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One of the oldest ferry operations in the country

Operating on Lake Champlain since the last the late 1700s the Fort Ticonderoga Ferry is one of the oldest ferry operations in the country. Additionally, the ferry was recognized, by the state of Vermont, as the oldest continually operating business in the state of Vermont. Recently I spoke with Hilary Wanamaker, who has run the ferry with her husband Larry for the last 10 years, and she loves her familys ferry business, Over the years I have really enjoyed meeting people from all over the world. The conversations and vehicles are always interesting. Additionally, I take pride in the number of repeat visitors that travel the ? mile between Vermont and NY with us, many of which appreciating what they call our unique operation. Senior ferry Captain of 42 years Jon Porter recalls, Some of my fondest memories are the weddings we have had on board. I can recall 3 specifically, one we even had to go to Vermont to do legally because the minister was licensed there and we could only be so far from shore for it to be legally binding. Powered today by a tugboat built in 1979, the ferry today can operate in the most severe weather with assistance from a guidance cable system built in 1946, and though improved over the years, is still in use today. History buffs from around the world come to travel the 7 minutes from state to state and take in the breath-taking view of Mount Defiance (on the NY side), Mount Independence (on the Vermont side), and of course the Fort Ticonderoga sky line. The ferry also hands out historical pamphlets to all its passengers and all of the 5 captains and 4 deckhands employed by ferry are more than willing to discuss history and/or special experience had on one of the nations most historic ferry operations. The ferry operates on a seasonal basis and makes approximately 3 round trips an hour beginning at 8am and shuts down around 7pm, 7 days a week. Plus, it is affordable; you can take your car one way for $8 or travel round trip for $14. Hilary is proud to state, we know everyones travel budget is tight with gas prices but we have kept our cost for a regular car traveling on our ferry the same price for the last 3 years. So if you are in the mood for a soft adventure this summer, stop by and say hello to Hilary and her staff. I would even say it would be a great way to cool off on these hot summer days and you are only a short walk from historic Fort Ticonderoga. You and the family can make a day of it. Chris Ward is the Communications Manager at the Lake Placid/Essex County Visitors Bureau and can be reached at chris@lakeplacid.com.

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