—Brigadier Johann Friedrich Specht
13 October 1777
In 1777, the British planned to crush American resistance in the Revolutionary War by marching an army south from Canada to Albany, NY, sweeping all opposition in their path. They almost succeeded, but were stopped in the Battles of Saratoga just 7 miles south of Victory Woods. Beaten in battle, the British hoped to escape back to Canada with the remnants of their army.
Retreating north to this area (present-day villages of Victory and Schuylerville), they halted and built defenses for protection against the pursuing American army. Surrounded, starved, exhausted, and outnumbered 3 to 1, the British surrendered on October 17, 1777.
Here, in Victory Woods, is where the largest part of that army made its last stand. For one week British and loyalist American men, women, and children suffered helplessly in the filth of cold mud, excrement, and dead animals. They had little to eat and no hope of getting home.
The American victory at Saratoga was not an ordinary one—it completely changed the nature of the Revolutionary War in favor of the United States, which finally won its fight for independence in 1783.
It was in Victory Woods that British misery and depression turned into American victory and success.
Although the retreating British army was here for only one week, these grounds should have been a treasure-trove of Revolutionary War artifacts. Yet, archaeologists working in 2005 found nothing left behind from the 2,500 British and loyalist Americans who were stationed here.
Sadly, over the years, Victory Woods has been subjected to illegal ‘relic-hunting.’ This collecting of artifacts has robbed us all of information which contributes to our American Heritage. The scientific archaeological investigation here was severely compromised as a result of this looting activity.
Duration depends on the visitor - we encourage you to spend as much time as you like, grounds are open sunrise to sunset.
All are welcome!
Pets are allowed as long as they are leashed
Located in the Village of Victory, Victory Woods is accessible from Saratoga Monument, which is located on Burgoyne Rd. (County Route 338). Handicapped parking for Victory Woods is located at the end of Monument Dr.
Victory Woods is about 7 miles north of the battlefield unit of Saratoga National Historical Park. It is open daily, sunrise to sunset (trails are not maintained in winter).
Trails are not shoveled or plowed in winter.
Grounds are open sunrise to sunset
Restrooms: two partially accessible outdoor restrooms are available at the Saratoga Monument parking area - the stalls are wide enough, but doors into the restrooms are not automatic. There are no restrooms available from the Monument Drive access to Victory Woods Trail.
Parking: two spaces available at Saratoga Monument parking area. Handicapped parking for Victory Woods is located at the end of Monument Drive - two spaces are available here as well.
Walkway from Saratoga Monument: a winding, paved path makes its way from the parking area up a hill to the base of the Saratoga Monument where the Victory Woods Trailhead is located. From the Monument, the path to Victory Woods cuts through a local cemetery whose grounds consist of mowed grass and narrow crushed stone areas where vehicles are permitted to drive.
Walkway from Monument Drive Access Point: The path is made of plastic lumber and poly-coated pea gravel and is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.
The Victory Woods Trail received the National Park Service 2010 Architectural Design Project Achievement Award.
Last updated: January 18, 2017