Actually, there are three separate falls: the “Horseshoe Falls” on the Ontario, Canada side, the “American Falls” on the New York state, US side, and right next to it is a smaller waterfall typically referred to as “Bridal Veil Falls.” Together all three form one of the most sought out travel destinations in the world. Millions of visitors a year come to hear the roar of the mighty waters, see the constant thrashing of the whirlpool below, and catch a spray or two of the falling waters.
Unique Things to See and Do in/near Niagara Falls
- Check out the Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory
- Explore Marineland
- Walk along the Fallsview Tourist Area
- Take a gamble at the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort
- Tour the “Journey behind the falls”
- Experience “Niagara’s Fury” ride – not suitable for small children!
Information on Niagara Falls
Geographically, Niagara Falls is actually moving! Every year the falls recede from erosion, and over the past 560 years scientists have estimated the rate of recession at 1 to 1.5 meters a year. There’s plenty of speculation on what the future erosion will look like and it may slow down- possibly only 1 foot per year. If it erodes far enough back it would cut off the American Falls completely, but that would take several hundred years. Diverting some of the waters for hydroelectricity has helped with slowing down the recession process, and provided a great source of power. The water flows at 70mph and the Horseshoe Falls span 2,600 feet across. The sheer size and power of it mesmerizes over 1.2 million visitors a year.
Aside from the natural beauty of the falls, it is the magnitude that captures the interests of scientists, and engineers. The waters travel down from the northern streams and empty into the Great Lakes; from Lake Erie the waters flows down through the Niagara River into Lake Ontario and then out to the Atlantic ocean. Quite simply, the volume of water is what is so impressive. Many waterfalls around the world reach higher elevations, but Niagara has both the height and enormous volumes of water – making it so much more intriguing.
Niagara Falls is part of the Niagara Parkland and it is free for public viewing and there are plenty of daring adventure tours you can try. For example, you can get a bit wet on the boat tours which will bring you up close to the falls themselves, or take a high speed boat for a twisty adventure along the Niagara River. The classic tour is the “Journey Behind the Falls”, which is a tunnel system carved into the rock allowing tourists to stand behind the falls and view through peek-a-boo lookouts. You can catch the sky view at The Skylon Tower’s observation deck – a great way to see the Horseshoe curve from above. Or better yet, take a helicopter ride and see the falls from all angles. Whichever adventure you take, even just walking along the Fallsview promenade, you won’t be disappointed. This is mother nature at her finest.
Did you know…?
Niagara Falls is also a powerful hydroelectric dam.
Did you ALSO know…?
Annie Edson Taylor was the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel and survive!
Getting to Niagara
If travelling by car, there are many options for driving into the city of Niagara Falls, but if you are heading to the Fallsview area you can park your car for the day and walk in. Parking at Fallsview Avenue and Robinson Street is only $5 day, but you’ll need to get there early to find a spot. If you park farther away use the WEGO bus lines. It’s a great way to see what other attractions are available in town too. Once you are at Niagara Falls, walking around is the best option.
Dress warmly if you are visiting during the winter time. The closer you get to the falls area the windier it becomes which means it’s colder too. Temperatures range from -1˚C to -10˚C. During the summer months, the weather is hot, ranging from 22˚C to 27˚C in July.
Ready to plan your visit to Niagara Falls? Check out these popular guides and trips.