Friday, November 8, 2013

NIAGARA FALLS - Powerful Memories

A visit to Niagara Falls is on almost everyone’s bucket list and since it’s an experience that will last a lifetime it’s one item on the list that's sure to get checked off.

First discovered in 1678, by French explorer Father Louis Hennepin, Niagara Falls was one of America's first icons, luring explorers, daredevils and millions of visitors with its untamed beauty, thundering roar and tremendous power.
Niagara Falls is actually made up of three waterfalls which straddle the international border between the Province of Ontario in Canada and New York State in the U.S. The Horseshoe Falls is the largest of the waterfalls followed by the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls.

The Horseshoe Falls are in Canada and the American Falls, not surprisingly, are in the United States. They’re separated by Goat Island. The smallest of the waterfalls – the Bridal Veil Falls is also located on the American side but separated from the other two waterfalls by Luna Island.

Though the Canada/US boundary line was originally drawn through the Horseshoe Falls in 1819, natural erosion and continual construction has made its actual location a long running debate between the two countries.

Only 17 miles from Buffalo, New York and 75 miles from Toronto, Ontario the Falls sits between the twin cities of Niagara Falls, Ontario and Niagara Falls, New York making it the perfect base camp for easy touring throughout Western New York & Southern Ontario. Don't forget your passport as you'll probably want to cross the border at some point.

The Horseshoe, Bridal Veil & American Falls (r-l) 
On the American side the Falls are located in the Niagara Falls State Park. You can enjoy the park 24/7 either on foot or by riding the Niagara Scenic Trolley. There’s also lots of RV parking.

Be sure to take in some world-class attractions which offer the region’s 8 million annual visitors an opportunity to feel, see and experience the rush of Niagara's waters. Tour operators offer free pick-up & drop-off at many of the area's private campgrounds.

The Maid of the Mist
By far, the oldest and best known tourist attraction at Niagara Falls is the Maid of the Mist. Its a boat cruise named for an ancient Ongiara Indian mythical character which has carried passengers into the rapids immediately below the falls since 1846. 

Each year, millions of people don those blue ponchos for a close up view of the Falls on this legendary boat ride. Cruise boats operate from docks on the American side of the falls.

The Niagara Falls Aquarium
A world of discovery awaits you at the Niagara Aquarium which boasts over 1,500 aquatic animals. You can learn about the Aquarium’s inhabitants during the penguin, shark and tidal pool feeding presentations. 

The California Sea Lions perform daily and there's even a touch tank where you can feel and hold sea stars, crabs, lobsters and more. The Aquarium is open daily and its a short stroll from the Falls with free RV parking.

The Niagara Power Generating Station
Located just 4 miles downstream from the Falls, The Niagara Power Vista Visitors Center features interactive exhibits and an observation deck 350 ft. above the spectacular Niagara River Gorge. 

Visitors enjoy the hands-on experience as they learn about hydroelectricity and the historic role it's played in the Niagara Frontier. Admission is free and it's open daily.

Old Fort Niagara
Step back in time at Old Fort Niagara. This original 18th century fortress is where great empires once struggled for control of North America during the French and Indian War, American Revolution, and War of 1812

This fortress offers exciting living history programs, exhibits with original artifacts and spectacular scenery. Don't miss the Fort's original War of 1812 Flag. By RV it's just minutes from the Falls via the Robert Moses Parkway North