Living History At The Fort At No. 4: Exit And Explore Near I-91 VT-NH
Join the war, fire the forge, feed the troops. Spend your day in another century, immersed in the sounds and sights of battle and garrison life on the banks of the Connecticut River in southern New Hampshire. Join the fray. Experience the battle. Living history at the Fort at No. 4, right near I-91.
The Fort at No. 4 is no ordinary fort. It has live re-enactments from settlement and military life during the period when the fort was bustling with activity. Whether you’d like to gird yourself for a revolution or bake bread in a cob oven, you couldn’t find a better break from interstate blahs.
War takes a little preparation (usually)…
You’ll want to study the schedule of events for living history at the Fort at No. 4. Times, ticket prices, and battle times will likely be important to you.
Several weekends in 2017 will be especially appealing for color and excitement, but there are live enactments of one sort or another all season.
Scottish Jacobite Rebellion
May 6-7. The Highlanders and Outlanders assemble for a Scottish heritage weekend based around the Jacobite Rebellion.
French and Indian War Encampment
June 10-11. This weekend will focus on those arts which require fire in some form such as smithing, pottery, and glass work.
For real? Centurions, togas, laced sandals, spears? Yep! The Fort at No. 4 even gets taken over by Romans. That’ll be July 8-9.
September 30th-October 1st. Revolutionary War Weekend which will pit the rebel colonists against the British troops.
Zoom enthusiastically along I-91 to Exit 7. You will see brown “sites of interest” signs marking the exit for The Fort at No. 4. Drive east over a bridge and into NH. In another 1/4 of a mile the entrance to the fort comes up on the right, with a driveway down to the river’s edge. There will be a budget-respecting entrance fee, discounted for seniors. Your homework in advance will tell you if there’s an extra fee for attending special events.
You might want to bring….
- Sturdy shoes, since the ground is uneven
- Poles/walking stick if you anticipate you need something to prop you up while playing spectator, dodging cannon balls, or outrunning the redcoats
- Something to sit on
- Picnic, as well as your cheapskate trusty thermos.
A Sutler Lunch….
Muddy Boots is quite certain that the fort’s provisioners and camp followers will be more than happy to fortify your belly with a battle-inspired lunch delicacy (and all sorts of other knick knacks, besides). This is a feature of living history at the Fort at No. 4.
But perhaps you’d like some bullet-pointed options:
- the picnic that’s on your back car seat
- the Springfield Royal Diner
- Regress a few thousand years and hunker down at Two Neanderthals Smokin’ BBQ in the lot next to the diner. Ponder whether “neanderthal” is a synonym for “cannibal” and maybe ask burning questions about what exactly is getting BBQ-ed.
Umm..no obligatory exercise?
Running from the bayonets wasn’t enough? Try these:
Supplement your living history at the Fort at No. 4 by biking the hardtop all-purpose Toonerville Trail along the Black River—the “other” river the Fort protects—towards Springfield; the parking lot is on the Vermont side, just short of the bridge.
Paddle a kayak and see the action at the Fort from the Connecticut River. The put-in is at Hoyt’s Landing, next to the bridge on the Vermont side of the Connecticut.
Not ready for battle?
Try these other ideas within a short drive:
Photo Credits: All photos, living history at the Fort at No. 4, CC BY-ND 2.0 by Slabcity Gang via Flickr. Prepping to fire. Redcoat re-enactors, 2011 06 04 052. Encampment tents and fort. Instructions. Musket fire, 2011 06 04 033. Eating, Fort #4 2003 031. Kayaking at Hoyt’s Landing, 2008 05 25 086. Camp life, 072, left and Camp life, 071, right.