Visiting Niagara Falls

Those of you who know me, know that I absolutely love waterfalls. I’ve visited Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Zambia; abseiled down Howick Falls in Howick outside Pietermaritzburg in South Africa; bungee jumped off Lehr’s Falls in Oribi Gorge in South Africa; walked the “4 Waterfalls Walk” in the Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales and have visited countless others. I even have a Flickr photo set, completely dedicated to waterfalls.  So, when I was in Toronto, it made complete sense to head out to Niagara Falls.

Niagara Falls is actually made up of 3 waterfalls: American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and Canadian Falls.

Niagara Falls lies on the border between America (New York state) and Canada (Ontario province). Over 12 million tourists journey from all over the world to view this incredible sight. From the Canadian side, you look across the Niagara River at the falls. The falls were formed during the Ice Age and through many geophysical happenings, the land ended up with what you see today.

The journey from Toronto is roughly 1.5 hours and I saw the falls spray from the road before I even saw the falls.

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I was so excited and when we drove through the town and I caught a glimpse of the falls on my left, I was bouncing up and down like a crazy thing in my seat.

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The town is situated at the top of the falls and you drive along the road above the river before heading into the parking area. Be prepared, it is C$18 / $17.57 / £11.30 / 13.94€ a day!

From the parking area, walk back along the viewing path which overlooks the river and the Canadian Falls (also called Horseshoe Falls). The spray reaches high into the air and depending on which way the wind is blowing, you’re likely to get drenched, which is all part of the fun.

A large gift shop and a collection of restaurants are housed in a building nearby and you can stop in here to buy postcards, framed photos and giant mooses.

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Starting close to the bend of the Canadian Falls, it is hard to appreciate the scale of the falls even though it is a 50m drop down to the river. Keep walking and keep looking back and your view will gradually improve until the whole curve of the Canadian Falls appears in front of you. An astonishing 2,271,247 litres per second thunder over the top of these falls. That explains the spray!

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Look down and you’re sure to see North America’s oldest tourist attraction, the “Maid of the Mist”, ferrying her next load of ‘soon-to-be-wet’ passengers towards the falls. You can see all their blue rain raincoats (provided free of charge by the boat tour.) The rides run every 15 minutes (there are a few boats) and last approximately 30 minutes. Follow in the footsteps of Marilyn Monroe and Brad Pitt and do a tour yourself. Prices are C$19.75 / $19.27 / £12.39 / 15.29€ for adults and C$12.65 / $12.34 / £7.94 / 9.80€ for children.

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Carry on walking and soon you will see the American and Bridal Veil Falls come into view. Nearly 568,000 litres per second go over these falls which is also a huge volume of water!!
These two falls are completely different in style and shape to the Canadian Falls but equally beautiful. You would need a SUPER wide angle lens or airplane to photograph all three falls in one shot. The Niagara Falls blog has some gorgeous pictures, check them out here.

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At night, they flood the falls with coloured lights but sadly, I visited during the day and didn’t see this. I have heard it is beautiful.

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I absolutely loved my time at the falls and took many, many photos. Walking along viewing the water, the spray, heading the thundering sound and watching people enjoying this amazing sight, was a truly great way to spend a few hours. I would highly recommend it.

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If you would like to read more, you can get plenty more information about the falls and all you can do there from the official Niagara Falls Tourism website at http://www.niagarafallstourism.com/

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4 Responses to Visiting Niagara Falls

  1. Sue Mawer says:

    Love your photos Colleen.

  2. Sue Mawer says:

    Love your photos Colleen

  3. Cristina says:

    Wow, I would have expected to see a lot more water conimg over this time of year. That’s a little scary.Next time you hit the Portland area, try to make it up to the Opal Creek Wilderness area, it is by far my favorite stomping grounds and probably only another 45 min drive west.Nice shot, great perspective.

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