Niagara Falls is one of the largest and most famous waterfalls in the world. A lot of people believe that Niagara Falls is a Canadian landmark. But not everyone knows that it is possible to visit these Waterfalls from the United States side because it is located on the border of Canada and USA.
In this publication, we will tell you about the Niagara Falls, how to get there and about the top 10 very interesting facts that you most likely did not know about.
Niagara Falls is a group of 3 waterfalls:
“Horseshoe Falls”, sometimes also called “Canadian Falls”,
and Bridal Veil Falls.
Niagara Falls appeared about 10,000 years ago as a result of the huge ice sheet movement.
The waterfall is very wide. It is the most powerful in North America and the fastest by the volume of water passing through it on the planet.
The height of the waterfall is 170 feet (53 m). The width of the American Falls is 1 060 feet (323 m), the Horseshoe Falls is 2 600 feet (792 m) wide.
This beautiful place attracts a lot of tourists from all over the world, which contributes to the prosperity of cities located on the banks of the waterfall – Niagara Falls in New York, USA and Niagara Falls in Ontario, Canada.
Almost all the territory of the city is occupied by the Niagara Falls State Park together with the necessary infrastructure for visitors. There are multi-level parking lots, cafes, souvenir shops, hotels.
There is a Rainbow Bridge a few hundred meters downstream of the waterfall over the Niagara River. This bridge connects two countries: USA and Canada.
The distance from New York to the Niagara Falls is about 410 miles which is 660 km (or about 8 hours drive).
It is possible to take a group bus tour from New York or to go by car.
Traveling by car has its own advantages. The road on the way to the waterfalls is very picturesque, mountainous and beautiful with rivers aside.
There are the Catskill Mountains – part of the famous Appalachian mountain system along the way. The distance from New York to the mountains is approximately 100 miles or 160 km.
Special stops are equipped along the way, where the travelers can take a rest and enjoy amazing views.
As it turned out, the citizens of New York state like this area very much. This is a great place to relax from the daily rush in such a grandiose city like New York. It seems like time stopped here.
We decided to go to the Niagara Falls by car. We left New York on Friday at about 5 pm and drove up to the waterfalls as close as possible. We stopped for the overnight in Syracuse city, which is 180 miles (280 km) from Niagara Falls and 260 miles (415 km) from New York. We went to Niagara Falls in the morning to spend as much time as possible there.
As soon as you get into the park, it seems very large. So many questions come into the mind. Where to go? What to do?
It is necessary to buy the entrance ticket (Discovery Pass), in order to get to the territory of Niagara Falls State Park.
The ticket costs about 50 USD.
Tickets can be bought on the official website online, but they have to be exchanged at the box office.
The ticket includes all the entertainments in the park:
1. Cruise to the waterfalls on the boat “Maid of the Mist”. It is better to start with this entertainment. We will tell you about it later.
2. Cave of Winds, where it is possible to come to the waterfall very close and even touch it.
3.Transfer by train (trolley) – shuttle through the large territory of the park, which helps to reach the points of interest very quickly.
5. Research Center
6.The highlight of the park is illumination and fireworks over the waterfalls.
Boat cruise to the waterfalls “Maid of the Mist”
Boat cruise to the waterfalls “Maid of the Mist” is an incredible entertainment in the park. Boarding on the boat is proceeded by the line, and the lines are very huge here (especially near the elevator, which takes the visitors to the berth of boats at the American Falls). That’s why it is highly recommended to start from this entertainment, in order to organize the time rationally.
There is an observation deck behind the elevator. This is a great place to enjoy amazing views of the Niagara Falls and evening illumination show with fireworks over the waterfalls.
The visitors also receive the raincoats on the next location – Cave of Winds.
Despite the fact that we were in raincoats, we got absolutely wet. And although we thought that our camera was waterproof, it couldn’t stand the test by a waterfall, it was completely wet and, unfortunately, broke down. Although the camera does not work, it is on our shelf as a decoration at home now and when we look at it, we have positive memories on our mind.
Even though we would not risk to do the same with our new camera.
After we had lost our camera, we shot everything on our mobile phones.
But despite all of this, the boat cruise to the waterfalls was a wonderful experience for us. We will remember these incredible emotions and this filling energy forever.
Drops of the water break down in all directions. Everything is just like in a fog. That’s why this boat cruise is called the “Maid of the Mist”.
This entertainment is one of the highlights in Niagara Falls park!
It is possible to come extremely close to the American Falls along the path near the berth of the boat cruise.
View to the Canadian side.
It is possible to reach all the locations in the park by the special train (trolley).
Cave of the Winds
The next location, which we visited, Cave of the Winds was situated near the Bridal Veil Falls.
The entrance to this location is organized by time. But it is possible to spend unlimited time here. So it is better to go to the Cave of the Winds right after the boat cruise Maid of the Mist.
We had been waiting for the entrance for about half an hour.
We received yellow raincoats and sandals to change our shoes.
Tourists watch a short movie about the history of the Niagara Falls before the visit to the Cave of the Winds.
The Cave of Winds has got such a name because the access to the waterfalls is through the cave tunnel and it is really windy inside.
When we came out of the tunnel, we saw the walking trail, which was very close to the Bridal Veil Falls – almost at its bottom.
Powerful streams of waterfall drop from the height. The noise of the waterfall reduces the loudness of your thoughts. You feel your presence right here and right now and enjoy the moment. The waterfall radiates an incredible magical atmosphere and emits positive vibes. Feeling the inspiration, you understand that such a long road was not in vain.
Visitors can get to the waterfall very close and even touch it thanks to the special walking trail.
Rumor has it that the Canadian side of the waterfalls look more impressive, but nowhere else you can feel the Niagara Falls like on the American side, exactly in the Cave of the Winds.
Hurricane deck is the epicenter, the most extreme, the closest site to the waterfall. Here you can literally touch the Niagara Falls.
The cave of the winds is another pearl of the Niagara Falls.
Beautiful gulls nest near this trail.
The weather is very changeable near the waterfall.
A very strong wind rose in the cave of winds, seagulls began to fuss and fly over us.
When we left the cave, heavy rain began. A small cafe with a gift shop was nearby. So all visitors were there in a moment, including us. It was extremely overcrowded, everyone was wet, but in spite of this, in a good mood. Everyone was talking and laughing. Although the weather was nasty, we were not upset, and figured out how not to waste our time: we were choosing souvenirs for our relatives thoroughly.
They say, a rainbow appears after rain. We were literally lucky to see it near the waterfall – even a double rainbow.
Top of the Falls restaurant is located near the Bridal Veil Falls.
Illumination show and fireworks at the waterfalls
There is an illumination show every evening, after the sunset every hour for 15 minutes.
Spotlights, constructed on the Canadian side, create a spectacular view.
The lighting color changes on special holidays (for example, on Valentine’s Day, Earth Day, Memorial Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Independence Day).
Fireworks are the highlight of the illumination performance. This is an incredible sight, which we will remember forever! Emotions overwhelm!
There are also a research center, aquarium and numerous hiking trails on the territory of Niagara Falls State Park. Unfortunately, we did not explore them, because one day was not enough to see everything.
So let’s come up to our top 10 the most exciting facts about the Niagara Falls:
Although Niagara Falls is not the highest waterfall in the world, it is the most powerful in North America and the fastest waterfall on the planet.
Niagara Falls separates two countries, Canada and the United States, and citizens of both countries have access to the famous waterfall from their own side.
As for Canada, the Niagara Falls National Park was founded back in 1885 in Canada. It is the oldest national park in the entire Canada.
The cruise boat The Maid of the Mist had its first excursion in 1846. This tourist attraction is still actual and it is the oldest entertainment in the entire North America.
A lot of fish fall down together with the huge waterflow, but according to scientists investigations, about 90% survive after the drop.
As the Niagara Falls is a very picturesque waterfall, many well-known films were captured here. Among them: “Pirates of the Caribbean”, “Superman 2” and the “Niagara” starring Marilyn Monroe.
The construction of the first industrial hydroelectric station was started in 1853. Famous scientist Nikola Tesla took part in this significant event. It was Tesla’s alternating current generators that became the heart of this hydroelectric power station at Niagara Falls.
There is even a memorial complex dedicated to the life and scientific activities of the great inventor Nikola Tesla on the territory of the Niagara Falls park.
Exactly here began the mass electrification of settlements in America and further around the world.
This fact is connected with the previous one. Today, Niagara Falls is the largest electricity producer in New York state.
The first person, who jumped into the Niagara Falls and survived, was Sam Patch, who committed this courageous (карЕйджес) but insane act in 1829.
In 1901 Annie Taylor, a 63-year-old lady at that time, became the first person to descend from the Niagara Falls in a barrel and survived.
Since then, 14 other people have purposely tried to go through the waterfall. Some survived, others either drowned or were seriously injured. Survivors were fined heavily for violating Canadian and American law.
In 2012, an acrobat walked 550 meters (1 800 feet) along the cable between the Canadian and American shores of Niagara Falls. In order to enable him to do this, the authorities of both countries even canceled the law, prohibiting such tricks, which had been in force for 128 years.
Only a few cases of Niagara Falls complete freezing have been documented: in 1848 and 1912. A lot of media reported that the waterfall was frozen again in 2014. But it wasn’t really true.
If you know another facts which we did not mention, write in the comments.
Author (c): Iryna Melnyk
Photos (c): Nick Melnyk