Virtual Tour Stop 3

Two Red canons overlooking a misty hudson river valley
Posted on Bemus Heights, two cannons on red field carriages overlook a misty Hudson River Valley.

Saratoga National Historical Park


Bemus Heights

Here, on the ridge called Bemus Heights, American soldiers constructed formidable defenses to establish a choke-hold on the Hudson River Valley and prevent the further progress of the southward-invading British Army.

Historical map of Bemus Heights. North is to the upper left, the hudson is on the bottom right of the map.
Map of American positions from Bemus Heights to the east (right) inland along a ridge known as "The Heights" (left).  The Hudson River is visible to the far right.

Saratoga National Historical Park


American cannon positions on Bemus Heights could hit the Hudson River and the flood plain. Fortified lines on the flood plain controlled the river road. Rough terrain on the east side of the river prevented the British from moving that way. And the "L" shaped fortified line stretching to the west and then to the south protected the American camp.

The combined American use of terrain and defensive structures forced the British to move inland to the west - a move that precipitated the Battles of Saratoga.

Cannon on Bemus Heights overlooking the Hudson River Valley
Cannon on Bemus Heights overlooks the Hudson River Valley.

Saratoga National Historical Park

This is essentially the view American soldiers on top of Bemus Heights had overlooking the Hudson River Valley. Any British forces in the valley or on the river would be easy targets.

Bemus Heights Fortification
Image-enhanced uphill view of American River Fortifications at Bemus Heights.

Saratoga National Historical Park

Had the British ever made it this far south, this is part of the view they would have faced: multiple American cannon positioned behind formidable wooden defenses and trained on the valley below.

Last updated: October 5, 2022

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Mailing Address:

648 Route 32
Stillwater, NY 12170


(518) 670-2985
Saratoga National Historical Park information desk available daily from 9am - 5pm. If no one is available to take your call, please leave a message, and someone will return your call as soon as possible.

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