State wins award for Mount Independence trail

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(Host) Historians say Vermont has done an exceptional job at making one of its key historic sites accessible, even to people with disabilities.

The state Division for Historic Preservation has won an “award of merit” from the American Association of State and Local History.

The recognition comes for a new interpretive trail that opened last year at Mount Independence, the former Revolutionary War fort.

Administrator Elsa Gilbertson says the trail was designed with gentle grades and a compact surface so strollers, walkers and wheelchairs can use it.

(Gilbertson) “This trail is really, also, a very large outdoor museum exhibit, in a way. It’s the real place where history happened. So we tried to with this trail bring all aspects of it to life by our interpretive signs.”

(Host) The signs were also recognized in the award.

Using information from diaries and other documents that have survived, the signs describe the activities that took place throughout the old fort.

The 350-acre site sits on a peninsula that extends into southern Lake Champlain. The fort played an important role in preventing the British from invading the new United States from the north during the Revolution.

Gilbertson says visitors get a sense of that history on the trail.

(Gilbertson) “It has great views of Lake Champlain and Fort Ticonderoga and Mount Defiance and then wanders by quite a few archaeological sites.”

(Host) This weekend, the Mount Independence site will host historical reenactments of the events that took place there during the Revolution.

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