Niagara Falls is situated between the twin cities of Niagara Falls, Ontario and Niagara Falls, New York, and is separated into two sections: The American Falls and the Horseshoe Falls. The highest drop is from Horseshoe Falls which is about 170 feet, whereas American Falls is only a 70-foot drop. However, the sight of Niagara Falls is still spectacular. The intensity of the water rushing over the cliff’s edge, pumping at its peak over 100,000 cubic feet of water every second from Lake Erie, leaves Niagara Falls as a true testament to Nature’s majesty.
As the largest waterfall in the United States, Niagara Falls has been a popular attraction ever since tourism became a business. The site offers tours, boat rides, and nature hikes-each of which offers a different way of experiencing Niagara Falls. From the Point Prospect Observation Tower, which provides a wide survey of the entire structure, to pathways along Prospect Point Park and several different islands, one can really get a feel of just how wide the Falls are. However, nothing beats the face-to-face experience of being beneath the crashing waters on the Maid of the Mist, one of many boat cruises that takes tourists right into “the belly of the beast”. Another option for hands-on discovery is to take the nature hike from Goat Island, from where access to one of Niagara Falls’ caves is possible. Whichever experience you choose, you’re likely to come away with the realization of the minuscule role we humans play in the grand scheme of things on this earth. It almost tends to be an out-of-body experience as one realizes up-close, the sheer beauty and magnitude of Niagara Falls as well as the presence of danger lying dormant within her confines.
A visit to the Falls is rather convenient because of its multiple access points, but it’s important to note that during the peak tourism months of July and August, a nature buff might not get the full spiritual experience of Niagara’s greatness simply because the presence of large crowds of tourists (including squealing children and flashing cameras). Also in the summer, nearly unbearable heat near the waterfalls makes it challenging for all by the most experienced hiker. During these months it’s best to opt for the boat tour…but, be forewarned… you will get wet!
The best time to visit Niagara Falls in order to get the full experience would be April-May. Check the weather to make sure it won’t be raining. There’s already so much water in the vicinity, you don’t need any more. It can tend to get a bit swampy and the hike up to Niagara will prove to be more difficult than you bargained for. However, if you catch a hike or tour on a dry day, the smell of the air will lead you to believe you’ve found an oasis in the midst of a crazy world. So, nature-lovers…avoid the summer crowds and heat to experience the best of Niagara Falls.
But, if you’re just looking for something to do while vacationing around that area of the Canadian border with your family, the summer months are not that bad. The tour guides tend to be a bit more aware of the presence of younger children and they’ll structure the tours in a way that even the youngest kids can have fun as well. It can be a memorable family experience if that’s what you’re looking for. There’s nothing quite like nature’s ferocity if ending at Niagara Falls on a journey of self-exploration and discovery.