Blueway Trail: Port Kent to Cumberland Bay

It is recommended that this route be completed south to north. This route begins in the now-quiet-but-once-bustling town of Port Kent and continues north to two different wildlife management areas, both of which offer excellent wetland and wildlife viewing opportunities. This trail also passes the sites of both the Battle of Valcour and the Battle of Plattsburgh, leading paddlers through the same waters and channels that soldiers of various nationalities fought for control over almost 200 years ago. The route ends at the Plattsburgh City Beach, which is adjacent to Cumberland Bay State Park.

Launch Sites: Plattsburgh City Beach; Port Kent Ferry Landing

Approximate Paddling Distance: 16 miles (25.7 kilometers)

Insider Tip from Paddlers Cathy Frank and Margaret Holden: "Make sure you give yourself time to check out Ausable Marsh, home to an abundance of wildlife, including black duck, great blue heron, osprey, beaver, muskrat, turtles, fish, and frogs. The Ausable Marsh Walking Trail, about 1 mile, is a good way to explore. Because the area is rich in waterfowl, you may want to avoid paddling here during hunting season, as hunting is permitted. Paddling up the lower mouth of the Ausable River and around to the upper mouth is a beautiful protected paddle."

Other Notes: This segment is exposed to strong north and south winds and waves.

Layers
Port Kent Ferry Landing
1
Port Kent Ferry Landing
Transportation and Travel Routes | By Water

This ferry shuttle cars and passengers between Port Kent, New York, and Burlington, Vermont, during the summer months.

The ferry, coming from Burlington, once went aground on Ferris Rock about a 1/4-mile offshore in the mid 1970s.…

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Port Kent
2
Port Kent
Heritage Areas and Sites | Historic Districts and Sites

All of Port Kent is in a Historic District. It was settled as a planned community meant to be much like its across-the-lake neighbor, Burlington, Vermont. Several businessmen from Burlington came over to Port Kent in 1816 and built a large…

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Port Kent Beach
3
Port Kent Beach
Recreation | Beaches and Swimming Holes

This sandy beach offers great views of the Green Mountains of Vermont and children's activites.

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Wickham Marsh Wildlife Management Area
4
Wickham Marsh Wildlife Management Area
Natural Areas | Wildlife

This wildlife management area is comprised of over 800 acres of marshland. It includes a network of trails accessible for hiking, snow shoeing, and cross-country skiing. A viewing platform set 200 feet above the marsh offers panoramic views. The…

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Ausable Marsh Wildlife Management Area
5
Ausable Marsh Wildlife Management Area
Natural Areas | Wildlife

Ausable Marsh Wildlife Management Area includes 660 acres within the town of Peru. Over thousands of years, the Ausable River has deposited rich silt and soil at its mouth. The result is an incredibly fertile delta. Today, this delta area is used…

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Ausable Point State Park
6
Ausable Point State Park
Recreation | Beaches and Swimming Holes

Ausable Point State Park protrudes from Route 9 into Lake Champlain and offers a shoreline comprised of natural sand and a gentle slope from many campsites. It borders a wildlife management area that offers a hiking trail, as well as water access…

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Battle of Valcour Site
7
Battle of Valcour Site
Heritage Areas and Sites | Historic Districts and Sites

This is the site of one of the first major naval battles of the Revolutionary War. The American forces,  led by Benedict Arnold, used Valcour Island as a cover from the British until they had the up-wind advantage. After six hours of battle, the British,…

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Hotel Champlain (now Clinton Community College)
8
Hotel Champlain (now Clinton Community College)
Heritage Areas and Sites | Historic Districts and Sites

Once offering the height of luxury on Lake Champlain, this grand hotel was located on Bluff Point, now the site of Clinton Community College. The Hotel Champlain opened in 1890.  Operated by the Delaware & Hudson Railroad Company, it offered…

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Plattsburgh Breakwater
9
Plattsburgh Breakwater
Transportation and Travel Routes | By Water

Completed in 1893, the Plattsburgh Breakwater runs for 1,565 feet. It was constructed to provide protection to Plattsburgh’s waterfront from the strong winds blowing up the lake from the south. It once held two, unoccupied lighthouses. Today each…

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Saranac River
Natural Areas | Geologic Feature

The Saranac River has a long and industrious history. At the mouth of the river were once a series of small islands that were eventually joined by fill as land needs around the Saranac River increased. Penstocks from the dam were located here to…

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Cumberland Bay Battle Site
Heritage Areas and Sites | Historic Districts and Sites

Cumberland Bay--sometimes known also as Plattsburgh Bay--is the site of the main Battle of Plattsburgh during the War of 1812. Here, on September 11, 1814, forces under Commodore McDonough repulsed the last British invasion, after more than two…

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Plattsburgh City Beach
Recreation | Beaches and Swimming Holes

Just minutes from downtown Plattsburgh on the shores of Lake Champlain,…

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Cumberland Bay State Park
13
Cumberland Bay State Park
Recreation | Beaches and Swimming Holes

Cumberland Bay State Park, on the west shore of Lake Champlain, is a very popular day-use area because of its large natural sand beach and picnic grounds with tables and grills. The park has campsites, a playground, and playing fields. Cross-…

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

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Trip Plan Details

Activities:
Driving:
Duration:

In This Trip Plan

1 Port Kent Ferry Landing
2 Port Kent
3 Port Kent Beach
4 Wickham Marsh Wildlife Management Area
5 Ausable Marsh Wildlife Management Area
6 Ausable Point State Park
7 Battle of Valcour Site
8 Hotel Champlain (now Clinton Community College)
9 Plattsburgh Breakwater
10 Saranac River
11 Cumberland Bay Battle Site
12 Plattsburgh City Beach
13 Cumberland Bay State Park