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Niagara Falls

Updated on December 30, 2010

The majestic wonder of Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls is not the tallest, or longest waterfall in the world but it is easily one of the most famous. 

 Niagara is actually composed of 3 waterfalls, the American Falls, the Bridal veil and the Canadian Horseshoe Falls.  

Niagara is one of two major Waterfalls to lie on the boarder of two countries, the other is Victoria falls in South Africa.

Side veiw for The Horseshoe Falls

History and facts about Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls was formed about 12,000 to 4000 years ago by glacier melt.

The American Falls are 174 feet high, but there is about 100 feet of rocks built up at the base so it appears to be only 70 feet high.

In 1969 all water flow to the American Falls was stopped to see if the rocks at the base could be removed to give the falls a better appearance.

After several months study it was determined that the cost would be too great and to leave the falls as they are.

The Canadian Horseshoe Falls are only 167 feet tall, That is puny compared to tallest waterfall in the world, Angel Falls in South America which is 2,421 tall!

Niagara Falls is the second largest falls in terms of width, the largest is Victoria Falls in southern Africa.

But when it comes to sheer volume of water going over the falls, Niagara has the rest beat. While Victoria falls has an average of 550,000 cubic meters of water plummeting over the edge every minute. The combined Niagara Falls have 750,000 U.S. gallons of water going over the falls every second!

This is because 4 of the 5 Great Lakes drain into the Niagara River that feeds Niagara Falls.

The First "white man" to discover the falls was Samuel de Champlain, who was exploring the area in 1604.

Over the next 150 years other explorers brought back tails of a magnificent waterfall. By 1800 tourist were starting to flock to the area to see this wonder first hand. The First foot bridge over the Niagara River was build in 1848 so people could freely cross from one side of the falls to the other. Hotels, roads and railways soon followed and today Niagara Falls now sees over 12 million tourist each year.

American Falls in the early morning light

Niagara Falls - Flow Stopped,1969

Daredevils of Niagara Falls

Yes, people really have gone over Niagara falls in a barrels

The first daredevil was Sam Patch , also know as the Yankee Leaper. In October 1829 Sam leaped from a high tower into the gorge below the falls and survived.

This starred a daredevil tradition that still goes on today, dispite law enforcements efforts to stop it.

Jean François "Blondin" Gravelet was the first tightrope walker to cross the Falls. Actually he and other tightrope walkers crossed the river gorge below the falls, not Niagara Falls. These Tightrope stunts were extremely popular add drew huge crowds in the mid to late 1800's.

The first person to go over the falls in a barrel was a woman. A little old lady to be precise. In 1901 Annie Edson Taylor was a 63 year old school teacher, who hoped that going over the falls would make her rich. She survived the plunge, but never received the fame and fortune she had hope to get.

Numorus other attempts have been made over the years, some successsful, some not. Going over the falls is a crime on both sides of the boarder and those that try and make it, face arrest, stiff fines and jail time.

Mirical at Niagra: In July of 1960 a 7 year old boy was involved in a boating accident, he was caught in the strong Niagra River currant and swapt over the Horseshoe Falls wearing nothing but a bathing suit and a life vest. Amazingly the boy Survived! He was rescued by passengers abord a Maid of the Mist.

Maid of the Mist

Get soaked in the experience of Niagara Falls aboard the Maid of the Mist

The Maid of the Mist is America's oldest tourist attraction. It started in 1846 as a way to ferry people and goods from one side of the river to the other. But soon people were asking for a closer look at the falls, so tours into the mist began.

Today you can take a 30 minute trip into the mist from either the US side or the Canadian side of the falls. Boats leave every 15 to 30 minutes.

Reservation are not required, but it is a good idea to get there early in the day during peak summer months as the lines can get very long and tours fill up fast.

Boats run 9am to 7pm during the summer, weather permitting. Mist tours start around April 16th and go until approximately October 24th. The river does freeze over so times may vary.

This is an awesome experience! Your boat will glide by the base of the American falls and head up river to the Horseshoe Falls. Seeing that 160 foot wall of water in front of you is somewhat intimidating. You are then engulfed in the swirling mist of the falls and the spray is rather refreshing on a hot summer day. You are provided with a souvenir raincoat to keep you from getting too soaked, but during the summer many passengers take them off and enjoy getting drenched.

Admission Prices

(Shown in Canadian dollars and does not include taxes.)

$14.00 Adults (13+ years), $8.60 Children (6 to 12 years) Children 5 and under are FREE!

Maid of the mist at the base of the American Falls

Leaving the dock heading for the American Falls

Looking up at the American Falls

Looking up river at the Horseshoe Falls

The edge of Horseshoe Falls

We are about to get wet!

Getting WET!

Your boat will spend about 10 minutes playing in the mist. This gives everyone a chance to get as many pictures as they like.

Behind the falls

Travel back behind the cave to see the power of Niagara

Once you have seen Niagara from above and below, venture behind the falls for a very up close and powerful experience.

You descend in an elevator 150 feet into a tunnel carved out behind the Horseshoe Falls. This tunnel leads to two windows cut into the rock wall where you can see 2,800 cubic meters of water thunders over the rim at 65 kilometers per hour.

These two windows are the Cataract Portal and the Great Falls Portal.

Less then 15 feet from Niagara Falls

Travel Niagara Falls - Journey Behind The Falls

The Whirlpool

Down the river from Niagara Falls lies the Giant Whirlpool.

Two miles below the falls the Niagara River makes an abrupt 90-degree right turn. The water is traveling at such a high rate of speed and the right hand opening is so narrow that it causes a giant whirlpool to form. By day the whirlpool spins counter clockwise and at night when water from the falls is diverted to Hydro Electric plants, the Whirlpool changes directions and spins clockwise.

The Aerocar

If you dare you can board the Spanish Aerocar. This nearly 100-year-old cable car traverses the Whirlpool taking you right over the center of it.

The car carries up to 35 passengers and the ride last about 10 minutes.

The Whirlpool Rapids

The Whirlpool Rapids lie between The American Falls and the Giant Whirlpool.

These Rapids are rated at 5s and 6s making this one of the most dangerous stretches of river in the world.

At least one boat and a few kayaks have made it through this maelstrom, but for the most part this river is considered to be un-navigable.

Admission Prices are shown in Canadian dollars and do not include taxes.

$11.00 Adults (13+ years), $6.50 Children (6 to 12 years)

Children 5 and under are FREE!

Butterfly Gardens

Over 2000 Butterflies flying free in a lush tropical setting.

The Butterfly Conservatory is a wonderful way to relax and get out of the summer sun.

The Butterfly Conservatory is located 10 minutes north of Niagara Falls on the grounds of the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens & School of Horticulture.

Admission

Prices are shown in Canadian dollars and do not include taxes.

$11.00 Adults (13+ years), $6.50 Children (6 to 12 years)

Children 5 and under are FREE!

A group of Butterflies feeding and sunning themselves.

This butterfly was the most intense neon green color. Sadly the color did not photograph well.

You must be careful where you put your hands and feet as butterflies are everywhere.

This jet-black butterfly reminds me of a stealth bomber.

The Butterflies are friendly and will often land on people.

If you would like to encourage a butterfly visit it is best to wear bright colors, hot pink and neon orange are particular favorites with butterflies.

Skylon Tower

View Niagara Falls from the top of the Skylon Tower.

Build in 1964 The Skylon Tower raises 520 above Niagara Falls.

The Tower offers spectacular views of both the Canadian and American Falls as well as much of the surrounding area.

Dinner at the top

The Skylon Tower has two dinning rooms and an observation deck.

Buffet dinning runs $35.00 per person and offers nice views from the dinning room windows.

The Revolving Dinning Room is pricey at $50.00 to $70.00 a plate, not including drinks.

The food is very good and the view is out of this world!

All tables have a view and the dinning room revolves once every hour.

This is a very romantic place and many a young man has proposed to his ladylove in this dinning room.

A couple setting next to us got engaged while we were there.

Looking down at the Amierican Falls

Looking down at the Horseshoe Falls

Night lit Niagara seen from the Skylon Tower observation deck.

Niagara at Night.

In 1879 the falls were lit for the first time to honor a visit by the Marquis of Lorne, Governor-General of Canada and his wife Princess Louise.

Today the falls are lit year round starting at dusk and lasting until about midnight each night.

The colors change throughout the night fading and blending into new colors.

You can find yourself being mesmerized by the beautiful ever changing colors.

Lights on the Horseshow falls can be hard to see because of the constant mist that hangs in the air.

Free Fireworks Shows

During the summer months Niagara offers free Fireworks shows, usually on Friday and Sundays.

Show start at 10pm by the American Falls.

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    • profile image

      Casse 2 years ago

      You are so incredible! I met you bcuaese of Cameron And I'm a nerd like him jaja I loooooveeee photography I admire you so much I love how you edit Cameron's videos :B I wish to be as good as you someday! Good luck wish you the best!

    • profile image

      MarcellaCarlton 5 years ago

      I THINK THAT THIS WAS AN INCREDIBLE LENS! The pictures were beautiful and the falls were astounding. I'm stunned.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Lovely lens! Lovely pictures really capture the essence of Niagra Falls!

    • Michelle77 LM profile image

      Michelle77 LM 6 years ago

      I Love your pics. I am a real Niagara Falls enthusiast ~it' s such a great place!

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 6 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Better late than never.... finally compiled my SquidAngel Lens from my 'angel flight' back in the Fall of 2010 :-) So.... returning to tell you that this lens has now been 'featured on' and 'lensrolled to' "SquidAngel Blessings by an Elf".

    • traveller27 profile image

      traveller27 6 years ago

      Lots of nice photos and very informative.

    • PaulaMorgan profile image

      Paula Morgan 6 years ago from Sydney Australia

      I had no idea there were 3 separate falls... I hope I make it for a visit one day. Congrats on making the top 5 travel sites this month.

    • BlackHeart1 profile image

      BlackHeart1 6 years ago

      You made it!! You submitted this lens for the top Travel & Places Lens section and you made it to the top 5 ... Be sure to go check this page: http://www.squidoo.com/top-5-travel-places on the first of the month to see what your position in the top 5 is and tell your friends and visitors about it too

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 6 years ago from East Central Florida

      Really neat lens! I've never been there,but want to go now ... and especially ride the 'Maid of the Mist' ferry ride, which sounds like great fun!

    • michelleart profile image

      Michelle Collins 6 years ago from Florida

      GREAT LENS! I visited Niagara a few years back it was a beautiful trip! I was wanting to build a lens on it but can not find my photos in my files :(

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 6 years ago

      I visited Niagara Falls a few years ago- just beautiful. Went to Wonderland on the same trip, lots of fun. Cupid Kissed -:)

    • Christene-S profile image

      Christene-S 6 years ago

      Blessed by a SquidAngel :)

    • greenkat lm profile image

      greenkat lm 6 years ago

      Loved the pics - would love to be there to see at night!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      ~ Blessed by a Squidoo Angel of the Travel Canada neighbourhood ~

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      the butterfly conservatory is gorgeous a great place to sit and meditate. I wore a white tank top dress there and had a bunch of butterflies land on my dress and shoulder, butterfly kisses, gives you goose bumps :) too bad I didnt have a camera with me.. i would have video taped it and put it up on youtube lol

    • turner-bob profile image

      turner-bob 6 years ago

      extremely well done!!

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      Great lens with beautiful pictures of the Falls. I visited Niagara Falls many years ago and it was a memorable experience

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 7 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Loved the photos of Niagara Falls! On a family trip from the Midwest to Rochester, NY one year to visit relatives, hubby suggested we take a trip to Niagara Falls. My response was "Why?". His answer was 'because the children and I have never seen it"! :). It had never occurred to me that my Kansas hubby and children had never visited Niagara Falls. To me it was 'Old Hat'. I spent my growing up years going to Niagara Falls maybe 8-9 times every summer for simple family picnics in a picturesque spot. Can't even 'count' the times I've been there. And, yes, we DID go and my hubby & kids loved it. Even went over to the Canadian side (which I'd also done frequently) and stayed for the light show. Thanks for the memories this lens brings back! ~~Blessed by a SquidAngel~~

    • VarietyWriter2 profile image

      VarietyWriter2 7 years ago

      Beautiful photos. It's one place I want to visit someday. Blessed by a SquidAngel :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      A beautiful showcase! Really enjoyed the thrill of it all...

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      This is a wonderful lens and I loved all the beautiful pictures of all the places you visited. I've been several times to the Falls, but haven't explored all the places.

    • profile image

      poutine 7 years ago

      I really enjoyed reading this lens and loved to look at all the

      beautiful photos.

      I was there many times before and love the Falls.

    • Christene-S profile image

      Christene-S 7 years ago

      Blessed by a SquidAngel :)

    • Suzie-Shine profile image

      Suzie-Shine 8 years ago

      Yesterday my friend had just arrived home from Canada and I saw her photos of the Niagra Falls (I'm in the UK). It all sounds wonderful, so much so that I defintely have itchy feet, as I love travelling. The falls are on my list of places to visit, hopefully not too far in the future.

      Super lens and loved the photos.

      Suzie

    • TopStyleTravel profile image

      TopStyleTravel 8 years ago

      Fabulous lens on Niagara Falls. Five stars! Your pictures are breathtaking. Now is the best time to travel to a wonderful destination like this, with travel prices at their lowest.

    • profile image

      GHouse 9 years ago

      Hi!! Just come to see your nice lens. What a fantastic falls. I did my travel lens too. It's about my hotel in hua hin Thailand. Hua Hin is a charming town of clean white sandy beach. If you come to Thailand, please visit us.

    • grassosalvato86 profile image

      grassosalvato86 9 years ago

      Wow!! What great a lens!! I've always wanted to visit the Niagara Falls. you've got here, very beutiful photos about them. 5 stars

    • profile image

      beachbum_gabby 9 years ago

      well presented lens about Niagara Falls. cool images too!

    • Stephen Lewis profile image

      Stephen Lewis 9 years ago

      Beautifully done! I have been to the falls several times and do admit I miss sitting on the wall on the Canadian side where I could see the depth of water at the edge and nearly teel the power of the current, but I do understand the necessity to keep the kooks from jumping to their death. I will have to be satisfied to sit at the edge of Nevada falls in Yosemite valley. But it is not the same.

      I would ask that you add a module on the huge engineering fete that nearly doubles the power output of the falls by pumping the diverted water uphill at night into the artificial lake and letting it run back downhill in the daytime at peak power demand time. The existing ability to turn the falls off and on at will is a surprise even to most that have been there.

      ElkieRog@aol.com

    • fefe42 profile image

      fefe42 9 years ago

      I was interested in Niagra Falls after watching the TV show Wonderfalls on DVD. It has an episode about a woman who became famous for being the first one to go down the falls. It is interesting that the real first person to go down the falls in a barrel was 63 in 1901. I am not too surprised there is a law about it now.

    • profile image

      Webwatch 9 years ago

      A good lens on Niagara Falls. The falls from maid of the mist was mesmerizing. I got two videos from the trip last year - http://www.metacafe.com/watch/867451/american_fall...

      http://www.metacafe.com/watch/864498/the_wonder_of...

    • Karendelac profile image

      Karendelac 10 years ago

      Dear Lady, I rated your lens 5 stars. It is wonderful, I especially love the photographs. I have a State-of-the-Art Titanic Lens which I feel you will enjoy as well ~~ I would appreciate your input and rating ~~ Please click on Karendelac above, to view it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 10 years ago

      Great Lens! 5 Stars - for Disneyland tips visit http://www.disneylandsecrets.com

    • daoine lm profile image

      daoine lm 10 years ago

      How gorgeous! Your pictures are stunning. I really want to visit one day.

    • profile image

      ebizsalez 10 years ago

      Niagara is really beautiful! I went there about three years ago and its one one of the most beautiful places i have ever seen. I have to admit though that the Canadian side is better but i heard that there projects that will start soon in the American side.

    • profile image

      dock13sl 10 years ago

      really nice lens l have many fond memories of the falls, really nice pics too.

      playervsplayer

    • JohannDog profile image

      Johann The Dog 10 years ago from Northeast Georgia

      Great pics - great lens! Thanks for an enjoyable time here. Woofs, Johann

    • Gatsby LM profile image

      Gatsby LM 10 years ago

      5* Where did you manage to find such beautiful pictures? Solve Dog Behavior Problems

    • KSamuel-Stevens profile image

      KSamuel-Stevens 10 years ago

      The Falls area is my old stomping grounds. You did a great job of convaying the beauty of the area. Five stars

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 10 years ago from USA

      Wow, these pictures are awesome. Beautiful lens! 5*

    • DogWhisperWoman1 profile image

      DogWhisperWoman1 10 years ago

      This is one place I want to see. 5 stars. Dog Whisper Woman

    • profile image

      Aika 10 years ago

      wow~ I really love those images of Niagara Falls. Magical! 5*

    • Mark-Nehs profile image

      Mark-Nehs 10 years ago

      Great Lens -- fun facts and great pics.

      Thanks for the encouraging words and the warning (it is addicting).

    • bigjimj profile image

      bigjimj 10 years ago

      Excellent lens. You give such a good preview of this amazing landmark. 5*s. Thanks.

    • GypsyPirate LM profile image

      GypsyPirate LM 10 years ago

      What a great lens. I was lucky enough to grow up where The Falls are a short day trip and have been there many times. It never fails to take my breath away, and you lens conveyed that very well. Thanks for your hard work!

    • Signhappy profile image

      Signhappy 10 years ago

      Was there a few years ago and just loved it. Nice lens!

    • profile image

      misspatricia 10 years ago

      interesting lens! saw you on the stores thread.

    • Classic LM profile image

      Classic LM 10 years ago

      OOps, what I meant to say is, thanks for submitting this lens to Faraway places and feel free to also submit it to my other group, Nature and Environment! Now we have it. Hahaha! I think I was working too much on lenses today!

    • Classic LM profile image

      Classic LM 10 years ago

      Wow, you did an above average great job on this lens! Thank you for submitting it to Nature and Environment! I gave you 5*s! If you have time, please visit my lenses entitled budapesthungary and iznik. Keep the great lenses coming!

    • profile image

      DeanBakerWholesale 10 years ago

      Great lens

    • profile image

      anonymous 10 years ago

      Wow! I agree, what fantastic pictures and a shame I can only rate 5 stars! I'm definitely coming back to read this again! Hey, fleur if you're going on the next trip, make room for me! LOL - Kathy

    • fleurdelisrising profile image

      fleurdelisrising 10 years ago

      AWESOME pics, Lady G! I wanna go!!! Next trip, your suitcase might be a tad bit heavier than you expect ;o)