Hike Into History at Mount Independence

Visitors are invited to “hike into history” at a Vermont historic site that Yankee magazine has named the best in New England for doing just that.

On Sunday, August 1st, at 2:00 p.m., Steve Zeoli will lead another of his popular hikes into history at the Mount Independence State Historic Site in Orwell.

“Steve is the president of the Mount Independence Coalition and a former caretaker at the site, so he really knows both the trails and the history behind them,” said Elsa Gilbertson, Regional Site Administrator with the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation.

Visitors will get an in depth look at what can be found along the Orange and Baldwin Trails and learn what was happening during the American Revolution at this important military site.

The site is a National Historic Landmark and has been named a 2010 Editors’ Choice in Yankee Magazine’s Travel Guide to New England, winning the “Best Hike Through History.”

In 1776, the sprawling military complex at Mount Independence was one of the largest communities in North America after some 12,000 soldiers built a massive fort to defend against an anticipated British attack from the north.

On the night of July 5, 1777, General Arthur St. Clair withdrew the American army from Mount Independence and nearby Fort Ticonderoga without firing a shot after a British force more than twice his size occupied high ground from which they could bombard him with impunity.

The British and Germans occupied Mount Independence until November of that year.

While the Baldwin Trail meets outdoor standards for handicapped accessibility, participants are urged to wear sturdy shoes and dress for the weather.

Admission is $5.00 for adults and free for children under 15, and includes the guided walk, access to all the trails, and a visit to the air-conditioned visitor center with its exciting exhibits.

Call (802) 948-2000 for more information or visit www.historicvermont.org/sites.

Illustration: Mural of Mount Independence 1776-1777, by Ernest Haas
Commissioned by the Mount Independence Coalition. On display at Mount Independence State Historic Site in Orwell, Vermont.

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