Student groups planning a quintessential Upstate getaway with their hearts set on exploration of the stunning Niagara Falls area in all its magnificent glory will want to dedicate a few hours of their itinerary to wandering the grounds and compounds of popular national historic landmark Fort Niagara, a 250 acre fortification opened in 1726 near Youngstown, New York, on the Eastern bank of the Niagara River. Fort Niagara, originally built to protect the interests of New France in North America, is the oldest continuously occupied military site in North America; visitors embark on a fascinating journey back in time to an era when powerful empires struggled for control of the wild territories we now know as the United States and Canada. Marvel at the sight of the Fort’s original War of 1812 flag, revel in breathtaking panoramic views and wonderful 18th century architecture, participate in exciting living history programs, view an award-winning orientation film and peruse introductory exhibits filled with original artifacts. Tour original buildings where Native American, French, British and American soldiers lived and worked from the 18th to the 20th centuries, experience thrilling musket and artillery firing demonstrations and witness skilled artisans at work-imagine the hardship of everyday life on the rugged 18th century Niagara Frontier. You’ll meet talented re-enactors who skillfully recreate the lives of past fort garrisons, carefully depicting the trials and tribulations of the day, providing groups on Niagara excursion a captivating cross section of the struggles that birthed our great Nation.