Prior to the arrival of the French, the site of Fort Niagara was used by Native people as a seasonal hunting and fishing camp. Father Louis Hennepin, who arrived at the mouth of the Niagara River in December 1678, wrote about the future site of Fort Niagara:

The Iroquese Tsonnontouans (Seneca) inhabiting the little Village, situated at the mouth of the River, took above Three Hundred Whitings, which are bigger than Carps, and the best relish’d as well as the wholesomest Fish in the World; which they presented all to us, imputing their good Luck to  our arrival. They were much surprised at our ship (a ten-ton brigantine) which they called the great woodden Canou.

The expedition’s leader, Rene-Robert Cavalier, Sieur de La Salle, ordered the construction of a storehouse and stockade which was named Fort Conti after a French nobleman. The fort stood for less than a year. 



Hours of Operation

January through March, Open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. (Closed Monday-Thursday) 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m

April 1- June 30, Open Daily 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

July and August, Open Daily 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

September 1 - October 15, Open Daily 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

October 16 - December 31, Open Wednesday through Sunday (Closed Mondays and Tuesdays) 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

The fort will be open daily during Christmas week, December 26 - 31. 

Closed New Year's Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. 


General Admission



Children (6 to 12 years) 


Children (5 and under):






Support the Fort

Old Fort Niagara is operated by the Old Fort Niagara Association, an independent, not-for-profit organization established in 1927. We do not rely on tax dollars. Instead, the Fort is funded through a combination of admission fees, museum shop sales, and charitable contributions.

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