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Monday, June 22, 2015

Saratoga National Historical Park

Kalli and I enjoyed a nice visit to Saratoga National Historical Park this afternoon under beautiful summer conditions.  I'm always up for anything that ties into history, and this place is literally almost surrounded by history.
 We first stopped by the Visitor Center, which is a wealth of information regarding the American Revolution and the Battle of Saratoga specifically.  After paying a nominal fee, we picked up a park map and headed out the back of the center to the beginning of the Wilkinson Trail.  From the very start, the views east over the battlefield are magnificent.
 The Wilkinson Trail is a 4.2 mile trail that winds through mostly open fields and woods, with various stops along the way for historical context.  A short distance along the trail is a nice view back up at the Visitor Center.
 We found the roots on this tree very interesting.
 There are beautiful wild flowers along the trail and in the fields.
 We took our time, enjoying the sights and sounds of a quiet summer afternoon along the way.  After completing the 4.2 miles we hopped in the car and decided to do the 10 mile automobile road tour.  There are ten interpretive stops along the way, each with informative signs and scenic views.
 The road passes through the former lines of the American and British troops.
 The Neilsen Farm sits high atop a hillside and the house was used as General Gates' American headquarters.
The farmhouse has been restored to appear much as it did in the 18th century.
 The auto tour road is very scenic itself, winding through open fields, overlooks and historic battlefields.
A view north from the American River Fortifications at Bemis Heights.
 The site of The great Redoubt is one of the most picturesque in the entire park, with artillery overlooking the Hudson River from high above.  This spot was the site of the strongest of three hilltop forts built by the British.
We really enjoyed a full day exploring the trails and roads of this National Park.  Hiked 4.2 miles, and enjoyed a leisurely drive along the ten miles of paved auto roads on a warm, sunny, summer day.

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