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The Many Wonders of Lake Champlain, VT

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Just missing out on the title of the eighth wonder of the world, the breathtaking 271,000-acre Lake Champlain does achieve the distinction of the eighth largest naturally occurring body of water in the United States.

But Lake Champlain’s size isn’t the only thing about the lake that’s amazing. With beauty that is far too astonishing for just one state, the lake extends into both New York and Vermont for a total of 600 miles of awe-inspiring shoreline.

And while we are sure the “New York side” of Lake Champlain is lovely, we think the Vermont side deserves a special spotlight.

Where History Was Made

Photo courtesy of WAMC.

Named after French explorer Samuel de Champlain, the lake has played a significant role in American history.

It was the site of many Revolutionary battles, including the seizure of forts Ticonderoga and Crown Point in 1775, shortly after the war for independence began.

Lake Champlain was also the home of America’s first naval fleet, which under the direction of General Benedict Arnold, helped prevent British troops from advancing into the southern colonies.

However, in 1777 the British regained control of the lake and maintained that control until the war’s end.

After independence was won, the “Vermont side” of Lake Champlain operated as an independent republic, relying heavily on Canadian trade until 1791, when it became the fourteenth American state.

By 1810, the Champlain Valley was home to more than 140,000 people.

The War of 1812 saw more fighting on Lake Champlain’s shores, and in 1814 it was the site of the Battle of Plattsburgh, which helped pave the way to peace negotiations and the war’s end not long thereafter.

Today, Lake Champlain’s war-time significance has been honored by three naval ships that bear its name: USS Lake Champlain (CG-57), USS Lake Champlain (CV-39) and USS Lake Champlain (y. 1918-19).

Around and About Lake Champlain

Photo courtesy of Vermont.org.

Today, throughout the Lake Champlain region and into the nearby Green Mountains, residents can enjoy hands-on excursions, in-depth tours of historic sites and visits to the area’s many galleries and museums.

Filled with more than 90 species of fish, Lake Champlain is a thriving fishing destination, one that consistently ranks among the top bass fishing lakes in the country with largemouth, smallmouth and rock bass species all present in the lake.

Apart from fishing, visitors and residents alike enjoy boating, kayaking, yachting and sailing along the lake’s full length of 125 miles.

Private sailing cruises, boat tours, and ferry rides are also popular activities, inviting participants to take in as much of Lake Champlain’s breathtaking scenery as possible.

Off the water, there is plenty more to do, like taking a trip to the Vermont National Guard museum, where patrons can admire artillery and War-era artifacts from the area’s many battles.

Or for Lake Champlain-area foodies, take the Burlington Edible History tour!

The unhurried two-mile walk features five restaurants specializing in farm-to-table fare, much like the foods enjoyed during the early days of the city.

Your Home on Lake Champlain

222 McNeil Cove
222 McNeil Cove on Lake Champlain, VT.

Regardless of whether you’re an outdoor adventurer or more of an indoor observer, Lake Champlain has something for everyone, including prime lake real estate.

With properties in both New York and the Queen State, the lake is an approximately $178 million real estate market, offering between 300 and 400 listings at any given time.

This market is broken down by geographic area with inventory located in the Grand Isle area, the Swanton area, the Addison area and in the Burlington area.

As a whole, Lake Champlain reported an average home price of $628,402 in Summer 2019, but owning a piece of Lake Champlain is attainable for every budget.

In fact, 60% of the lake’s Addison area home listings are priced below the market average. Similarly, 29% of home inventory on Lake Champlain-Burlington is below market average, and the lake’s Grand Isle area features 70% of its lake home inventory priced below this average.

In the Swanton area of Lake Champlain, 90% of homes for sale are priced below $628,000.

Become a full-time resident or enjoy this lake’s natural and historical wonders as a part-time weekend warrior. Click HERE to learn more about Lake Champlain, VT.


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Lake Homes Realty staff writers and market research team members.

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