Valcour Island

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Valcour Island
Bluff Point Light on Valcour Island.jpg
Bluff Point Light on Valcour Island. The steel tower at right held the light from 1930 to 2002. In this photo, it holds an Osprey nest.
Valcour Island is located in New York
Valcour Island
Valcour Island
Location of Valcour Island in New York State
Location Lake Champlain
Coordinates 44°37′18″N 73°25′02″W / 44.62167°N 73.41722°W / 44.62167; -73.41722Coordinates: 44°37′18″N 73°25′02″W / 44.62167°N 73.41722°W / 44.62167; -73.41722
Area 968 acres (392 ha)[1]:6
Length 2 mi (3 km)
Width 1 mi (2 km)
Highest elevation 148 ft (45.1 m)[2]
State New York
County Clinton
Towns Peru, Plattsburgh
Owner New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

Valcour Island is a 968-acre (3.92 km2)[1]:6 island in Lake Champlain in Clinton County, New York, United States.[2] The island is mostly in the Town of Peru and partly in the Town of Plattsburgh, southeast of the City of Plattsburgh. It is within the boundaries of the Adirondack Park.


Valcour Island, about two miles (3.2 km) long and one mile (1.6 km) wide, lies by the western shore of Lake Champlain, forming one side of a narrow strait against the New York mainland. Its shores are alternately rocky, craggy outcroppings and sandy beaches. Several protected bays provide anchorages. The Bluff Point Light stands on the western shore. It guided boats through the narrow strait from 1871 until 1930 when it was replaced by a steel tower.

It is the fourth-largest island in Lake Champlain. The only larger Islands are Grand Isle, North Hero and Isle la Motte, all part of Vermont.

The island contains part of an exposed Ordovician fossil reef, and was dedicated as part of the Chazy Fossil Reef National Natural Landmark in 2009.[3]


On October 11, 1776, a naval engagement known as the Battle of Valcour Island between British and United States naval forces under Benedict Arnold was fought in the strait adjacent to the island.

Valcour was the site of several farms and summer homes (and one short-lived utopian community) from the nineteenth century until the 1970s, when New York State completed its purchase of the island. The island is now within the Adirondack Park, and is managed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation as the "Valcour Island Primitive Area".[1]:6


  1. ^ a b c "Lake Champlain Islands Complex - Draft Unit Management Plan" (PDF). NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. August 2015. Retrieved August 7, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "Valcour Island". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved August 7, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Chazy Fossil Reef". National Natural Landmarks Program. National Park Service. June 28, 2012. Retrieved September 16, 2016. 

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