Old Fort Niagara: Snowshoe patrol takes visitors back to 1757by jmaloni
On Saturday, Jan. 19, visitors to Old Fort Niagara will have the opportunity to snowshoe back in time and find themselves engaged in a woods battle between British and French forces.
The day's activities will begin at 10 a.m. with ongoing demonstrations of 18th century skills, games, fur trading, Native American storytelling, and soldier life presentations.
At noon, Toronto-based author Kevin Gladysz will demonstrate winter survival techniques of French-Canadian voyageurs. Gladysz will discuss winter travel, clothing and camping techniques that allowed 18th century Canadian habitants to travel hundreds of miles through wilderness terrain during the coldest winter months.
This presentation will be followed at 1:30 p.m. by a history of the snowshoe presented by the education office of New York State Parks. At 2 p.m., visitors will don snowshoes and accompany the fort's French garrison into the woods, where they will meet an English scouting party. In the ensuing skirmish, the French will be driven off and the English will treat visitors to complimentary hot chocolate.
The event will proceed "snow or no snow," depending upon weather conditions. Advance reservations are not necessary, but snowshoes will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
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.