Year after year there are many travelers that want to meet an awesome new destination, but it may be one that leaves them amazed. Well, if you are one of those passionate travelers, right at the border between Canada and the United States, there is an inexhaustible source of water that achieves this amazing purpose, the Niagara Falls.
For you to get to this place, it is possible to travel even from Canada or the United States, but make sure that you plan a good tour so that you have all your permits up to date, specially in case that you want to cross the border.
From the United States it is very common to make a Niagara Falls day trip from New York, by bus, this way you can reach this majestic place without thinking about accommodation or additional transportation since when you purchase the excursion you have a complete round trip transportation package to the Big Apple.
We are convinced that you won’t regret making Niagara Falls one of the next destinations to visit.
Every year, the Niagara Falls are visited by millions of people, from around the world, so, today, we want to help you awaken the curiosity of visiting this tourist destination, one that you must see at least once in your life. But before, here is a list of some amazing facts that you may know about. But first, let’s check a list of some amazing facts that you may know about the Niagara Falls.
1. Origin of Niagara Falls
More than 12,000 years ago, the Niagara Falls were created as a result of the emission of a gigantic Canadian glacier that, in its journey through the eastern area, formed new glaciers over the Niagara River and the Great Lakes of North America. This natural effect increased the water flow eroding the adjacent rocks, naturally creating a 54 meters high and about 1,000 meters wide waterfall.
2. Where are Niagara Falls located?
Niagara Falls are located on the border between Canada and the United States, however these do not belong to either country. They are born from the union of 3 waterfalls: American Falls, Horseshoe Falls and Bridal Veil Falls, which extend for 36 miles, from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario.
But the political map of America has drawn a boundary where the waterfalls are divided between the two countries, where Horseshoe Falls belongs to Canada while the American and Bridal Falls are on the American side.
3. What is the length and height of the falls?
The American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls are about 1,060 feet long and 176 feet tall. The volume of water falling from each fall is 150,000 gallons, which is more than 560,000 liters per second.
The Horseshoe Falls are nearly 2,600 feet long and 167 feet tall. The volume of water falling is 600,000 gallons and 2,271,247 liters per second.
4. The amount of water flowing through the falls varies according to the season
The amount of water that falls from the falls varies constantly as two hydroelectric plants are in charge of extracting water affecting the volume that finally flows.
To this is added the time of year and the time of day, because it has been shown that, during the summer, thanks to the number of tourists, the flow of water is greater during the day than in the night. In the daytime the volume is maintained at 100,000 cubic feet while at night it goes down to 50,000 cubic feet per second, as they take the opportunity to put the hydroelectric plants to work.
5. The Niagara Falls have a world record for the highest volume of water fall
Niagara Falls are not the widest or highest waterfall in the world, however, because they are a “funnel” of 3 different waterfalls, they have won the largest volume of waterfall world record. We are talking about 110,000 m3 per minute, it is practically 3,000 tons of water per second.
6. Where does the Niagara Falls name come from?
The term “Niagara” comes from the terminology used by the Iroquois Indians, a native community of the region. This population lived near Lake Erie and believed that the falls, due to their immensity, were the home of Hinu (God of Thunder), therefore they called the place as “Niagara” or thunder of water .
7. It has been a stage for movies and TV series
Since the Waterfalls or hydroelectric plants are an excellent stage for the Hollywood plot, many film and television producers have chosen the Niagara´s surroundings to record films such as Superman II, Pirates of the Caribbean, Bride of Chucky, Niagara and episodes of the Ninja Turtles series. It is, definitely, a fortune to appreciate the magic of nature.
8. It is a source of natural resources
For the United States and Canada, Niagara Falls are a fundamental part of the energy and drinking water production. Each year it generates more than 4,000,000 kilowatts of electricity, for both countries, and a little more than 20% of the drinking water consumed by the closest to the falls USA cities.
9. The falls ran out of water
On March 29th, 1848, around midnight, Niagara Falls were left without water for almost 40 hours in a row, just because during the night there were strong wind waves that made ice blocks to move towards the outcrops of Eire Lake. It caused the Niagara River channels to be blocked and the water did not flow towards the falls drying the great waterfall up.
10. Magic and acrobatics on the waters
In 1990 the magician David Copperfield performed one of his shows at the falls, it was called “The Challenge of Niagara Falls” and it consisted of falling from the top tied and locked into a sarcophagus, a few seconds after the fall he appeared in a helicopter flying over the area. How did he do it? A magician never reveals his secrets.
11. Jumps into the void
There are those who have jumped into Niagara´s void for fun and others who have done it to end their life. The most famous free falls have been the ones of Sam Patch (1829) and Annie Edson Taylor (1901), who wanted to experience an adrenaline sensation by jumping from the top. Sam jumped from a trampoline located in the Canadian area and survived the impact, for years many others wanted to follow him without the same fortune until Annie Edson threw herself locked in a barrel surviving the fall. This has been quite a show because the chances of surviving are very low.
The fortune of many others hasn’t been the best after falling through the falls. Either by accident or intentionally, each year there is an average of 25 people who died during the fall.
12. Niagara Falls has a state endorsement
The American side of Niagara Falls is protected by an environmental protection entity in charge of creating the Niagara Falls State Park, since 1885, becoming the first park of its kind in the USA. The architectural paths and spaces were designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, a famous american architect and landscaper commissioned to design New York’s City Central Park.
13. How many people visit Niagara Falls?
It is estimated that there are more than 30 million people who come each year to see this natural spectacle. There is no season in which the place is completely empty, because each weather season gives them a captivating touch. Those visits benefit the commerce of the surrounding regions, especially cities like Ontario in Canada and New York in the United States, in fact there are plans dedicated specifically to visit the falls such as the popular Niagara Falls day trip from New York by bus.
14. Ecological wealth
Once again we announce that this is a natural paradise, home of hundreds of flora and fauna species, many of them in danger of extinction. Some of the animal species found there are the Lake Sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) and the American Bald Eagle. In addition, there are some fish species that use free falls as a slide, but of the hundreds of fishes that fall per day it is believed that only 90% manage to survive, because the foam that forms in the water acts as a mattress. There have been cases in which tourists are hit by fish that fall into the void, those that fail to survive are hunted by birds that inhabit the area.
As for the flora, 14 endemic species of plants of the 600 existing species in the area are in danger of extinction.
15. The falls will cease to exist
For several years it has been said that the falls are “alive” because an 11 kilometers movement has been witnessed during its 12,000 years of existence. As a result of the water erosion and the movement of the rocks, the base of the cliff has been affected, making the movement permanent, also affecting the volume of water, the height of the falls and the rocky material. It cannot be specified how many more years we will be able to enjoy this spectacle but it is estimated that they will disappear in the next 30,000 years.
16. It is the largest waterfall in North America, but it is not the largest in the world
Although about 3,000 tons of water fall from Niagara Falls, and they are the widest and most voluminous in the United States, there are about 500 waterfalls that are higher than this. Anyway, these will surprise you enough when you take a trip to Niagara from NYC.
17. Geologically they are relatively young waterfalls
The falls were born 12,000 years ago, after glacial forces formed the great lakes, created the Niagara River and opened the topography, giving way to this magnitude. Niagara Falls is said to be still in its infancy as there are other formations that have been around for millions of years, such as the Appalachians, 500 million years old, or parts of Mammoth Cave, which are 10 million years old.
18. They are known as the World’s Honeymoon Capital
In 1801, Joseph and Theodosia Alston – New York landowners – traveled to Niagara Falls, with 9 horses and some servants, to celebrate their wedding. Thanks to this, several wealthy people, from both countries, copied the feat and began to visit the place for the same purpose.
But it was not until 1825, when the construction of the Erie Canal was completed, that Niagara Falls became the ideal destination for hundreds of couples who wanted to celebrate their honeymoon. In fact, Jerome, the brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, was one of the many people who chose Niagara Falls to celebrate their nuptials.
As the cost of travel decreased, the popularity of the place increased, especially for this purpose. However, today, more than 12 million people, including families, friends, couples and solo travelers, visit the falls during the summer.
The popularity of the falls as a honeymoon destination is such that if you wish, you can apply for a Honeymoon Certificate issued by the Mayor of Niagara Falls, this document is free and you can order it at the Ontario Tourist Information Center, it also includes a package with discounts to access the attractions.
19. The Maid of the Mist is an exclusive and bragging cruise around the world
The Maid of the Mist began, in 1846, as a ferry used to cross the border between Canada and the USA, carrying 100 passengers and operating on steam. From 1848 it became one of the most popular attractions of the place by bringing passengers up to the waterfall to see its majesty first hand. This attraction can be appreciated when you take an Trip to Niagara Falls from NYC.
20. You may be fined for doing stunts in Niagara Falls
There are many who have wanted to conquer the falls with acrobatics and shows that can be expensive. Both the Canadian and American sides impose fines ranging from $10,000 to a prohibition on entry to either country, or both, depending on the violation committed.
21. The fish fall from the sky
Dozens of fish fall down the waterfall and, some of them, end up falling on tourists who pass by the Cave of the Winds. However, 90% of these fish survive the fall as their bodies have been conditioned for such a feat and the foam serves as a “mattress” so that they do not collide with the rocks at the bottom of the water.
The continuous transformation of the place and how striking it is in each season of the year carries that thousands of people come to see this show with their own eyes. After seeing the Niagara Falls you can leave soaked, burned by the sun, frozen with cold, but it will not cease to be absolutely beautiful and impressive.
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If you dare to take the NYC to Niagara Falls Tour, or if you arrive directly from the Canadian side, we are sure that this visit will be part of one of the best trips of your life.
Don’t think about it anymore, get your suitcase ready and let’s go!