Blueway Trail: The Boquet River

This segment showcases the unique history of the hamlet of Willsboro, along with the natural beauty and wildlife of the Boquet River. Paddlers will explore sites ranging from the Revolutionary War to the rise of mining and milling on the river. This segment provides a great opportunity to explore the hamlet, public facilities within Willsboro, and has access to a hiking trail for all skill levels.

Launch Site: Canoe landing site in the Boquet River Nature Preserve

Approximate Paddling Distance: 3 miles (4.8 kilometers)

Insider Tip from Paddlers Cathy Frank and Margaret Holden: "The Bouquet offers a series of varied terrain from steeply wooded banks, to floodplain forest, to inviting beach framing the mouth."

Other Notes: From the launch site, paddle downstream to the mouth of the Boquet River. Here you can take a break along the sandy shores of Noblewood Park. On the paddle back upstream, more ambitious paddlers can continue past the launch site to see the ruins of the Willsboro Iron Works and then around the bend to the recently renovated Phoenix Gristmill.

Layers
Boquet River Nature Preserve
1
Boquet River Nature Preserve
Natural Areas | Wildlife

Boquet River Nature Preserve is just outside of downtown Willsboro. It includes 110 acres of floodplain and upland forest, and more than a half-mile of shoreline on the lower Boquet River, the most intact major tributary emptying into Lake Champlain.…

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Burgoyne's Campground
2
Burgoyne's Campground
Heritage Areas and Sites | Historic Districts and Sites

This encampment is part of the historic route traveled by General Burgoyne and his army known as the Burgoyne Road. It was the 37th Regiment of NYS Militia that was active during the war and the Battle of the Boquet. Burgoyne's campground existed…

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Boquet River
3
Boquet River
Natural Areas | Geologic Feature

The Boquet River is a short stream, yet an important player in the iron history of the region. Shallow draft vessels called lighters were used to transport iron ore downstream to the Boquet River Falls.  Bloom iron (slag-riddled iron castings)…

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Noblewood Park
4
Noblewood Park
Recreation | Beaches and Swimming Holes

Nobelwood Park is located along the Lake Champlain shore at the mouth of the Boquet River. Facilities include a public swimming area, bath house, primitive camp sites, and canoe and kayak access. The park itself covers close to 70 acres.

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Chain Hoist Site, Boquet River
Heritage Areas and Sites | Historic Districts and Sites

On the north shore at the mouth of the Boquet River was an interesting chain hoist to help load the canal boats with pulp wood. There is a rare photo of this device in the collection of the

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Boquet River Delta
6
Boquet River Delta
Natural Areas | Geologic Feature

The Boquet River Delta is an area of coarse, shifting sands forming a long narrow beach--one of the relatively rare swimmer's beaches on Lake Champlain. The delta area covers a wide fan of sand, clay, drift wood, and other alluvial material…

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Willsboro Iron Works Site
Heritage Areas and Sites | Historic Districts and Sites

The Willsboro Iron Works of George Throop and Levi Higby began as the old Anchorshop in 1802, fabricating anchors for large ships.  A blast furnace, forge, and foundry operated along the Boquet until around 1881. An 1876 "Map of Willsborough"…

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Phoenix Mills Gristmill Along Boquet River, Willsboro
8
Phoenix Mills Gristmill Along Boquet River, Willsboro
Heritage Areas and Sites | Historic Districts and Sites

This is what remains of the mill built originally in 1810, and then again in 1843 following a fire. It received its name for the speedy reconstruction that took place following the fire.

The mill was built by the prominent Ross family.

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the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Gretel Schueller

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Trip Plan Details

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In This Trip Plan

1 Boquet River Nature Preserve
2 Burgoyne's Campground
3 Boquet River
4 Noblewood Park
5 Chain Hoist Site, Boquet River
6 Boquet River Delta
7 Willsboro Iron Works Site
8 Phoenix Mills Gristmill Along Boquet River, Willsboro