Gateway to the Adirondacks

Its no secret that the Adirondacks are isolated. Thats one of the reasons visitors love to come here: to get away from it all. Visitors to the Park, as well as residents have few choices when it comes to routes in and out of our six million acre wilderness. Driving to and from most urban areas, requires that you first find your way to interstate 87. But for those visitors coming from Vermont or southern New England states, the gateway to the Adirondacks is the Lake Champlain Bridge in Crown Point. Last August, the New York State Department of Transportation announced the bridge is in need of repairs because of structural damage sustained over years of use. It has not been determined if the bridge will be replaced, removed or repaired. On March 14th I attended a gathering of representatives from several historical preservation groups at the Crown Point Historic Site Museum for the announcement of the addition of the Lake Champlain Bridge to the Preservation League of New York State Seven to Save list. Each year the league locates seven structures, buildings or sites that have historical significance but are in danger of disappearing because of lack of funding or neglect.

Our rich historical traditions are part of what attracts visitors. According to the results of our conversion study, visitors cited heritage and culture as the third most important vacation activity, following sightseeing and general relaxation. In addition, heritage and cultural activities placed second only to golf as far as visitor expenditures. Most of our areas historic sites, including the Crown Point Historic Site and Lake Champlain Bridge, can be found in the Lake Champlain Region, where our Adirondack history is older than the country itself. Built in 1929, the bridge was hailed as the New Gateway between the Adirondacks and Green Mountains and still remains a vital link between the two today, not just for visitors, but for residents as well.

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