Fort Stanwix was built in 1758 along a major fur trading route. The fort was active during the French and Indian War from 1754 to 1763. The fort was then abandoned. During the American Revolution the fort was rebuilt by Patriot forces and renamed Fort Schuyler. British troops laid siege to the fort for 21 days in 1777 but then withdrew to Canada because of the arrival of American reinforcements. The defense of the fort led to the American victories at Saratoga which was a turning point in the Revolutionary War. Fort Stanwix National Monument is located in Rome, New York near the Erie Canal and showcases the reconstruction of the fort.
The Willet Visitor Center houses museum exhibits, a historical timeline of the fort, a bookstore and park film. This is the best place to start your visit to Fort Stanwix NM. Plan to spend time in the visitor center and also outside exploring the three short trails that circle the reconstructed fort.
When we were researching Fort Stanwix NM we thought we would maybe need an hour to 2 at the park to really experience it. I am going to fully admit there is so much more to this National Park site than we expected! I feel like even after spending the afternoon at the fort we could do a return visit and learn more.
Top things to do at Fort Stanwix National Monument
Fort Stanwix NM Visitor Center
The visitor center at Fort Stanwix is filled with interpretive displays and multiple video reproductions of what happened at the fort.
Become a Junior Ranger
The Junior Ranger program is a great way to learn more about Fort Stanwix. You can pick up a copy of the Junior Ranger program at the visitor center or print one at home before you leave. There are a few activities in the book that can be completed outside of the park. This is a great way to start talking about and learning about the park ahead of time.
I would give yourself an hour or two to complete the junior ranger program. It is pretty large but you can choose how many activities you complete based on the age of the participant.
Explore the trails around Fort Stanwix
The trail surrounding the fort is approximately 1/2 mile long. It is partially paved and includes portions that consist of compacted gravel. Two of the trails interpret the events of the siege of 1777. The other trail follows a portion of the Oneida Carrying Place.
Explore inside Fort Stanwix
One of the best parts of our visit was meeting the rangers within the fort and learning more about the history of the fort. The fort is currently undergoing major renovations that are scheduled to be completed by 2020. Even with the renovations you can still explore a large portion of the fort.
Enjoy the Fort Stanwix Cell Phone Tour
There are tour stops around the fort that you can call in and learn more about the park. This is a great way to get more info on the history and life at Fort Stanwix.
Fort Stanwix National Monument Info and Things to Know
There is not a lot of shade within the fort area. You will want to be prepared with a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses and comfortable shoes. You may also want to bring water with you.
100 North James St.
Rome, NY 13440
Fort Stanwix National Monument sits in the center of downtown Rome, NY. Parking is available on W Dominick Street or on James Street on the Fort Stanwix National Monument side of the street. Parking is also available in the Fort Stanwix Parking Garage on James Street.
Visitor Center – Marinus Willett Visitor Center
Hours – 9 am to 5 pm daily
Visitor Center – inside the Fort
Hours – 9:30 am – 4:30 pm
There is no cost to enter the Monument or the Visitor Center
National Parks near Fort Stanwix National Monument
Woman’s Rights National Historical Park – 85 miles
Saratoga National Historical Park – 110 miles
Martin Van Buren National Historic Site – 129 miles
Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site – 172 miles
Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site – 170 miles
Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site – 173 miles
Check out these other great National Parks in New York