The Niagara Falls are located on the border of Ontario Province, Canada, and New York State, U.S.A. The water flows from the Great Lakes, the world’s largest surface freshwater system, all the way down to the Atlantic Ocean.
See one of the world’s most awe-inspiring displays of the power of nature- from the sky, from the foaming river below, or even from within arm’s reach. The Niagara River connects Lake Erie with Lake Ontario.
But before it gets there, the water plunges down almost 170 feet in a straight drop. The volume of water that comes tumbling over the crest is overwhelming: Almost 170,000 cubic meters of water, that’s 6 million cubic feet, thunders over these combined falls each minute during the Falls’ peak hours.
Most people don’t realize this until they get there, but there are actually three waterfalls. East are the American Falls and the narrow Bridal Veil Falls. Then you’ve got Goat Island and to the west is the impressive Canadian Horseshoe Falls, the widest and most powerful of them all.
Glide over the river, or explore the many other vantage points, to see the water plummet into the depths below. The resulting plume of mist is visible from miles away. To feel its spray, board the Maid of the Mist.
The first wooden steamboat took people to the falls as early as the mid 1800s and, while the Maids are now made out of steel, the excitement during this half-hour cruise has changed little since.
If you want to get as close to the curtain of water as you can, embark on a Journey Behind the Falls and see – and hear – the water rush past right in front of you. Below the Falls, the foaming water mass squeezes its way through a narrow gorge, creating the Whirlpool Rapids, which you can get to, aboard a jet raft.
Aside from nature, there is also plenty of family entertainment to be had under neon lights. Take the kids to visit the Niagara SkyWheel and nearby themed attractions and arcades. Cross the Rainbow Bridge to the American side to see the Aquarium of Niagara in a serene environment or stay on the Canadian side and enjoy the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens.
Niagara-on-the-Lake is only a short drive away. Visit this pretty 19th-century village to browse boutique shops, play golf or have lunch before you set out to explore Ontario’s wine country.
A shuttle bus or taxi can drop you back at the Falls in no time. Scale the Skylon Tower to admire this glorious landscape once more. Less than a 2-hour drive from Toronto and only a taxi ride away from Buffalo airport, getting to Niagara is easy.
Their accessibility and splendor make the Niagara Falls one of the most-photographed natural spectacles in the world. But, of course, no picture can capture the thrill you feel – and the roar you hear – when you witness Niagara’s astonishing power. An impression that will last a lifetime…