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Old Fort Niagara Offers Winter Program and Snowshoe Trek, Feb. 6

by C. Clark
Tue, Jan 19th 2016 11:00 am
Photo by Lee Gugino.
Photo by Lee Gugino.

(January 19, 2016) Youngstown, N.Y. - Old Fort Niagara invites the public to experience winter life on the 18th century Niagara Frontier on Saturday, February 6, 2016, when it will offer programs and hands-on activities about winter survival, the Great Lakes fur trade, and Native American influences on the fort. The event will also include a snowshoe trek or hike, weather permitting, into the woods to witness a skirmish between re-enactors.


The day's activities are scheduled from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will be suitable for all ages. Visitors are encouraged to dress for the weather as most events will happen outdoors. Demonstrations will happen at the following times:


12:30 p.m. Staying Warm in a Cold World

How did people survive a Niagara winter before electricity and central heat? This program will examine winter clothing, bedding and heating.


1:15 p.m. Great Lakes Trade

Demonstrations and hands-on activities about the workings of the 18th century fur trade on the Great Lakes. Learn about the Great Lakes' earliest business enterprise, examine popular trade goods and furs, and learn about the lives of Native Americans and hivernants (winter traders).


2:00 p.m. Snowshoe Patrol

Join educators from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to learn about the history of the snowshoe. Visitors will be invited to wear a pair of traditional wooden snowshoes (weather permitting) to accompany a patrol into the woods east of the fort. In the woods, watch a skirmish between re-enactors, then enjoy complimentary hot chocolate prepared over an open fire while mingling with re-enactors. Snowshoes are provided first-come, first-served, or bring your own.


Ongoing Activities from 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

The Native American game of Snow Snakes

Make and take a Native American cornhusk doll

Making hot chocolate the 18th century way

Soldier Life - clothing, personal kit, weapons, equipment

Storing, preparing, and cooking food

18th century games


The cost to attend these events is regular admission to the fort ($12/adult, $8/child ages 6-12, free/children 5 and under) and is free to members of Old Fort Niagara.


Old Fort Niagara would like to thank the many volunteers who participate in this event and share their knowledge with the public, including Brant's Volunteers, Hoisington Rangers, New York Provincials and Shroth's New York Company re-enacting units.


Old Fort Niagara (www.oldfortniagara.org) is located in Fort Niagara State Park in Youngstown, N.Y., which is 14 miles north of Niagara Falls via the Robert Moses Parkway North. The fort is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (admissions end at 4:30 p.m.). Old Fort Niagara is a Registered National Historic Landmark and New York State Historic Site operated by the Old Fort Niagara Association (a not-for-profit organization) in cooperation with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.