What to do in Old Fort Niagara State Historic Site

Throughout its history, Old Fort Niagara was occupied by France, Great Britain and the United States. Located at the mouth of the Niagara River, it controlled access to the Great Lakes and the westward route to the heartland of the continent. The fort was an active military site until the last army units were withdrawn in 1963. Today, visitors will see the oldest buildings in the Great Lakes region, living history programs, exhibits and special events.

The history of Old Fort Niagara spans more than 300 years. The fort was occupied by three nations: France, Great Britain and the United States. Old Fort Niagara, located at the mouth of the Niagara River, controlled access to the Great Lakes and the westward route to the heartland of the continent. Visitors to the fort today will see the oldest buildings in the Great Lakes region, living history programs, exhibits and special events.

The French established the first post in 1679 and built the impressive "French Castle" in 1726. It still stands today. Britain gained control of the fort in 1759 during the French and Indian War and maintained control throughout the American Revolution, yielding it to the United States in 1796. The British captured the fort during the War of 1812 until being ceded again to the United States in 1815 after which time it served as a peaceful border post. Old Fort Niagara served as a training station and active barracks from the Civil War until the last army units were withdrawn in 1963.

Recreation
Old Fort Niagara offers demonstrations, period costumed interpreters, educational services, manicured gardens, a gift shop, group tours, guided and self-guided tours, picnicking, scenic views and re-enactments. The historic site is open November through March, 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. April and October, 9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. May and September 9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., weekends until 6:30 p.m. June, 9:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m., weekends until 7:30 p.m. July and August 9:00 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. daily. Admission is $6.75 adults, $5.50 senior citizens, $4.50 children, children under 6 are admitted free. Group rates available on request.

Location
Old Fort Niagara State Historic Site is located at the mouth of the Niagara River along the banks of Lake Ontario, just north of Youngstown.

Climate
The historic site experiences average January temperatures above 22 degrees Fahrenheit (above -6 degrees Celsius). It is important to note that this area receives some of the heaviest snowfalls in the nation. Summer temperatures average around 72 degrees Fahrenheit (around 22 degrees Celsius). Precipitation in the region ranges from less than 36 inches to approximately 40 inches of rain and snowmelt.

Address
P.O. Box 169
Youngstown, NY 14174

Phone: 716-745-7611

Fax: 716-745-9141

  • Old Fort Niagara State Historic Site Travel Q&A