Today the Hudson flows south thru part of the Great Valley and Lake Champlain fills it to the north. A train ride from Fort Edward will take you over a low divide between the two drainages, skirting the edge of the Adirondacks and then hugging the shore of the big lake towards Canada.
This has been "the way" since the last glacier melted and its icy lakes drained. The Paleoindians may have hunted woolly mammoths here 12000 years ago and by the time Europeans arrived this valley divided the territories of the Iroquoian and Abenaki peoples. A long period of warfare followed with Indians, rangers and uniformed armies stalking the forests and floating the waterways. After the fighting came roads, canals and the railroad.
Ever since we left Africa several million years ago humans have been characterized by the urge to wander and explore. Movement is in our genes and earlier this year we pushed our boundaries out to the edge of the solar system when the New Horizons spacecraft flew past Pluto. It took nine and a half years of travel across many billions of miles but our restless curiosity got us there.