RoadTrip America

Routes, Planning, & Inspiration for Your North American Road Trip

A Revolutionary War Road Trip on NY Route 5: Spend a Revolutionary Day Along the Historic Mohawk Turnpike, by Raymond C. Houghton

A Revolutionary War Road Trip
The Fourth of July is a perfect time to grab one of Raymond Houghton's revolutionary war one-day road trip guides and hit the history trail. An avid "freelance" historian, Houghton has written eight guide books that trace significant battles and events dating back to the Revolutionary War period. Even though they're packed with extensive research, each of these guide books is small enough to fit easily into a vehicle's glove box. While the price at $12.99 might seem a little high for a 150-page guidebook, there is no question that they are full of information useful to anyone seeking to explore historical sites while taking road trips through New England, New York, and Pennsylvania.

In A Revolutionary War Road Trip on NY Route 5: Spend a Revolutionary Day Along the Historic Mohawk Turnpike, Houghton guides roadtrippers on a full-day excursion in New York that starts at Fort Ontario in Oswego and ends 209.8 miles later at the Schenectady Stockade in Schenectady. Along the way, we learn the key details of British General Burgoyne's failed invasion campaign. In 1777, he attempted to subdue and capture key settlements in the Mohawk valley. The author provides text from the historical markers along the route together with photos and his own interpretative narrative of the battles and engagements. Until I read this book, I was unaware of the significance of battle at Oriskany, and I certainly did not know that it was one of the bloodiest conflicts of the entire war.

The detailed driving instructions provided for each section of the trip are among its best features. In most cases, the author provides information for just about every tenth of a mile throughout the day's journey. In addition, the author points out scenic views that one might miss while following such careful and frequent instructions. Although the focus of the book covers events that happened over two centuries ago, the author does a great job of providing tips that current travelers will find useful, including suggestions for local dining and lodging along the way.

The other books in this innovative series are A Revolutionary War Road Trip on US Route 4, which covers the British invasion along a route from Castleton, Vermont to Albany, New York. US Route 7 includes discussion about the capture of Fort Ticonderoga and starts in Pittsfield, Massachusetts and ends in Burlingont, Vermont. US Route 20 also begins in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. It includes stops at Concord, where official hostilities began, and it ends with a walking tour of Boston's historic colonial sites. US Route 9 traces historical events on from Kings Ferry, New York, to Saratoga Springs.US Route 9W starts in New York City, visits West Point and eventually reaches Kingston, New York. US Route 202 starts in Maryland at the overlook at Elk Neck, where British forces landed during their successful Chesapeake Bay offensive, swings by Valley Forge, and ends at Philadelphia. There is also a river cruise in this series. A Revolutionary War Cruise on the Champlain Canal begins at Bethlehem, New York, and goes up and down the channel visiting many of the historic battlegrounds located along the canal.

All the routes in this series have been conveniently structured to enable roadtrippers to visit all of the specified sites and locations in one day of travel. What better way to celebrate the founding of these United States than by taking a revolutionary war road trip? These books turn history into a scenic drive!

Mark Sedenquist

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