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Car ferries chug across the often placid, sometimes turbulent waters of Lake Champlain from Burlington to Port Kent, New York, between late May and early October, and it's a good way to cut out miles of driving if you're heading west toward the Adirondacks. It's also a great way to see the lake, leaves, and mountains on a pleasant, inexpensive 1-hour cruise. Reservations are taken for the Burlington route only, which operates 10 to 20 times per day when it's running. Travelers are advised to make reservations at least a day in advance. Two other ferries also cross the lake -- much more quickly, in just 12 to 20 minutes -- linking Grande Isle, Vermont, with Plattsburgh, New York; and Charlotte, Vermont, with Essex, New York. (Note: Credit cards are not accepted for fares on these two shorter rides.) Between June and mid-October, narrated, musically accompanied, or dinner-inclusive lake cruises are also offered by the ferry company; call tel. 802/864-9669 for details. Note that these three ferries are unaffiliated with the "cable ferry" at Ticonderoga, New York, a fourth Champlain crossing.