Visitors to Fort Ontario State Historic Site today will see the star-shaped fort dating to the early 1840's with 1863 to 1872 improvements. There are two guardhouses, a powder magazine, a storehouse, enlisted men's barracks, an Army office building, an unfurnished officer's quarters, videos, exhibits and windswept ramparts featuring magnificent views of Lake Ontario and underground stone casemates and galleries to tour.
The fourth and current Fort Ontario is built on the ruins of three earlier fortifications which were the site of three French and Indian War and two War of 1812 battles. It was occupied by the U.S. Army through World War II. From 1944 to 1946 the fort served as the only refugee camp in the United States for mostly Jewish victims of the Nazi Holocaust under an Executive Order from President Franklin D. Roosevelt. A post cemetery containing the graves of 77 officers, soldiers, women, and children who served at Fort Ontario in war and peace is situated on the grounds which are open year-round from dawn to dusk.
In 1946 Fort Ontario was transferred to the State of New York and housed World War II veterans and their families until 1953. It opened as a state historic site in 1949.
Dogs on leashes are permitted on the premises.
A list of entry fees and other park use fees is available below. For fees not listed or to verify information, please contact the park directly.