Lake George Battlefield Park
In a small, hilly park behind the fort you’ll find the largely unexcavated ruins of the original Fort William Henry, along with plaques explaining various aspects of the 1757 battle. Picnic tables throughout the park offer good views of the lake.
The original fort was built in 1756 by British general William Johnson, the man responsible for naming the lake—after King George III. In 1757, the fort was attacked by 1,600 French soldiers and 3,000 Native Americans under the command of Gen. Montcalm. James Fenimore Cooper based The Last of the Mohicans on the incident.
Across from the Lake George Steamboat Company dock stands a facsimile reconstruction of Fort William Henry (Beach Rd., 518/668-5471, www.fortwilliamhenry.com, 9 a.m.–6 p.m. daily May–Oct., adults $14.95, $12.95 senior and active military, children 3–11 $7.95). Featured are some French and Indian War artifacts, life-size dioramas and demonstrations of cannon and musket firings.
The fort museum does not present much that’s original (and tours offer sensationalized accounts of the history in fitting fashion to Lake George’s vibe), better to save your money for the considerably more authentic Fort Ticonderoga, located at the northern end of Lake George.
© Avalon Travel and Sascha Zuger from Moon New York State, 5th Edition