Champlain Bridge / Chimney Point

Champlain Bridge / Chimney Point

Addison, Vermont 05491

Official Website

Tips for Birding

Birdwatching in Vermont, p. 69-70.

The Champlain Bridge is 0.1 miles west of the intersection of VT-17 and VT-125. Bird from below and around the base of the bridge on the Vermont side. The parks on the New York side can offer alternate vantages when birds are too distant or aligned with the sun. There is also a small pull-off on VT-125, 0.3 miles to the east of the bridge.

About this Location

The Chimney Point State Historic Site was established in 1991 as a museum on property purchased by the State of Vermont in 1966 from Mary Barnes. Located on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain at the foot of the Lake Champlain Bridge, Chimney Point explores the history of the area’s three earliest cultures, the Native American, French Colonial, and early American, by showcasing the artifacts each left behind. Enjoy the sweeping porch of the c. 1785 tavern with beautiful views of the lake, seasonal and permanent exhibits, programs for school groups, and a variety of interactive events including the annual Northeast Open Atlatl Championship. The grounds of Chimney Point include a picnic area near the lake, a dock for lake access, and outdoor interpretive signs along a path connected by the sidewalks across the Lake Champlain Bridge to paths at Crown Point, New York.

Recent archaeological and historical research has confirmed Chimney Point is one of the most strategic and historically significant locations on Lake Champlain. It has seen every period of human habitation since the first people arrived nearly 9,000 years ago. Visitors can imagine the millennia of Native Americans fishing, hunting, camping, meeting, and trading here on the bluff or sandy beach. After the first Europeans came in 1609, this site was important for interactions between the Native peoples and Europeans. In 1690, the English watched for the French enemies navigating Lake Champlain. The French took a stand here in 1731, building a fort to keep the English off the lake and blocking easy access to Canada. This was the frontier of New France and the start of long-term French settlement in the region. The site also saw significant military activity during the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. Following the Revolution, in about 1785, the tavern was built and has welcomed visitors ever since.

Chimney Point History Trail is a short walking trail with interpretive signs around the Chimney Point grounds. Topics include evidence of the earliest human habitation 9,000 years ago, Native American history and the use of these strategic locations, the 1731 French fort and French occupation, the 1790s redware pottery of Moses Bradley, archaeology under the 1929 Lake Champlain bridge, and the history and engineering of the bridge.


  • Restrooms on site

  • Roadside viewing

  • Entrance fee

Content from Official Website, Birdwatching in Vermont, and Susan Elliott

Last updated October 8, 2023