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Description
Ten miles southeast of Saratoga Springs on SR 32/US 4, the Battlefield of Saratoga National Historical Park embraces partially wooded country along the west side of the Hudson River. In addition to the 3,200-acre battlefield, the park is made up of three other areas: the Schuyler House in Schuylerville and the Saratoga Monument and Victory Woods in Victory Mills. The park commemorates the Battles of Saratoga, fought on Sept. 19 and Oct. 7, 1777, in which Gen. Horatio Gates' American forces defeated Gen. John Burgoyne's British forces.
On Oct. 17, 1777, Burgoyne surrendered to the Americans near Schuylerville (Old Saratoga), thus preventing British control of the Hudson and the east-west split of the Colonies that would have ensued. This victory is generally accepted as the turning point of the Revolutionary War. Eight miles north of the battlefield stands the Saratoga Monument commemorating the American victory. The Saratoga Monument, a 155-foot-tall granite obelisk, marks the approximate location where part of the British army was held under siege the week before their surrender. The monument overlooks the Hudson River Valley as well as three mountain ranges: the Adirondacks, the Catskills and the Taconics.
Benedict Arnold, second in command during the Sept. 19 battle, led the October attack on the Balcarres Redoubt then galloped through cross fire to join the assault on the Breymann Redoubt, where he was wounded for a second time in the left leg. Ironically, just 3 years later he would attempt to turn West Point over to the British. The Boot Monument at Breymann Redoubt documents Arnold's heroics on the day of his injury.
A visitor center on Fraser Hill, the highest point in the park, affords a view of the battlefield and surrounding area and offers an orientation film. A museum contains battleground artifacts, including surrender cannons.
A self-guiding, 10-mile driving tour road through the battlefield has 10 designated historical points of interest. The trail starts at the visitor center. Costumed interpreters present living-history programs at the Neilson House, the generals' headquarters during the battles, from late May to late August as staffing permits. There are more than four miles of hiking trails in the park. Trail maps and information about trail conditions are available at the visitor center.
Picnicking is permitted. Allow a full day. Visitor center daily 9-5; closed Jan. 1, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Tour road open Apr.-Nov. (weather permitting). Park admission and visitor center free. Tour road $5 fee per private vehicle; $3 on foot, bicycle or horseback; under 16 free. Tour road and trail charges are good for 7 days. An annual pass is available for $10. Phone (518) 670-2985 or (518) 664-9821, ext. 224.
GEM Description
The turning point of the Revolutionary War took place here in 1777.
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Current Location: Saratoga National Historical Park, New York