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Interpretive Guide to The Narrows

By Water
Narrows Boaters Guide


Lake Champlain lies at the heart of an inland water route running up the Hudson River from New York City and out the Richelieu River of Quebec to Montreal. The Abenaki Indians call the lake Bitawbagw “lake between;” the Mohawk call it Kanyatarakwá:ronte’, “lake that is a gate to the country.”

Native peoples have been using the lake for travel, fishing, and trade for millennia. European armies fought for control of the lake, and American laborers dug canals to carry the valley’s raw materials to distant markets.America’s first tourists came here to see the awesome landscape and breathe the fresh air.

The Narrows of Lake Champlain embraces all chapters of Lake Champlain’s history. The impressive Palisades reveal the oldest rocks in the valley. Split Rock was an important Native place long before it played a part in international treaties. Shipwrecks recall the time when everything moved by boat. Miles of shoreline have been set aside for the perpetual
enjoyment of all. Use this guide to explore the special places and learn some of their stories.

While you explore, practice the “leave no trace” principle of outdoor recreation--never throw litter overboard and dispose of waste properly. Remember to clean your boat to prevent the
spreading of aquatic nuisance species. A clean and healthy lake benefits everyone!

The guide begins and ends by Westport in Northwest Bay.