Battlefield Visits, Revolutionary War Edition: Saratoga

From my travels, June 6, 2021.

The day after we visited Fort Ticonderoga, we got to see the site of a British surrender during the Revolutionary War: Saratoga National Historical Park.

At the time of our visit, the visitors center was closed for renovations, so we had to settle for a picnic table on the back porch staffed by NPS volunteers. They were very helpful in getting us oriented, including give our crew maps and Junior Ranger books. My brother and his girls had never done a Junior Ranger program before, so it was fun to be able to do that together – even if it did bring out a little bit of competition between all of us. 🙂

The scenery at Saratoga is unbelievable. - <i>Photo by the author</i>
The scenery at Saratoga is unbelievable. – Photo by the author

After a little bit of discussion, we planned our route: a truncated version of the standard auto tour.

  • Stop 1: Freeman Farm Overlook – The views here were awesome.
  • Stop 2: Neilson Farm – A helpful volunteer was manning the house here and helped orient us.
  • Stop 3: American River Fortifications – Really incredible views here.
  • Stop 6: Balcarres Redoubt
  • Stop 7: Breymann’s Redoubt – The “Boot Monument” was the highlight here.
  • Stop 9: The Great Redoubt – If you can believe it – even more incredible views!
The boys and I posing in front of the "Boot Monument" commemorating he-who-shall-not-be-named. - <i>Photo by the author</i>
The boys and I posing in front of the “Boot Monument” commemorating he-who-shall-not-be-named. – Photo by the author

There were two Revolutionary War battles that took place here only a few weeks apart: the Battle of Freeman’s Farm, and the Battle of Bemis Heights.

It seems that this park – like Kennesaw Mountain – gets used mainly for the hiking and biking trails, though it was certainly not as crowded as Kennesaw was during our time there.

We lingered a while at Stop 9, using the picnic tables to finish working on our Junior Ranger books. The kids all had a good time with that, and we rewarded at the end with a very cool wooden badge.

View of the Hudson River valley from Stop 9. Just lovely. - <i>Photo by the author</i>
View of the Hudson River valley from Stop 9. Just lovely. – Photo by the author

We continued south to one more historical stop on our road trip.

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