I often hear Essex friends and neighbors reminiscing about the “old days” when Lake Champlain froze solid every year. Those days were well chronicled in now yellowing photographs, skaters populating the foreground and an ice shanty village dotting the frozen horizon. Ice fishing just north of the ferry dock or due east of Beggs Park may be destined to dwell in the realm of nostalgia. And while it would be fun to witness a temporary ice fishing village several hundred feet offshore, many of us weigh the bittersweet loss with the opportunity to maintain year-round center ferry service to Vermont. It’s a necessity for some, a convenience for others and a luxury for all.
Essex resident, Ken Hughes captured this evocative image of Lake Champlain freezing shore-to-shore between Essex and Charlotte for the first time this season. (Thank you, Ken!)
As it turned out, temperatures and wind conspired to open up the lake north of Split Rock in the days after this photograph was taken. And for a little over a week, the ice flirted and fled, day after day. In the morning it was was often skimmed over, but by midday the ice was gone.
Lake Champlain Freezing… Again!
This morning there was ice stretching clear across the lake from Essex to Charlotte. The ferry crunched through, leaving a watery canal from ferry dock to ferry dock, but the rest of the lake is holding. Large wet areas are visible where water has seeped up over the snowy ice, but subfreezing temperatures forecast for the remainder of the week will likely take care of that. Cold days. Cold nights. Minimal wind. These are pretty good conditions for Lake Champlain freezing over.
What do you predict? Ice over? Soon?
Share your predictions in the comments below or on the Essex Facebook page.
And who knows, we may once again see a shanty village dotting the frozen surface of Lake Champlain between Essex and Charlotte…
There is still open water at the widest point of Lake Champlain, but if the cold remains consistent, maybe the main lake will ice over, which hasn’t happened since March 2, 2007. ~ Mary Thill (Adirondack Life Blog, February 4, 2014)
Lake is frozen except ferry channel. ~ Scottie Ginn
- Over 1,000 take a dive into Lake Champlain (wptz.com)
- Daily Doodle: Ice Fishing on Beggs Point by Mary Wade (essexny.us)
- Ice yachts find sailable ice on Lake Champlain (pressrepublican.com)
- Vintage Postcard: Essex, NY from Lake Champlain (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Vintage Postcard: Essex Bay (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Vintage Photo: Lake Champlain from Beggs Park (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Steamboats and The Champlain Canal (essexny.us)
- Essex Aerial View (rosslynredux.com)