On Saturday, Jan. 14, visitors to Old Fort Niagara will have the opportunity to experience life during the winter of 1757 as local re-enactors and educators from New York State Parks team up to present the "2012 Snowshoe Patrol." The highlight of the event will be a winter hike and woods battle for program participants. In addition, activities depicting winter life from 1750-1815 will take place inside the fort from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.
At 1:30 p.m. staff from New York State Parks will present a hands-on history of the snowshoe from the 17th through the 21st centuries. Immediately following at 2 p.m., visitors will gather with their armed escort to make the trek into the woods outside the fort for a battle between OFN's French garrison and English scouts. During this engagement, visitors will get a first-hand view of winter battle tactics of the mid-18th century.
The event will proceed "snow or no snow," depending upon weather conditions. If enough ground cover exists, visitors will have the opportunity to wear snowshoes on the patrol and play a traditional Native American game of snow snakes inside the fort. Advance reservations are not necessary, but snowshoes will only be available on a first-come-first-served basis.
To conclude the program, complimentary hot chocolate will be available. Visitors are urged to dress for the weather, as the bulk of the program will take place outdoors. For more information, call the fort at 716-745-7611 or visit www.oldfortniagara.org .
Old Fort Niagara is located in Youngstown, 14 miles north of Niagara Falls via the Robert Moses Parkway North. The fort opens at 9 a.m. daily and is open until 5 p.m. during the winter months. Admissions end at 4:30 pm. Old Fort Niagara is a National Landmark and 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.