When you visit the Niagara Falls area, there are two things that you will not lack – water and tours. Niagara Falls is indeed a popular tourist area, but this is a place that anybody who appreciates the beauty and the wonder of nature must visit, more than once in most cases.
While tours in other popular vacation destinations are not always worth the time, the tours in the Niagara Peninsula – on both the American and Canadian sides – really are worth the time associated with them. It is through these tours that you will get as close as possible to the Falls, and also get a true sense of just how special the Falls are in terms of what time and nature can do.
The Maid of the Mist boat tours are an absolute must – this is the oldest attraction in Niagara Falls, and will take you as close to the American Falls as possible.
You must follow up the Maid of the Mist with Journey Behind the Falls. Here, you will also get very close to the falls. In fact, you will get so close that special rain gear and footwear will be handed out before you are taken on the tour so that you don’t get ‘quite so wet’ on deck.
While the Maid of the Mist Tour is fascinating and fun, if you want thrills, follow it up with Niagara’s Fury, where you can experience the creation of Niagara Falls first hand in 4-D!
Visit the Niagara Falls State Park, and take the Trolley. This tour will stop at the most scenic places along the way, and a great deal of information is given about various spots and the entire area in general.
Interesting Niagara Falls Information
If you are planning a trip to Niagara Falls, here are some facts that may interest you a great deal. These facts may also interest you even if you aren’t planning a visit to Niagara Falls, and may entice you to visit just in order to see this natural wonder in person!
• The water that gives us these gorgeous waterfalls comes from the Great Lakes, which supplies 18% of the world’s freshwater supply – enough water to cover the entire continent of North America with more than three feet of water. Water flows from rivers and streams into the Great Lakes.
• From the Great Lakes, the water flows to Lake Superior, over the Falls, and then through the Niagara River to Lake Ontario, to the St. Lawrence River, and then on into the Atlantic Ocean.
• While water flows downhill out to sea and the basin of the Great Lakes slopes downward from west to east, the Niagara River flows north.
• Over 6 million cubic feet of water pour over the Falls each minute during the daytime. It is less at night, as this is when the water is diverted for the preservation of the falls.
• The lower Niagara River is only about 36 miles long and runs between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. The change in altitude between the two rivers is 326 feet, with more than half of that altitude change occurring at Niagara Falls. The upper portion of the Niagara River runs for 22 miles, from Lake Erie to the Cascade Rapids. The Niagara Gorge runs for 7 miles downstream and ends at the Escarpment at Queenston.
• The Horseshoe Falls is 170 feet, and the waterfalls into the Maid of the Mist Pool. The deepest part of the Niagara River below is also 170 feet. The American Falls height varies at different points, ranging from 70 to 110 feet.
• Niagara Falls does not hold the record for the highest waterfalls. There are approximately 500 other waterfalls that are higher. The highest is Angel Falls in Venezuela, at 3212 feet. Even so, it seems that no other falls can stake claim to having a higher amount of water volume than the falls at Niagara Falls, with more than 6 million cubic feet per minute.
• Niagara Falls has moved about 7 miles in the last 12,000 years through the process of natural erosion.
• Niagara Falls is a legacy given to us from the last ice age and is believed to be about 18,000 years old.
• The water in the Niagara River has a green color. This color comes from the 60 tons of natural minerals that are dumped over the falls each minute.
• Niagara Falls serves as more than just a beautiful legacy from the ice age, it also provides drinking water, fishing, recreation, industrial water, and hydropower to more than a million people in the United States and Canada.
• Each night, after 10 pm, water is diverted from Niagara Falls, with a series of diversion tunnels operated by both the United States and Canada. This has been the case since 1910. The amount of water varies, but the 1950 Niagara Treaty requires that 100,000 cubic feet per second run over the falls during the daylight hours. It also requires that the amount of water may not be less than 50,000 cubic feet per second at other times.
• If the water was not diverted, the water would rise approximately five meters, and the natural erosion would occur at a much faster rate. It is estimated that at the current rate of erosion, the falls will be a raging river in about 50,000 years, as opposed to a series of waterfalls.