Knox Trail

Knox Trail is the name given to the route that Henry Knox took when he transported artillery from Fort Ticonderoga to Boston during the Revolutionary War.  The artillery was used by George Washington and his troops in Boston to take Dorchester Heights and force the British to evacuate Boston.

History

Henry Knox proposed that he could lead an expedition and transport the guns from Fort Ticonderoga to Boston.  George Washington accepted his proposal.  On November 16, 1775, Henry Knox and his brother William left Cambridge.  After a brief stop in New York City, they arrived at Fort Ticonderoga on December 5, 1775.  Once at Fort Ticonderoga, they retrieved 59 pieces of artillery weighing a total of 120,000 pounds. 

The plan was to travel over Lake George from the northern corner to the southern tip.  Once they reached the southern tip of the lake they would go over land through Albany and east into Massachusetts.  Knox hoped that the trail would be frozen to allow the guns to slide on sleds over land.  More importantly he needed the Hudson river to freeze so he could cross. 

Knox succeeded in bringing the guns to Framingham, but not without difficulties.  On Lake George the winds worked against his team throughout the trip.  Through excessive rowing and the sinking of one of the boats, it took 8 days to move from across Lake George.  Once on land, unseasonably warm weather made it difficult to pull the artillery.  There were also difficulties crossing the Hudson.  First, the needed to wait for the weather to turn cold enough for the river to freeze.  Then as they crossed one of the guns sank into the river but was recovered with help from people in Albany.  Once the expedition started to move east, people would come out to see the parade.  The team finally reached Framingham on January 24, 1776.  

Mile Markers

In 1926, the states of Massachusetts and New York agreed to start a project to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the passage of the guns from Fort Ticonderoga to Cambridge, MA.  The states erected mile markers to note the passage of the guns.  The mile markers still stand today.  The map below shows the exact locations of markers that I was able to identify using Google Maps. 


View Knox Trail in a larger map