Begin your travels along Lakes to Locks Passage "The Great Northeast Journey" on US Route 4 in Waterford at the Canal Visitor Center, the junction of the Champlain and Erie Canals where the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers come together. Continue your drive north on US Route 4 through Mechanicville and Stillwater, two of the 16 Lakes to Locks Passage "Waypoint Communities" that are eager to meet and greet visitors along the Byway. While driving along US Route 4, note that the Champlain Canal is running parallel to the roadway, often just a "stone's throw" away.
Most of the Canal locks have parks and interpretation about the Canal system - keep an eye out for the signs. Be sure to note the junction of US Route 32 in Schuylerville, and the signs to Saratoga National Historical Park and Saratoga National Cemetery. as you continue north through Fort Edward, Hudson Falls, Fort Ann, and Whitehall, be sure to stop at the Visitor Centers and park facilities. In Whitehall, the "Birthplace of the US Navy," US RT 4 heads east to Vermont, but Lakes to Locks Passage continues north on NYS RT 22 to Ticonderoga.
You will find Champlain Valley Heritage Network interpretive signs that have been erected along the byway. Look to the west as you approach Ticonderoga. At the top of Mount Defiance the American flag flies at the strategic military outlook for Lake Champlain, to the east are views of Fort Ticonderoga, and the fort site at Mount Independence in Vermont.
At the junction with NYS RT 74 East, you can make a right turn to Fort Ticonderoga and the historic cable ferry to Vermont, which operates during the summer; or a left turn on Montcalm Street will take you into historic downtown Ticonderoga. Just north of Ticonderoga, NYS RT 9N and NYS RT 22 join, continue north along NYS 9N/22 to Crown Point. When in Crown Point, look for the signs to the Penfield Museum, on Essex County Route 2, or at the junction with NYS RT 903, follow the signs to the Crown Point State Historic Site, Crown Point State Park and the beautiful Champlain Bridge to Vermont. The byway continues north on NYS RT 9N/22 from Port Henry to Westport.
In Westport NYS RTs 9N and 22 once again separate. Head north on RT 22 through the pastoral communities of Wadhams and Whallonsburg along the Boquet River to the community of Essex. The byway will turn left when it hits the lakeshore and ferry crossing to Vermont. Traveling north on the byway will take you through Willsboro, up towards the Adirondack Mountains, and on to the junction with US RT 9. Turn right and follow US RT 9 through Keeseville to Plattsburgh. Be sure to stop at Ausable Chasm, and explore its breathtaking views. As you continue north on the byway through Valcour, you see a wonderful view of the broad lake and Valcour Island (boat access only).
In downtown Plattsburgh, turn right on City Hall Place, and then left on Cumberland Avenue to follow the city's signed "Heritage Trail," which will take you past several historic sites and great views of the lake. Cumberland Avenue will join NYS RT9, where you will turn right and head north again. at the northern edge of the city, turn east on Cumberland Head Road, which will take you past the Cumberland Head State Park, and will loop around Cumberland Head, providing outstanding views of the lake. Or continue on NYS RT 9 to Point Au Roche Road. Turn right and head east to the Point Au Roche State Park, where you turn north again on Lake Shore Road. Follow Lake Shore Road through farmland and open views of the northern lake islands of Vermont. at the junction of NYS RT 9B, turn right and continue north to Rouses Point and the Canadian border.