Permanent Must-see Exhibits
Building Independence on Lake Champlain
This permanent exhibit highlights the role that Mount Independence played in the early years of the American Revolution and the Northern Campaign, exploring the lives of the American soldiers who built and garrisoned one of the largest defenses constructed by the Continentals for the war. The story comes alive through an orientation film, with a mural showing the Mount at its busiest and artifacts dating from 1776-1777.
Highlights of the exhibit include the 3,000-pound cannon made in Scotland in the 1690s; log timbers from the “Great Bridge” between Mount Independence and Fort Ticonderoga, and an engraved powder horn owned by a soldier at the Mount in the 1770s. A large-scale sculpture groups together American and British soldiers, two of whom “talk” to visitors about their experiences on the Mount.
- Tickets are required for all trails and grounds. Purchase trail tickets and obtain the trail map in the museum shop. We offer bottled water and snacks in the museum shop.
- Trails are varying distances and difficulties. Please watch for the color-coded markers to stay on the trails. Wheelchairs and strollers are permitted; bicycles, horses, snowmobiles and ATVs are not allowed. Dogs are welcome on leashes.
- Please help keep Mount Independence one of America’s least-disturbed Revolutionary War sites. Digging, collecting materials, and use of metal detectors are not permitted.
- All trails start at the trailhead kiosk near the museum building.
Baldwin Trail circles around the southern half of Mount Independence for 1.6 miles with two spur trails, with views of Lake Champlain, Fort Ticonderoga, and Mount Defiance. With 15 marked sites, the trail meanders through the locations of two brigade encampments and past the foundations of the general hospital, two soldier huts, two blockhouses, a storehouse, southern battery defenses, a probable powder magazine, and the third brigade encampment.
It meets the standards for Outdoor Handicapped-Accessible Trails, with compacted surfaces and gentle grades, and is suitable for outdoor wheelchairs and strollers.
The loop of the Southern Defenses begins near the parking lot and has compacted surfaces, stairs, and stone steps. It provides a look at rugged rock formations, views of Lake Champlain, and the remains of a blockhouse.
This loop trail has several spurs and can be reached off the northern part of the Baldwin Trail, leading you to the northern tip of Mount Independence. The trail has several beautiful overlooks of Lake Champlain, heading back by the barracks location for the star fort, crane site, artificers’ shops, horseshoe battery with view of Fort Ticonderoga, shore battery, bridge site, masting point, and an observation shelter. Evidence of the Native Americans at Mount Independence is found along the Orange Trail where high-quality blue/black chert used for making tools and projectile points is present. Mount Independence chert was traded across the Northeast.
This trail can be reached off the Baldwin Trail and links up to the northern tip of the Orange Trail. It roughly follows a Revolutionary War supply road between the hospital and the bridge. From this trail you can see the crane ramp, the open meadow that was a vegetable garden, spring, foundation, stone quarry, base of the supply road, and forge area.