Driving the Byway
The Lakes to Locks Passage travels in a north/south direction for 234 miles of New York State.
From Waterford to Whitehall
- Begin your travels along the Lakes to Locks Passage on US Route 4 in Waterford at the Canal Visitor Center, the junction of the Champlain and Erie Canals where the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers come together.
- Continue your drive north on US Route 4 through Mechanicville, Stillwater and Schuylerville, three of the 19 Lakes to Locks Passage "Waypoint Communities" that are eager to meet and greet visitors along the byway.
- While driving along US Route 4, note that the Champlain Canal is running parallel to the roadway, often just a "stone's throw" away. Most of the canal locks have parks and interpretation about the canal system - keep an eye out for the signs.
- Just north of the Village of Stillwater, watch for the signs to the Saratoga National Historical Park and the Saratoga National Cemetery. As you continue north through Fort Edward, Hudson Falls, Fort Ann, and Whitehall, be sure to stop at the Visitor Centers and park facilities.
- Just north of Fort Ann, take NYS RT 22 east to the museums in Granville to learn about the natural history of the Slate Valley.
- First Spur: Take US Route 4 east of Whitehall to New York/Vermont state line. Return to Whitehall.
From Whitehall to Crown Point
- In Whitehall, the "Birthplace of the US Navy," you will find great parks, restaurants, and shops that open out to the canal.
- Lakes to Locks Passage continues north on NYS RT 22 to Ticonderoga. Throughout Essex County you will find Champlain Valley Heritage Network interpretive signs that have been erected along the byway.
- Look to the west as you approach Ticonderoga. At the top of Mount Defiance the American flag flies at the strategic Military outlook for Lake Champlain, to the east are views of Fort Ticonderoga, and the fort site at Mount Independence in Vermont.
- Second Spur: At the junction with NYS RT 74 East, you can make a right turn to Fort Ticonderoga and the historic cable ferry across the lake, which operates during the summer. Return to Ticonderoga.
- You may also take a left on Montcalm St at the junction with NYS RT 74 East. It will take you into historic downtown Ticonderoga.
- Just north of Ticonderoga, NYS RT 9N and NYS RT 22 join; continue north along NYS 9N/22 to Crown Point.
- When in Crown Point, look for the signs to the Penfield Museum, on Essex County Route 2, or at the junction with NYS RT 903; follow the signs to the Crown Point State Historic Site, Crown Point State Park, and the beautiful Champlain Bridge across the lake.
From Crown Point to the Canadian Border
- Third Spur: Continue north along NYS 9N/22 to Bridge Rd./NYS 185 south of Bulwagga Bay. Follow NYS 185 to the ferry crossing. Return to NYS 9N/22.
- The byway continues north on NYS RT 9N/22 to Port Henry and through Westport. In the winter, note that the lake's bays become "shanty villages" for ice fishing.
- In Westport, NYS RTs 9N and 22 once again separate. NYS RT 9N will head west to Elizabethtown, which is known as the "Gateway to the Adirondacks."
- Continuing north on NYS RT 22 will take you through the pastoral landscape along the Boquet River to the community of Essex.
- The byway will turn left when it hits the lakeshore and the ferry across the lake.
- Traveling north on the byway will take you through Willsboro, up towards the Adirondack Mountains, and on to the junction with US RT 9.
- Turn right and follow US RT 9 through Keeseville and heading towards Plattsburgh. Be sure to stop at Ausable Chasm, and explore its breathtaking views.
- Fourth Spur: Take NYS RT 373 to Port Kent and the scenic ferry across the lake. Return to US RT 9 and continue north to Plattsburgh.
- As you continue north on the byway through Valcour, you see a wonderful view of the broad lake and Valcour Island (boat access only).
- In downtown Plattsburgh, turn right on City Hall Place, and then left on Cumberland Avenue to follow the city's signed "Heritage Trail," which will take you past several historic sites and great views of the lake.
- Cumberland Avenue will join NYS RT 9, where you will turn right and head north again.
- Fifth Spur: At the northern edge of the city, turn east on Cumberland Head Road, which will take you past the Cumberland Head State Park and loop around Cumberland Head, providing outstanding views of the lake.
- Or continue on NYS RT 9 to Point Au Roche Road. Turn right and head east to the Point Au Roche State Park, where you turn north again on Lake Shore Road.
- Follow Lake Shore Road through farmland and open views of the northern lake islands.
- At the junction of NYS RT 9B, turn right and continue north to Rouses Point and the Canadian border.
- Sixth Spur: North of Rouses Point, be sure to take a moment and travel US RT 2 to the Vermont/New York border.