Hidden high in the corner of New York State lies, or floats, a jewel of the past that makes history come alive just by stepping on its shores. Valcour Island claims 968 acres of the Adirondack Forest Preserve, and lies a mere mile from the Town of Peru Boat Launch—a short 2-3 minute cruise across the bay. Stuck in an archipelago of the Northern Region of Lake Champlain, Valcour Island features historic sites and recreational facilities like no other island. On the north side facing the mainland sits the Bluff Point Lighthouse, which offers tours every Sunday from July to August. Learn more at the official Lighthouse website.
Lurking high on a cliff set deep in crepuscular forests is the Seton House—an 88-year-old solid-stone manor reminiscing in fabled folklore of the family’s ghosts who supposedly wander the grounds at night. It’s even complete with the boarded up windows, and a dilapidated NO TRESPASSING sign harshly bolted to the 10-foot-tall, thick wooden door. Brave enough to venture near it?
If the haunted mansion wasn’t enough, there’s more in store for the history buffs and thrill seekers. The word itself, Valcour, means “value of the heart”, and multiple theories have surfaced about it being named after a deep betrayal—perhaps an explanation of the lone, enigmatical grave residing under a carved rock headstone. It’s set deep in Smuggler’s Harbor, the locally famous bay coined for hiding Benedict Arnold from the British Navy during the Battle of Valcour.
The Western Cliffs call to those looking for a dip in the cool water on a late evening, when the humidity settles in thick. Hanging out over the water, the jagged rocks form a perfect place to CAREFULLY jump in.
Valcour Island provides a perfect place for adventures, campers, and history buffs alike. Belonging to the small town of Peru, it is a renowned part of the Adirondack Park Preserve and has become a major part of life for those who are interested in Lake Champlain, the history of it, and the many opportunities it provides on the Adirondack Coast.