Niagara Falls is a group of massive waterfalls located on the Niagara River on the border between the United States and Canada. North America’s most powerful waterfalls – the Niagara is actually a collection of three falls: The Horseshoe Falls, The American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls. While the American Falls is sandwiched between the Prospect Point and the Luna Island, the Bridal Veil Falls is located between the Luna Island and the Goat Island. The Canadian/Horse Shoe Falls gushes between the Goat Island and the Table Rock.
The Niagara itself is a river which is about 12,000 years old. There were ice-sheets of 2-3 kilometers thick in the southern part of Ontario 18,000 years ago. Along the ages and after certain topographical changes the ice-sheets melted and a lot of water accumulated in the Great Lakes Basin. Water from Lake Erie, the Niagara River and Lake Ontario all contribute to the falls. The Niagara Falls is the second largest falls in the world.
Each day per minute the Niagara gushes water exceeding 6 million cubic feet. On an average the amount is 4 million cubic feet. Niagara is one of the chief sources of hydroelectric energy for the whole of New York and Ontario. Thus the falls help in the development of commerce and industry and the state’s revenue collection is also strengthened by the flourishing tourism industry.
Many people tried various stunts at the falls. Some survived while others died in accidents during their performances. Among several daredevils of the Niagara Falls, the prominent ones are Nik Wallenda’s – a tightrope walker who performed stunts in 2012, Mrs. Annie Taylor – the first person to survive the falls, William Kendall – a swimmer who survived the falls, Maria Spelternia – only woman to cross the falls on a tightrope.
Activities at the Niagara Park
The ‘Maid of the Mist’ ship takes you into the heart of the falls for an unforgettable, exotic, and indefinable experience. You may also enjoy the thundering sound of the Niagara Falls with the Journey Behind the Falls program that takes you deep below and behind the falls. The falls offer spectacular views in the summer and spring months. During the winters, the Ontario Power Generation Festival of lights at the falls is a major highlight. Every year the park hosts a series of fireworks at the falls during the night. Check the schedule at niagaraparks.com. Royal Canadian Air Force and Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station conduct air shows over the Niagara Falls. The RCF air show will be held from May 13, 2014 to October 17, 2014. You may check the schedule at saskaviationcouncil.ca. The Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station has temporarily halted the air shows. The Niagara Falls Butterfly Conservatory, with over 2,000 colorful butterflies, is a magical place to visit. This is also a must-visit destination.
While at the Niagara Falls, do not miss to visit the Aquarium of Niagara, Niagara Science Museum, Whirlpool State Park, Devil’s Hole State Park, Reservoir State Park, Niagara Adventure Theater, and Hyde Park.
- The American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls are 1,060 feet wide and have a clear drop of only 70 feet.
- The Canadian Falls is about 2,600 feet wide and has a drop of 170 feet.
- Volume of water in The American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls is 150,000 U.S. Gallons / 567,811 Liters per second, while volume of water in the Canadian Falls has been recorded to be 670,000 U.S. gallons / 2,271,247 liters per second.
Niagara Falls is located on the Niagara River on the International border between Ontario province, Canada and New York state, the USA. Reaching Niagra Falls is very easy as the Falls are well connected by air, road and rail transportation routes. The nearest airports are Buffalo Niagara International Airport, Buffalo, NY, USA and Lester B. Pearson International Airport, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Niagara Falls in Ontario, Canada are at a distance of 128 km from Toronto.
The best time to visit this enchanting and vivacious falls is the Spring and the Summer months. Niagra Falls can be breathtaking even during the Winter.
One can visit Niagra Falls anytime during the day as the Falls are open for 24 hours all round the year. It must be noted that there are specific visiting hours for the nearby attractions.
No charge is to be paid for visiting the Falls. However, during the peak season a reasonable amount of parking fee is charged. Buy the Niagara Falls Adventure Pass to save 30% on the selected and the best Niagara Falls attractions Journey Behind the Falls, Hornblower Niagara Cruises (new Niagara Falls boat tour), and Niagara’s Fury and White Water Walk. Get your pass at niagaraparks.com.
Who discovered the Niagara Falls?
The native Americans were probably the first people to have seen the falls. However, the first European to mention about the falls in written form was Father Louis Hennepin. This French priest mentioned it in his book “A New Discovery.”
When did the falls freeze?
Due to the polar vortex, the Niagara Falls became partially frozen in 2014.
When did the falls became dry?
The Niagara Falls went dry in the year 1848, when the source of the Niagara River, at Lake Erie was blocked by heavy boulders of ice.