Youngstown (New York)
Youngstown is the northwesternmost community in the state of New York. Its strategic location at the mouth of the Niagara River, on the border with Canada, made it a prime site for fortifications, the last of which has stood just north of the village since 1726.
From the east, most travelers will come in on New York State Route 18, which hugs the shoreline of Lake Ontario before turning south to head to Lewiston (New York). Route 18 bypasses the village, but Route 18F branches off nearby and enters the village's heart. Visitors coming from Lockport or other more southerly origins may prefer Route 93, Lockport Road, which ends just short of the river at Route 18F.
From the south, Route 18F runs alongside the river from Lewiston, with the Robert Moses Parkway a bit farther inland; the latter interchanges with Route 93 at the village line.
Sightseeing in Youngstown is all about the fort.
- Old Fort Niagara (Route 18F to Scott Ave; follow signs), ☎ +1 716 745-7611, fax: +1 716 745-9141. Jul-Aug: daily 9AM-7PM; Sep-Jun: daily (except Thanksgiving, Christmas) 9AM-5PM. A full accounting of the history of fortifications at this site could fill a small book. Suffice it to say that the location on a promontory at the point where the Niagara River empties into Lake Ontario was a vital strategic location until well into the nineteenth century. The famed "French Castle" that forms the centerpiece of the modern attraction was built in 1726, making it the oldest building in the U.S. between the East Coast and the Spanish Southwest. During peak season, you'll see artisans, artillery and musket demonstrations, and tour guides; the rest of the year, you'll be relying on self-guided and audio tours to view the structures—though you'll still see hourly musket demonstrations. Some special events feature re-enactors populating the fort. Age 13+ $12; ages 6-12 $8; under 6 free; $1 discount for seniors and AAA/CAA members.
The Fort also hosts several special events throughout the year, such as their Candlelight Tours in December ($8 admission).
The Museum Shop at the fort is open at 9AM daily, and you can shop there without paying admission.
From Memorial Day to Labor Day, Old Fort Niagara's Log Cabin offers light grill fare, wraps, hot and cold drinks, and ice cream.
- Niagara-on-the-Lake, directly across the river, is Youngstown's Canadian counterpart. In fact, due to a bend in the river, Niagara-on-the-Lake's Fort George actually sits due south of Fort Niagara. In addition to the historic fort, the village has a charming downtown and great views of the lake and even (on a clear day) Toronto. Of course, to get there from Youngstown, you have to take the Robert Moses Parkway south, cross the river at the Lewiston–Queenston Bridge (I-190), then head back north again to NOTL.
|Routes through Youngstown|
|END ← Lewiston ←||W E||→ Barker → Rochester|