The Old Base

Old Stone Barracks

Plattsburgh has a long military history starting with the Battle of Valcour during the American Revolution and ending with the closing of Plattsburgh Air Force Base in September 1995. Plattsburgh’s strategic location served three branches of our nation’s military on water, land and air for over 200 years. A key moment in Plattsburgh’s military history came when the local militia had to fight off a British invasion in September 1814. Prior to American involvement in the First World War, the city gave rise to the movement for civilian military preparedness, which became known as the “Plattsburg Idea,” predecessor to today’s ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps). The former Plattsburgh Barracks, was in active use from 1815 to 1995, and its historic structures and the picturesque grounds are now open to the public. The “Old Base” is now an important part of the city, with diversified housing, a museum campus, a city park and lakeshore recreation trail. Two retired jets mark the entrance from US Route 9.

Old Base Dock

Located at the end of Oklahoma Avenue off Ohio Avenue. Cross the railroad tracks and there is some parking at the top of the hill. A picnic area and shelter are near the parking area. Access to the beach and dock is limited to walking or bicycle down a steep hill since after Tropical Storm Irene, the roadway was made impassable to motor vehicles (~1.4 mi. to Crab)

Nearby places of interest include museums on the Old Base Museum Campus, the Clinton County Historical Association, Champlain Valley Transportation Museum, and the Battle of Plattsburgh museums. The Rotary Club Park and the Terry Gordon Bike Path are located near the dock. Nearby places for food include two breweries, fast food restaurants and a supermarket.


People probably pass right by this location as it requires you to drive over a short bridge above the train tracks to get to this dock. This is an excellent location to launch from to head south to Crab Island. There is limited space to park at the launch site so it’s best to park on the landing after passing over the bridge.

The Old Base Museum Campus Points of Interest

Clinton County Historical Association and Museum 98 Ohio Ave., Plattsburgh, NY 12903 518-561-0340 Located on Plattsburgh’s “Old Base Museum Campus” in the United States Oval Historic District. The museum interprets the history of Clinton County, the Revolutionary War Battle of Valcour, and serves as caretaker for the Bluff Point Lighthouse on Valcour Island State Park.

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