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Plattsburgh: A Bustling Cornerstone City In New York's North Country

One of the cornerstones of Upstate New York, Plattsburgh offers great vacation opportunities for visitors during its calm, beautiful summers and unpredictably exciting winters.

Boats on Lake Champlain during a reenactment of the Battle of Plattsburgh

Photo by Slabcity Gang, CC BY-ND 2.0

For the warm weather tourist, the highlight is typically taking a walk or ride to Plattsburgh's east end and glancing out onto and over Lake Champlain, one of the most beautiful inland seas you will ever lay your eyes on. Surrounded by mountains rising to heights over 5,000 feet, it's as dynamic a view as there is in the region. And if you're lucky you will even catch a glimpse of "Champ" - Lake Champlain's celebrated cousin of the Loch Ness Monster.

If looking at the lake isn't enough, there are plenty of on-water activities available on Lake Champlain, including boating, wind surfing, and fishing. When it's time to leave the shore, Plattsburgh offers two different walking trails that showcase its rich history and beautiful scenery.

A riverwalk takes you on a stroll along the charming Saranac River, which was a key provider of power for America's early industry. Starting out at the instantly recognizable Champlain Monument, the trail leisurely leads you along the Saranac River. There is also a heritage trail through the city. This self-guided tour (you learn by reading signs and markers along the trail) showcases the uniqueness of Plattsburgh's history along with its abundance of nature points.

Many of the excursions primarily considered summer activities are also popular in the winter months, but Plattsburgh captures the hearts of cold weather travelers with its own brand of outdoor action. Chief among them is ice fishing on Lake Champlain. With some of the best winter fishing in the country, those who venture onto the lake have the opportunity to catch some of the most precious fish it has to offer - salmon and bass. When it's time to come in from the cold you can venture over to the War of 1812 Museum. This homage to the 'Forgotten War' gives a great history lesson, and includes the importance of the Battle of Plattsburgh.

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