The New York snow was a sight for Heather's Missouri based parents, Mr. Ed & Phyllis, but we were ready for the main attraction. We didn't even bother stopping on the American side of the falls to check out the view...it was straight on to Canada, baby! Once we were able to clear customs and cross the Rainbow Bridge, we had a perfect view. (This trip marked a first for Mr. Ed to head outside of the U.S. so he was a little disappointed they didn't stamp his passport)
|Horseshoe Falls, Canada|
|Yellow is Mr. Ed's|
First of all, we got to put on those fun little rain coats over our clothes (nothing like a little yellow to perk you up!) and then we were off! We headed down an elevator 150 feet and walked through tunnels that wove us behind the falls. When we surfaced we were right at the bottom of the basin of Horseshoe Falls!
Just feet away from us was literally one-fifth of the world's fresh water crashing down...it was almost overwhelming to be that close to the most powerful waterfall in North America! At 13 stores high, the water comes over the falls at some serious speed, moving about 40 mph. On average, during the summer daylight hours, 34 million gallons of water goes over the brink every minute!
Those yellow rain coats came in handy as the mist was flying at us. During the warmer months, Niagara features a Maid in the Mist boat tour which takes you right out into the water. We ended up plenty damp enough standing at the base of the Falls. Our advice to the ladies...don't bother putting a lot of effort into your hair if you're headed near a water attraction!
While exploring the 650 feet of tunnel behind the Falls, we walked almost one-third of a way across Horseshoe Falls. Plus, we also got a chance to check out the Falls from the backside! The Journey Behind the Falls tour features two spots where you can see the waterfall from carvings in the rock. The sound of the water is so loud you almost have to shout to hear yourself think!
One of the cool things about Niagara is that it's not just a bunch of water...the volume of water flowing is controlled for industry and hydro-electric power generation. The Falls erodes about a foot every 10 years! But did you know that Niagara carries about 20% of the world's fresh water? That's right! It all comes from the Great Lakes.
Niagara Parks also gave us tickets to watch the movie Niagara's Fury: The Creation of the Falls. We were expecting maybe a cute cartoon to explain how the Falls were created, but the show was really more than a movie, it was a total experience! Styled much like a 4-D Universal Studios-type of attraction, we felt the temperature drop, the water spray and the snow fall as a massive platform shook with Niagara's Fury. Super cool, but Heather did leave with some wet pants legs.
We walked out of the movie to a view of Niagara that you'll only catch at night. All lit up, the Falls took on a life of their own!
On holidays and every Friday and Sunday night throughout the summer, you can watch fireworks over the Falls too. For a complete schedule of illumination lights and fireworks, click here. The fireworks also go off during the Winter Festival of Lights too, so if you're at the Falls on a Friday from mid-November to New Year's Eve you can catch them then too.
|Look at how the fireworks magically appear behind us!|
Sometimes it's hard to impress folks from Missouri. The whole "Show-Me" expectation can be a big one to measure up to, but we think New York & Canada got the job done. We think there's no reason you won't fall in love with Niagara Falls just like we did.
*Special thanks to the Niagara Parks Commission for providing tickets and admissions to the Journey Behind the Falls and Niagara's Fury: The Creation of the Falls. Thanks y'all!