28 at 6 p.m. in the auditorium of the Crown Point State Historic Site’s museum.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) are jointly working on a freshening of the unit management plan for both the Crown Point State Historic Site and the Crown Point Campground and Day Use Area. The UMP will address the future management of both properties, which encompass 440 acres along the shores of Lake Champlain.
Unit management plans typically propose improvements to state properties and encourage certain uses and activities, while limiting others.
The Crown Point site is in the Forest Preserve that’s governed by the DEC, but the historic site is operated by the OPRHP.
According to a DEC overview, “The creation of a joint Unit Management Plan for Crown Point Reservation will allow for the highest protection of the site’s historic and natural resources and better facilitate public use and enjoyment of the entire area.”
The entire Crown Point Reservation is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is a designated National Historic Landmark. The ruins of two 18th-century forts can be seen at Crown Point, the older having been built by the French in 1734. The British drove out the French and built their own fort in 1759.
The fort lost much of its luster in 1773 when it was all but destroyed by fire. By the time of the American Revolution, it had been all but abandoned by the British and proved easy pickings for the colonists, who benefited greatly not so much by the capture of the fort, but by the capture of artillery that was stored there.
Although it remained an important staging area on Lake Champlain during the war, it was not involved in any great battles.
The Crown Point Campground and Day Use Area is located on the shore of Lake Champlain on the east side of Bridge Road and is managed by DEC. The campground contains 66 campsites and the Day Use Area includes a boat launch, picnic area and two historic structures — Crown Point Pier and Champlain Memorial Lighthouse. Scenic views of Lake Champlain, the surrounding landscapes of New York and Vermont, as well as the award-winning Crown Point Bridge that connects the two states, can be easily found from many locations. The bridge is also a connector for the evolving North Country National Scenic Trail that runs from North Dakota to the Appalachian Trail in Vermont.
The public meeting Thursday will provide an overview of the site and its resources, as well as known issues that need to be addressed. A draft UMP and public comment period is scheduled for release in fall 2020, with full passage a year later.
Written comments during the planning stage will be accepted until May 31, 2019. They can be sent to: Rebecca Terry, NYS DEC, 232 Golf Course Road, Warrensburg, NY 12885; or emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org.