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Old Fort Niagara hosts Winter Woods Battle

Old Fort Niagara hosts its own version of winter games on February 17th, with its "Winter Woods Battle" event from 10:00am-4:00pm.
Photo: Joshua Robinson

Old Fort Niagara hosts its own version of winter games on February 17th, with its "Winter Woods Battle" event from 10:00am-4:00pm.

Along with musket demonstrations, soldiers in full regalia, and every other interactive exhibit the fort features throughout the year, Winter Woods Battle gives a closer look at how soldiers survived cold winters in the 1700s at Fort Niagara.

Here are the events included throughout the day:

10:00 a.m.—Noon: A Winter's Project: Hornsmithing and Leather Work. Learn about the usefulness of horns, antlers and leather in creating tools and goods for soldiers and civilians.

10:00 a.m.—Noon: Winter Games. Play an 18th-century game with instruction by staff and volunteers.

10:00 a.m.—2:00 p.m.: Food on the Frontier. Demonstrations and talks about the garrison’s winter diet, plus procuring, storing and cooking food.

10:15 a.m.: Musket Firing. Learn about the musket, how it was loaded, its accuracy and how it was used at the fort.

11:00 a.m.: Fur Trading Demonstration. 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, the lives of Native Americans and hivernants (winter traders), and examine popular trade goods and furs.

11:00 a.m.—1:00 p.m.: 18th-Century Meal for Sale in the Log Cabin

11:15 a.m.: Musket Firing

11:30 a.m.: Winter Survival in the Fort and on the Trail

How did the garrison survive the cold both indoors and out? Learn about clothing, bedding and equipment that helped them get through the winter.

Noon: Start a Fire with Flint and Steel

Learn how to start a fire with a spark using flint, steel and tinder.

12:15 p.m.: Musket Firing

12:30 p.m.: Shelter Building

Use branches to learn how to make a shelter to help protect yourself from the elements.

1:00 p.m.: Tinsmithing- Make and Take a Tin Ornament

1:15 p.m.: Musket Firing

1:30 p.m.: The History of the Snowshoe

Join educators from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to learn about the history of the snowshoe.

2:00 p.m.: The Expedition. Visitors will be invited to wear a pair of traditional wooden snowshoes (weather permitting) to accompany French soldiers into the woods in search of the English. Witness a winter woods battle and enjoy complimentary hot chocolate. Please note: this is a two-mile hike. Please be sure you are physically up to it before embarking. Activities in the fort will continue for those who prefer to remain in garrison. Snowshoes are provided first-come, first-served, or bring your own.

2:00 p.m.: Fur Trading Demonstration

2:00—3:30 p.m.: A Winter's Project: Hornsmithing and Leather Work

2:00—3:30 p.m.: Winter Games

2:15 p.m.: Musket Firing

3:15 p.m.: Musket Firing

4:00 p.m.: Musket Firing

Admission to the fort is $12 for adults, $8 for children six to 12 years old, free for children five and under, and free for Old Fort Niagara Association members.