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Explore the Turning Point Trail: The 1777 Campaign of Major General John Burgoyne

On Your Own
Burgoyne's Surrender by John Trumbull. Courtesy of Architect of the Capitol.

Follow in the footsteps of charismatic British General John Burgoyne, whose fateful decisions led to the turning point of the American Revolution. It’s a story of battles, ambushes, smoldering ambitions, disastrous miscommunication, fierce allegiance, true love, venomous snakes, and narrow escapes—all with courteous gentlemanly conduct.

The Turning Point Trail guides you through a storied landscape, illustrating the events that led up to the Battles of Saratoga, which many historians have called the “turning point of the American Revolution.” Britain’s goal was to control the interconnected waterway from Montreal to New York City, thereby isolating New England, the seedbed of the Revolution, from the rest of the continent. By following in the footsteps of Burgoyne, appropriately named “Gentleman Johnny” by his troops, you will discover the stunning landscape between Canada and Albany.

You can accessthe full audio tour and web content here.

To access the audio and the rest of the content for the Turning Point Trail Driving Tour,click here.

Best Times to Go

Summer and Early Fall. You can explore the trail anytime, but several destinations are only open between Memorial Day (Last Monday of May) and Labor Day (First Monday of September).

What About this Experience is Distinctive or Authentic to the Character of the Region?

This is no boring history lesson. It is a story about the land and the people who traveled through the New York wilderness in the summer and fall of 1777. At local landmarks, museums, and historic sites, you’ll discover that the landscape around you is full of gripping stories. By listening to the dramatic audio and reading the complementary web content, today’s peaceful bays and abandoned forts will come alive with the sights and sounds of 1777.

The events that transpired triggered a chain of events that changed the course of world history. The New York Times called it the most important battle in 1,000 years. The outcome of Burgoyne's campaign was the turning point of the Revolutionary War, which gave rise to the United States and resulted in the world powers and global struggles we know today.

What You Should Know Before You Go

You’ll be using 21st-century navigational tools to travel into the 18th century. The audio journey and supporting web material have been researched and written by Lakes to Locks Passage staff and reviewed by local experts and historians. The audio driving tour is intended for a general audience, but for those who want to dig deeper into the rich history, just look for the “Learn More” links to find first-person narratives and in-depth articles.

You can access the full audio tour and web content here.

Travel Tools

It is suggested that at least two days be set aside for this trip. This will allow you time to stop and explore each site. We recommend traveling from Clinton Community College to Fort Ticonderoga on the first day, spending the night in Ticonderoga, and continuing to Saratoga the following day.

Starting Point: Clinton Community College (136 Clinton Point Drive, Plattsburgh, NY 12901)
Ending Point: Saratoga Surrender Site (133 Schuyler Street, Schuylerville, NY 12871)
Total Stops: 32
Total driving distance: 160 miles
Total Audio Time: 4 hours, 20 minutes

You can also follow along the Turning Point Trail with the help of the book below--The Waterways of War: Turning Point of the American Revolution--a traveler's guidebook. It is available for purchase or download. by clicking here.

Waterways of War: Turning Point
Waterways of War: Turning Point


Check the fee schedule for individual sites and attractions.