Steeped in history and legend, Niagara Falls is a thundering, dramatic natural wonder that simply shouldn’t be missed. The falls were created thousands of years ago, when the mighty Niagara River carved out a deep gorge in the North American bedrock. The only falls in the world larger than these are Victoria Falls in Africa, on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Like Victoria Falls, Niagara Falls is located on the border between two countries — the United States and Canada. It is actually made up of three waterfalls: Horseshoe Falls, on the Canadian side, and Bridal Veil and American Falls, on the U.S. side.
The Awesome Spectacle of Niagara Falls:
Niagara Falls by the numbers
The beauty of the falls is matched by its power; the river plunges more than 170 feet at American Falls, and about 150,000 gallons of water flow over the edge every second. Even more stunning, Horseshoe Falls pours about 600,000 gallons — nearly three-quarters of a million gallons — of water per second down a 167-foot cliff.
How to view the Niagara falls
Great vistas of the falls are easily accessible from both the Canadian and U.S. sides, with long walkways close enough to feel the mist on your face. For a touch of romance, don’t miss seeing the falls at night, when they’re illuminated by a colorful light show. But there are also some more adventurous opportunities ranging from the mostly tame to the nearly insane.
From Niagara Falls State Park, take a walking tour of Cave of the Winds that begins with a 170-foot elevator ride down into the gorge and ends on a deck just a few short feet away from the base of Bridal Veil Falls. If you prefer riding rather than walking, book a trip on the historic Maid of the Mists — a Niagara Falls tradition for 150 years. You’ll be supplied with rain gear, and ferry right past the base of American Falls and directly into the basin of Horseshoe Falls.
Not crazy enough? Try a jet boat ride over the Devil’s Hole Rapids, a seven-mile stretch of Class 5 whitewater created by the tremendous pressure of the falls upstream. And for those who want to stay dry, a helicopter ride over the falls provides white-knuckle thrills and amazing aerial views.
Truly one of the great wonders of the world, Niagara Falls is worthy of a spot on anyone’s bucket list. Don’t miss it!