Located on the other side of Saratoga Lake (less than 30 minutes down the road from The Gideon Putnam Hotel & Spa) is a fascinating historical attraction, the Saratoga National Historical Park.
Inside of this National Park is the location of the Battles of Saratoga. The massive 4-square-mile battlefield gives a true understanding of the immense size of both battles that took place there, The Battle of Freeman's farm and the Battle of Bemis Heights. Stop by the Visitor Center to pick up a brochure for a self-guided tour of sites as well as see artifacts, maps, timelines and a brief film.
The Battles of Saratoga marked a major turning point in the Revolutionary War and today is considered by many historians to be one of the top battles in world history. This was not only the location of the first major American victory of the Revolutionary War in 1777 but also the first time that a British army had been defeated and forced to surrender. This is known as a crucial American victory that reignited the hopes of independence in the heart of many patriots. Beyond boosting spirits it also secured the recognition and support of many essential foreign powers.
This monument is thought dedicated to the best known traitor in American history, Benedict Arnold, though it at no point names him. Previous to his treachery, Arnold was a celebrated military leader and this monument stands as a tribute to him and his service at the location where his fighting career ended after his leg was severely wounded. It is said that a captured American soldier once told Arnold that if the Americans ever caught him "they will cut off the leg which was wounded when you were fighting so gloriously for the cause of liberty, and bury it with the honors of war, and hang the rest of your body on a gibbet." Arnold is further excised from another nearby monument that has an empty niche next to others that are filled with statues of revolution-era generals.
An additional short 10-minute drive north will take you to the Schuyler House; a restored house/museum where General Philip Schuyler conducted his business affairs. The house was actually burned down by the British after their occupation of the area, but was rebuilt after their surrender, and even includes salvaged glass, nails, locks, and hinges that were recovered from the burned site. The house does not feature running water or electricity, and appears very much the same today as it did when it was built.
While you're in the area, you can also visit the Saratoga Monument, commemorating the American victory in the battle of Saratoga, and climb 155 feet to the top for a 360-degree view of the Hudson River Valley. The monument, located in Victory, NY, is open on Saturdays and Sundays from Memorial Day through Columbus Day.
Whether you are an avid history buff, or just looking for something interesting and unique to do while in the area, a visit to Saratoga National Historical Park is well worth your time.
For more information, please visit the official National Park Service website.