TICONDEROGA — The owners of the Ticonderoga Ferry have just announced they won’t reopen for the 2020 season due to coronavirus restrictions on tourism and the ferry’s operation.
The independent cable ferry between Ticonderoga and Shoreham, Vermont, is owned by Alison and Michael Matot, who determined the bistate COVID-19 restrictions and rules, coupled with a lack of tourism, would make it difficult to go back into operation this season.
The ferry has operated continuously between the two states since 1759.
“Unfortunately, we have decided not to open for the 2020 season,” Alison Matot told the Press-Republican. “Our plan is to reopen in 2021.”
Most of the ferry’s passengers are visitors to the area who take the trip to see Lake Champlain and head for points in Vermont or the Adirondacks.
“Without having tourism open in many areas, we know we won’t be able to make ends meet,” she said. “We also want to keep our employees safe; most of them are retirees and it is important to us to keep them healthy.
“And not knowing what is going to happen for the rest of the season, we just felt like it was the best decision. We are very sad and will miss everyone but hope they understand.”
She said they gave it a lot of thought and decided this was the way to go.
The ferry normally opens in late April or early May, depending on weather conditions, and closes in October. The trip took about 15 minutes at what is one of the most narrow sections of Lake Champlain.
Lord Jeffery Amherst, commander of British troops in the French and Indian War, established the ferry crossing to connect forts on Lake Champlain with those on the Connecticut River.
The ferry is currently out of the water in dry dock and will remain there until next year, Matot said.
“Hopefully, next year we will be COVID-19 free and crossing the lake again,” she said.
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