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Saratoga was no less than the turning point in the American Revolution. In 1777 American troops defeated the British army -- considered to be one of the most significant military victories in history -- and forced its surrender on October 17, prompting France to recognize American independence and sign on as its ally. Today, this historical area is a national park, which comprises the 4-square-mile battlefield in Stillwater, the General Philip Schuyler House, and the Saratoga Monument in the nearby village of Victory. A 9 1/2-mile battlefield tour road traces American defensive positions, battle sites, and British defensive positions, with a series of 10 interpretive stops along the way. Also on the grounds is the 4-mile Wilkinson Trail for hiking and cross-country skiing. Living-history demonstrations are presented in summer months.

The Schuyler House, located 8 miles north in Schuylerville, was the residence of General Philip Schuyler. Burned by the British, the present reconstruction was built after the American victory. The Saratoga Monument is a 155-foot memorial that marks Burgoyne's surrender. Plan on several hours if you go to all the sites.