All interesting facts about Niagara Falls

Where is Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls gets its name from the Iroquois (Thunder of Water) tribe, it is a true masterpiece of nature that has no equal in the world.

Niagara Falls are a waterfall cascade, which is located on the U.S.-Canadian border. Niagara Falls were formed on the Niagara River connecting Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. Its 53-meter height is inferior to many others. But Niagara Falls fall from a very wide (more than a kilometer) cliff, and it is considered one of the most powerful on the planet.

The word Niagara translates as “rumbling water”. A person nearby really only hears its rumbling sound. The noise of Niagara Falls spreads for miles, especially at night.

The history of the formation of this natural landmark goes back to the end of the Ice Age. About 12,000 years ago, during the retreat of a huge glacier, five famous North American lakes emerged. Meltwater flowed over the shores of one of them, the Erie, forming the Niagara River. Its waters, reaching the same name cliff (escarpment), fall from it into another lake – Lake Ontario.

Currently, more than half of the Niagara River’s volume is used to generate electricity. The waterfalls are responsible for the flow of up to 5,700 m 3 /sec.

The name Niagara Falls refers to three separate waterfalls:

  • Horseshoe Falls in Canada, 53 m high and 792 m wide, which accounts for 90 percent of the overflowing water mass;
  • American Falls (“American Falls”) 21-34 m high and 323 m wide;
  • small Bridal Veil Falls (“Bride’s Veil”) 24 m high and 17 m wide.

Between these waterfalls are small islands. One of them – Goat (“Goat”) divides the water flow into Canadian and American. There are viewing platforms on the island.

Niagara Falls in winter and summer

The waterfall makes a strong impression at any time of the year. The powerful water torrents are fringed with green in spring and summer, and colorful vibrant colors in fall. Niagara Falls in winter usually freezes only at the edges of the bluffs. There appear gradually increasing ice surges. These are huge icicle floors inside. Through their walls you can see the ripples of water resisting freezing.

During the spring ice drift, huge blocks of ice crash down with a rumble. In the harsh winter of 1848, the ice of the Erie completely blocked Niagara. As a result, the waterfall disappeared for 30 hours. The ensuing burst of water through the powerful ice resembled a volcanic eruption and an earthquake at the same time. And in 1911. Niagara Falls froze over completely.

Rainbows, often one inside the other – an indispensable attribute of the natural landmark both on a clear day and on a moonlit night. Niagara Falls at night is fantastically beautiful: the water streams are illuminated by dozens of powerful multi-colored spotlights. In addition, almost every night (in the summer from 10 p.m.) on the Canadian side there are fireworks Niagara Falls Illumination, which is better observed from the U.S. territory.

Falls tours and activities

Travelers going directly to Niagara Falls should understand one truth: they will not get out of the water dry. The sightseeing and excursions will vary in degrees of wetness. In direct proportion to it the amount of positive emotions and unforgettable impressions. You should not even be afraid of possible colds. It will pass, and the resulting charge of natural beauty and power will last a lifetime.

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In the area of the waterfalls are equipped with several viewing platforms. They are just a few meters from the falling down tonnes of water. The price of tickets to them includes a rental of waterproof clothing, which, however, is not able to fully protect the tourist. There is an excellent rock viewing platform on the American side.

Real hikers are not limited to watching from the viewpoints.

You can really feel all the power of the waterfall and… get soaked to the skin on the sightseeing boat Maid of the Mist. Flights run every half-hour on both sides from April through the end of October. The boat takes standing (no seating) tourists to the very foot of Horseshoe Falls. The trip lasts 30 minutes and the ticket price is $15 USD.

Travelers who want to literally dive into the waterfall, can do it on special boats. Tourists in life jackets are strapped into the seats of the ship, and dive into the abyss. This extreme excursion is offered on both the American side (115 South Water St., Lewiston) and the Canadian side (61 Melville St., Niagara-on-the-Lake).

Excursionists to the American Cave of the Winds, paying $8 USD, receive a raincoat, flip-flop sandals and a protective plastic bag for their belongings. This “caveman” kit psychologically prepares tourists for the swim. Lookouts are located throughout the height of the falls. The lower Hurricane Deck, is located just 6 meters from it. The wind in the cave is really hellish, and can easily “steal” a poncho. Tourists find themselves in billions of water spray, at times preventing them from even opening their eyes.

A helicopter tour is also available on the U.S. side. It lasts 10 minutes and costs about 100 USD.

What’s Near the Falls

Niagara Falls is the same name for a border town on both sides. Much better is the Canadian one, which resembles Las Vegas in miniature.

The 160-foot-tall Skylon observation tower (5200 Robinson St.) offers a spectacular view of the falls. Below are two restaurants: one of them rotates. Viewing and photographing from here is more comfortable than from the windy observation deck. You have to pay 21 CAD (Canadian dollars) to climb it. There’s also The Aquarium of Niagara with marine life, including sharks.

Follow the highway 4.5 km down parallel to the Niagara River and take the Whirlpool Aero Car, an open-air cable car, to cross the river at the rapids. Other attractions in the Niagara Falls area are nearby. These include the beautifully landscaped Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens, the glazed hangar with tens of thousands of butterflies Butterfly Conservatory, and the Flower Clock, the largest flower clock on the planet. Further downstream is picturesque Queen Victoria Park.

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On the Canadian side, however, are several hotels with premium rooms that offer beautiful views of Niagara Falls.

Interesting facts about the falls

Niagara Falls irresistibly attracts honeymooners, celebrities and suicides. There are about two dozen suicides each year. As for the daredevils, we will talk about some of them below.

The first man to survive a dive from the top of Horseshoe was Sam Patch, alias Yankee Leeper. It happened in 1829.

Thirty years later, the Frenchman Jean-François Gravlé (Blondin) showed remarkable skill and composure. He crossed Niagara Falls not only by himself, but also carrying his manager. Another time he did it blindfolded. At the same time, Blonden was holding a mini stove that was cooking an omelet!

Ten people tried to go down Horseshoe Falls in barrels or reinforced rubber balls. Only seven survived. The first to make ends meet in 1901 was an elderly (63 years old) teacher, Ann Taylor of the United States. Her barrel was found by rescuers in 18 minutes. However, her fame was short-lived. While touring the cities, that very barrel was stolen. Ann Taylor was left poor and died in an almshouse.

Ten years later, the first man, Bobby Leach, repeated Ann Taylor’s achievement. But unlike her, he suffered serious injuries, which he healed in the hospital for six months. Another difference was the tangible financial gain Leach was able to make from the jump. Next, however, fate cruelly mocked him. During a lecture tour, he slipped on an orange peel and broke his leg. Because of the gangrene that developed, he lost his leg and then his life.

In 1931, professional rescuer William Hill successfully rappelled down a waterfall in a sealed capsule with eight hours of air supply. Writer Heorge Stratakis was unlucky: his similar barrel was not discovered until 22 hours later. Other tragic attempts used a wooden barrel with ballast – an anvil, a kayak and a jet ski.

The first person to survive a descent from Horseshoe without equipment appeared in our century. True, it looks like Kirk Jones attempted suicide or was drunk on October 20, 2003. All he did was break his ribs.

So far, no one has survived a fall from American Falls. Its bottom is covered with large rocks, and the water flow is not strong enough to throw a person farther inland.

Where is the Falls

How do I get to Niagara Falls from New York City? The most economical way is by bus, which takes 9 hours. It departs from Penn Station, and you can buy a ticket there as well. If you buy it 2 weeks in advance, it will cost half cheaper – 40 USD.

The flight from New York to Buffalo Airport takes 50 minutes. The ticket price is about 120 USD. You can also take Amtrack train to Buffalo for about 50 USD and spend 8 hours. From Buffalo to Niagara Falls, Canada, there is bus number 214. From the Niagara Falls station, you can take a local bus to Niagara Falls in 20 minutes and 5 CAD.

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Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls.

Niagara Falls is a famous waterfall that has become a tourist attraction in the United States.

Despite the fact that many people call the attraction in the singular, Niagara Falls is a complex of three cascades, each with its own name: Horseshoe Falls, located in Canada; American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls, located in the United States.

American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, Horseshoe Falls

American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, Horseshoe Falls, © albygan

The Niagara Falls area has state protected status because it is the oldest wildlife refuge in New York State, established in 1885. The waters of the Niagara River are used to provide energy to nearby areas in Canada and the United States, and several hydroelectric power plants have been built on the banks of the river.

Adjacent to the natural attraction is the national park of the same name, where you can walk and relax after your tour. In the park there are cafes and restaurants. Also for visitors there is an aquarium, where various shows with seals and a museum dedicated to the discovery, study and interesting facts about the waterfall. Near the museum there are stores and souvenir stalls.

Niagara Falls.

Niagara Falls in North America is visited by a huge number of tourists who fully admire the local natural attraction, its size and incredible beauty. Being at the foot of the falls, it is impossible not to feel its power and strength. Niagara Falls are beautiful not only during daylight hours. In the evenings, the Niagara Falls Illumination show begins – the waters are illuminated in different colors with the help of spotlights (the show schedule). Throughout the year, the Falls become the center of various festivals, shows and public events.

Niagara Falls at night

Niagara Falls online

The beauty of Niagara Falls can be watched online. There are cameras at some nearby sites that broadcast the falls around the clock.

Niagara Falls webcam at the Hilton Hotel

A spectacular view of Niagara Falls is shown by a webcam located on the Hilton Niagara Falls/ Fallsview Hotel and Suites. The broadcast is available at the link.

Panoramic online camera of Niagara Falls

An overview of one of the most popular viewpoints in the Falls is provided by the Fallsview Casino Resort webcam. The video is of excellent quality and the view is panoramic from the top. Like the previous broadcast, the video from this Niagara Falls webcam is free to watch.

Panorama of Niagara Falls on Google Maps:

Freezing Niagara Falls

The climate in the Niagara Falls area is moderately continental. The weather here is warm in the summer and sub-zero temperatures prevail in the winter. As for the issue of Niagara Falls freezing, it is worth saying that it freezes only partially. Ice formations on the banks of the waterfall and the river are created by falling water. If the winter is really cold and frost persists for a long time, the ice can go all the way across the river.

To date, there have been 3 known instances of Niagara Falls freezing: in March 1848, in February 1912, and in January 2014. Due to the abnormal sub-zero temperatures for the area, Niagara Falls froze, a phenomenon watched by numerous tourists and viewers in front of TV screens.

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Partially Frozen Niagara Falls

Where is

Niagara Falls can rightly be called an amazing natural wonder of North America. One of its unusual characteristics is its location – it is located on the border of the United States (New York State) and Canada (Province of Ontario), on the Niagara River, which connects Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, part of the Great North American Lakes system. There are two towns with the same name, Niagara Falls, on both sides of the river near the falls.

Not all travelers coming from the American side are aware of the existence of another interesting attraction, which is a 30-minute walk from the Falls – Old Fort Niagara.

Old Fort Niagara

The height of Niagara Falls

The Falls are 53 meters high and more than a kilometer in total width. At the foot of the American Falls are rocks, so its visible height is only 21 meters, width – 323 meters, and the volume of falling water is 567,811 liters per second. The Horseshoe Falls of Canada are 53.6 meters high, 792 meters wide and have a volume of falling water of 2,271,247 liters per second. Finally, the Fata Falls, which is the smallest of the group of Niagara Falls, is 24 meters high and 17 meters wide.

Excursion

You can visit Niagara Falls as part of a tour group by boat or bus. Tours are available from both Toronto and New York City. Tourists are taken by boat to each waterfall in turn, and everyone is given a raincoat before the trip. The two-day excursion in a comfortable bus includes a transfer from New York City to Niagara Falls with stops for rest and lunch, a visit to the falls, a tour of the national park, and a stop at the hotel. The entire sightseeing trip is accompanied by a guide’s stories about the history of the place, interesting facts, and the present.

If tourists wish, for an additional fee, you can order a ten-minute helicopter flight, which will open up a spectacular view of the Niagara River and Niagara Falls itself. Also one of the most popular attractions near the Falls is the Rainbow Bridge which is accessible to cars and pedestrians between the two countries.

Rainbow Bridge

The most crowded tourist spot is the “Maid of Mist” pleasure craft, which leave every 30 minutes from the Canadian and American sides. One vessel can hold about six hundred passengers. The tour lasts about twenty minutes.

Niagara Falls.

In addition to Niagara Falls, you can also visit a 3D movie theater, wax museum, Ferris wheel ride, try out various elevators and many rides.

History

The history of the waterfalls begins when several thousand years ago the streams of water began to create a channel for themselves after the melting of the glaciers. This process resulted in the formation of the Great Lakes and the Niagara River, which cut a gorge down to solid rock. Thus, a precipice was created from which the water falls down. The waterfall itself is believed to have been discovered by Samuel de Champlain in 1604. While studying the beds of the St. Lawrence River, the scientist accidentally learned from the locals about the existence of a small ledge of water.

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Since the late 19th century, Niagara Falls became a place for extreme games. In 1901, the American Annie Taylor was the first to go down in a barrel and survived. Many others were seriously injured, and some even crashed.

Today, Niagara Falls in North America – a very popular place among locals and especially among tourists who come to the United States, be sure to try to visit it. Almost always a rainbow forms over the waterfall, which makes it even more attractive.

American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls

Interesting facts about Niagara Falls

There are several very interesting facts about Niagara Falls:

  1. In 1969 the American Falls was stopped completely for several months. The river was diverted by building a temporary dam. This was necessary to remove loose rock at the base of the waterfall and to remove crumbling rocks from the river bed. In November 1969, the dam was broken and the water flow returned to its former course.
  2. About 20% of the world’s fresh water is in the Great Lakes, most of which pass through Niagara Falls.
  3. Niagara Falls, which has been popular since the early 19th century, today welcomes more than 12 million tourists annually.
  4. About 90% of the fish that are carried down the falls survive thanks to the foam that forms at the bottom.

Horseshoe Falls

How to get to Niagara Falls

There are several ways to get to Niagara Falls in North America.

From the Canadian side:

  1. By bus: Take the Megabus bus from the Toronto Coach Terminal station to the Niagara Falls Bus Terminal. You can check the schedule and buy tickets at this link. Then from the nearest bus stop, take bus number 603 to the Hilton Hotel near the Falls.
  2. By car: You can drive yourself from Toronto to the Falls by the following routes:

From the U.S. side:

  1. By plane: You can fly from New York City Airport to Buffalo Airport, you can track flight schedules and tickets at this link. From Buffalo to the Falls you can call a cab or drive yourself.
  2. By train: There are trains from Penn Station in New York City to Buffalo Station. View the schedule and ticket prices at this link. You can also take a cab from Buffalo to the Falls.
  3. Cabs: You can take a cab from New York to the Falls, one of the most expensive but comfortable options; cabs in the U.S. are standard yellow with a distinctive sign.
  4. By Car: For self-guided travel from any city in the U.S., you can take a car. The route from New York will be as follows:

For schedules and ticket prices for buses from various cities, visit the Greyhound carrier’s website.

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