Cultural Heritage

Crown Point Fort, NY ruins

Fort Crown Point ruins at the Crown Point State Historic Site, NY.

The human history of the Lake Champlain Basin spans more than 10,000 years. The region is the ancestral homeland of Algonquin and Iroquois peoples and, over the past 400 years, has played a vital role in the establishment of the United States and Canada. It has served as a route of exploration, military campaigns and maritime commerce. It was the setting for innovations in business and technology, invasions and armed insurrections, new directions in religion and politics, long periods of peace and prosperity, and the beginnings of the conservation movement.

The Basin’s cultural heritage resources include historic structures and settlements of early Europeans, archaeological sites on land and under water, sites of traditional and sacred importance to the Abenaki, Iroquois, and Mohican, military battle sites, agricultural sites, and industrial development sites. Each year, millions of visitors come to these sites to experience this heritage. Learn more at the Cultural Heritage Sites map.

Heritage recreation in the Basin connects people to the past. An understanding and appreciation of the region’s historic role in national and world events, and the traditional connection to the water bodies that define it, shapes the identity of residents.  The Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership works to promote initiatives that help increase this understanding. The Lake Champlain Bridge Quest and the CVNHP Passport Stamp Program immerse visitors in the region’s heritage and scenic beauty.