Saratoga National Historical Park was the site of two 1777 Revolutionary War battles at Freeman’s Farm on September 19 and Bemis Heights on October 7, which together are considered the turning point in the war. Following this decisive victory when 6,000 British soldiers surrendered, the French King officially entered the war on the side of the Americans, providing the equivalent of $1.4-billion in aid by war’s end.
Museum, film, Neilson Farm, Boot Monument, Bemis Heights, the Great Redoubt
Start at the National Park Service (NPS) visitor center where displays describe the two separate battles that took place here. The 10-mile driving tour has ten stops that provide more details. Do not look for Saratoga, New York on maps today, it was renamed Schuylerville in honor of a Revolutionary War general. Nonetheless, since 1883 it has been home to the 155-foot tall Saratoga Monument commemorating these battles.
There are a few short trails accessed along the driving tour, but you should at least plan to park and climb the stairs at Breymann Redoubt. At the top, an unmarked monument draped with a boot commemorates the leg injury suffered in the fighting by General Benedict Arnold, whose name would go down in history synonymous with his later traitorous actions downstream at West Point.
The American defensive location at Bemis Heights was chosen by Colonel Thaddeus Kosciuszko, a Polish engineer serving in the Continental Army, to block the British army from moving south down the Hudson River. It still provides commanding views of the valley.
All roads paved
Not far north on Interstate 87, Moreau Lake State Park offers a campground with running water.
Explore More – Although France had not officially entered the war at the time, how many muskets had they donated to the American cause by the beginning of the Battles of Saratoga?
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