A few months before Hudson sailed up the river, French explorer Samuel de Champlain became the first European to discover the lake that now bears his name. De Champlain was a skilled navigator who mapped a large portion of northeastern North America and played an important role in establishing and administering the French colonies in the New World. He founded the settlement of Québec in 1608 and befriended the local Native Americans, who told him about a large lake set within a majestic landscape to the south.
In the summer of 1609, Champlain and a group of Native Americans set off to find the lake. In July they arrived at Lake Champlain, traveled south along its shore and encountered a large group of Iroquois warriors near Ticonderoga. A fight ensued and Champlain used his firearms to defeat and drive off the Iroquois. This brutal skirmish led to years of hostility between the French and the Iroquois.