Straddling the border of New York and Canada, Niagara Falls is a stunning act of nature that produces a beautiful display of water falling endlessly. With 85,000 cubic feet of water rushing over the edge of the falls every second, the sheer magnitude of the falls’ force is staggering. The Falls drain water from Lakes Erie and Ontario at a rate that would seem to empty the lakes in less than a day!
I stand on the Canadian border of the Falls, watching the water rush to the edge and then go tumbling down to the basin. I try to focus on one spot of water, one gallon perhaps, and as I follow its path over the edge and down with my eyes, it moves so quickly that I almost lose track of it. Then I refocus on the movement of the whole body of water and I still cannot wrap my head around the fact that this amount of water is always falling here, it never stops.
The Falls are actually two in one, the Horseshoe Falls and the American Falls collectively make up Niagara Falls. Many many years ago these Falls were one, but over time the force of the water eroded the ground and the rock beneath it, pushing the Falls further and further back. They moved backwards at a rate of 3 feet every year. Now, there are efforts in place that slow the pace of erosion down to 1 foot per year. Even at that rate, Lake Erie is shrinking and will eventually disappear. Your opportunity to see the falls isn’t in jeopardy, but it’s definitely a good idea to visit!
I could spend all day marveling at the Falls, and indeed several interesting ways to experience them are available now. On the American side, there is a viewing platform that juts out over the cliff, allowing you to stand bravely above the river and gaze out upon the Falls. As their name would suggest, the American Falls are on the American side of the border, so from there you can catch a Maid of the Mist boat tour or take a walk in and around the American Falls.
The Canadian side undeniably has the better views, and on that side you can also hop on a classic Maid of the Mist boat tour to get up close with the Falls, or get all wet and misty by walking beside and behind the Horseshoe Falls. Beautiful walkways on both sides of the border offer up-close-and-personal views of and experiences with the Falls. You’ll want to make sure you wear a poncho for the experience! But don’t worry, if you don’t bring one, they have some available there!
The Canadian side also offers the Skylon Tower, up which you can climb to get a view from on high of the Niagara Falls altogether. My recommendation is to go for an early dinner in the revolving restaurant at the top of the tower. You can enjoy stunning views and delicious views, as you watch the sun set over one of the most spectacular places you’ve ever visited.