How Lake Champlain Got It’s Name

Lake Champlain in the Adirondacks is a great spot if you’re looking for some action and adventure. The lake is huge, 1,269 km² in fact. In the limited time I had there I only managed to see the Point au Roche State Park, where I cycled my way round and made this video to answer the question of how Lake Champlain got its name. Bear with.

Samuel Champlain, and a lake

Champy the Lake Monster

plesiosaur lake champlainLike all good lakes Lake Champlain is believed to have a monster, affectionately known as Champy by the locals. Apparently he’s a huge creature with a long neck and thick body – a bit like the Loch Ness Monster up in Scotland. Champy is 15-50 feet long with four fins and a long tail – just like the extinct plesiosaur you can see pictured.

Yeah, he looks scary but I was pretty confident I could fend him off if needs be, so I didn’t worry.

How Lake Champlain Got It's Name

Of course there’s a lot of speculation as to whether he actually exists or not, but if you want to read the Champy debate, this site makes a good case.

Both New York and Vermont have protected Champy under the endangered species act, just in case.

Things to do round Lake Champlain

We met up with local City of Plattsburgh Historian John Krueger who dressed and acted the part in a 1700s-style waistcoat and tails to show us round just a small area of the huge Lake Champlain. He pointed out the barracks and where the important people of the American Revolution lived. He also bought us here, to the oldest house in Plattsburgh, built in 1797.

Lake Champlain John

History lovers may get a little over excited in the region, but as someone who can barely remember what happened yesterday and didn’t do any American history in school, the names, places and events escape me. All the more reason for you to go and check the area out.

Good job there was plenty for outdoorsy action lovers to do round Lake Champlain too. At the Point au Roche State Park you could cycle, paddle board, go on a boat ride or even just play on the beach and build a sandcastle or two.

How Lake Champlain Got it's Name

I chose to go on a hike with Ken Adams, above. He’s the President of the ‘Friends of Point au Roche State Park’ and knows everything there is to know about the trail. I think I was most excited when he demonstrated how to decipher Poison Ivy from the rest of the foliage, I’m now a Poison Ivy Trail Warrior.

My cycle ride from the video was next, followed by a tasty lunch from My Cup of Tea. Sandwiches, wraps, crisps and then, he cake pops for dessert were moist, delightful and calorie free (or not). I had two.

Want to read more about the Adirondacks? 

I was a guest of ROOST ADK in the Adirondacks – you can find out more about the trip, and see the rest of my coverage at 

First Ever Bikini Flyfishers at the Hungry Trout Resort
Entrepreneurialism in the Adirondacks and Thousand Islands


  1. by Cailin on August 29, 2015  2:23 pm Reply

    Oh Champy! I wish we had gotten to go on a hunt for him! How awesome would that of been if we were the ones to spot him! Her? lol

    • by Vicky on August 31, 2015  9:25 am Reply

      That would've been awesome. We could've VINEd him, snap chatted him, maybe Craig could've even podcasted him. We woulda been all over it :)

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