Wow!! What a magnificent wonderment!!! I’ll just start by saying that you need to put Niagara Falls on your bucket list if you haven’t been there. Niagara is actually a STATE park, not National, and was established in 1885, making it the oldest state park in the nation.
Our weather was sunny and in the 70’s – a bit windy but a glorious day. It was our first day here and we couldn’t decide if we wanted to ride the Maid of the Mist, a boat that goes close to the base of the falls. Since we all had done this in the past, we decided to head for Niagara Falls State Park and see what we could see – if we couldn’t get close, we’d sign up the next day for the boat tour. We were pleasantly surprised – we were able to park in the lot next to the visitor’s center where we had a short walk to the American Falls. After walking along the walkway beside the falls, we bought tickets to go out onto the Observatory. Online, the price was about $15/person – there we were happy to find the cost to be $1.50/person! Quite the savings. (Maid of the Mist on line was $120/person – there the cost was $25.50!) I guess the advantage on line is that you are assured of your reservation instead of standing in line and hoping you get on board.
After the observation deck, we bought tickets to ride the trolley which would take us to Goat Island to get a better view of the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls as well as the Canadian Falls, Horseshoe Falls. The trolley was pleasant and comfortable and a fantastic way to get around and see the falls. It made several stops and you could get off and on at no additional cost – it was only $3.00/person.
Here are some interesting facts about Niagara Falls…..
- Water that flows over Niagara Falls comes from the Great Lakes EXCEPT Lake Ontario, then travels down the Niagara River to Lake Ontario, to the St. Lawrence River and finally to the Atlantic
- Half of the 5.5 billion gallons per hour of water over the falls is diverted for power by the US and Canada
- The average depth of the water below the Falls is 170 feet.
- Niagara Falls is comprised of three waterfalls, Horseshoe Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and the American Falls, overlapping the US and Canadian borders.
- Fish actually travel over the Falls and about 90% of them live. Experts believe the white foam from the rushing waters cushions their fall.
- In the 1800’s, the Falls were nearly frozen solid with only a small trickle of water traveling over the cliffs.
- About 600,000 gallons of water travel down Niagara Falls every SECOND!
- About 20% of the drinking water in the USA goes over Niagara Falls.
Before heading back to the campsite, we decided to watch the IMax movie in the Visitor’s Center. It was $9.00/person (senior discount) and lasted for 30 minutes. It was informative, telling of the origin, history, and many interesting facts.
The date of our visit to Niagara Falls State Park happened to be September 11th. It’s hard to imagine that it’s been 20 years since the unimagined terrorist attack on our country. Since visiting the Memorial in New York a few weeks ago, the event seems even more real and tragic.
On our way back to our campground, we went past another park and were struck speechless at the site we passed. The town had erected 2,977 full size flags, one for each life lost on September, 11, 2001. My camera could not capture the entire display as it went on and on. The flags cast an eerie shadow on the lawn in front of them. Let us NEVER forget this horrific day in our nation’s history. I’ll simply end with the photo…..