Adventure Awaits at the Niagara Falls

viewing Niagara Falls from the Jounrey Behind the Falls in Canada

Suddenly soaked, I stared out to see a rainbow arc across the mist of the thunderous falls. I captured the moment with multiple senses; sight, sound, feeling, smell, and perhaps even a taste of the water.  I was standing right next to the Niagara Falls and I felt alive. It was awesome.

This moment is “why” you make the trip to Niagara Falls; you get a chance to not just see the beauty of nature, but also appreciate its power from so close. I wondered why I haven’t made the trip in so many years, since the 80s when “awesome” was a much more popular descriptor, but I decided to just focus on the fact I was here, wet, standing beside one of the wonders of the natural world.

Where are the Niagara Falls?

the Flag of Canada on the back of the Maid of the Mist boat

You can Access the Falls from both the States and Canada

If you don’t know, the falls are just 30 minutes from Buffalo, New York or 90 minutes from Toronto, Ontario (each distance measured in time via car). The town of Niagara Falls (on both sides of the border), makes the marvel easily reachable and accessible by the public. Sure, the built up infrastructure (surprisingly mostly on the Canadian side) with all the places to stay, eat, drink and even gamble helped it gain a “cheesy” reputation, but truthfully, I loved my few days there. If nothing else, I think you can easily enjoy a few days here just viewing the waterfalls and take on a few adventures. I did.

the walk down to the American Falls at the Niagara Falls is a popular attraction on the American Side

This walk is on the USA side of the Falls.

The Maid of the Mist

the Maid of the Mist on the Niagara Rive heading toward the Niagara Falls

The boat ahead of us...

The most famous attraction, besides a simulated photograph of you going over the falls in a barrel, must be the Maid of the Mist. Available from either side of the border crossing peace bridge, and it’s a must see in the midst of all the options and attractions.

The Maid of the Mist provides a ferry boat to the very water, the mist of the falls on the Niagara River. It is part of the Adventure Pass on the Canadian side (along with four attractions – but the American side is a different pass). During the (approximately 20 minute) boat ride expect to listen to a recorded message of the sights in multiple languages, expect to get really close to the falls, and expect to hear the screaming of the passengers as the water soaks the boat. Don’t worry you will have a rain poncho to keep you relatively dry.

the upper deck of the Maid of the Mist on the Niagara River heading to the Niagara Falls

the upper deck

the lower deck of the Maid of the Mist on the Niagara River heading to the Niagara Falls

the view from the lower deck

The boat stops in front of American Falls and also in front of the Horseshoe Falls (Canadian Falls).

 Journey to the Falls

the Rainbow heads in to the Horseshoe Falls at the Niagara Falls on the Journey Behind the Falls

impressive view

Perhaps even better than the Maid of Mist is the chance to view the falls from behind. In tunnels carved out years ago, visitors can walk behind the falls and also stand directly next to them. This is where I felt most alive. It was an incredible moment I highly recommend.

Also part of the Adventure Pass, this is a must do from the Canadian Side of the Niagara Falls.

Other Adventures and the Skylon Tower

The Adventure Pass also includes a White Water Walk alongside the Falls (sadly I didn’t have a chance to take) and the Niagara’s Furry, a experiential movie I wouldn’t recommend to visitors. The cartoon movie didn’t seem to deliver enough history and the special effect, although unique, left little kids scared and adults unimpressed.

the view of the Horseshoe Falls at the Niagara Falls from the Skylon Tower

the view from above atop the Skylon Tower

Another great option outside the Adventure Pass is the Skylon Tower. The views provide a perfect chance to enjoy a sunset in Niagara Falls, but also offer splendid views during the day, or even night views of Niagara.

Stay adventurous, Craig

Special thanks to the The Niagara Parks Commission for access to an Adventure Pass, something definitely worth considering when visiting Niagara Falls on the Canadian side.

 

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  • http://mariafalvey.net/ Maria

    Now you need a whole new section for rainbows. Wow!

    The first image has a wonderful double rainbow. Haven’t seen good ones like these outside of Ireland and Montana.

    • http://www.stayadventurous.com/ craig zabransky

      Maria, definitely visit Niagara… or really most waterfalls often bless visitors with a rainbow, and sometimes a double. Stay rainbow loving, Craig

  • TripsByLance

    I only spent a few hours there on the Canadian side, but loved the Maid of the Mist ride and just walking along the top, taking in the views. It’s worth the time, even if just for a few hours for that “awesome” experience.

    • http://www.stayadventurous.com/ craig zabransky

      Lance, so agree, the Maid of the Mist is such a MUST when visiting Niagara Falls… it truly is awesome, I agree. Stay awesome, Craig

  • Raul (@ilivetotravel)

    The Falls are amazing and it is incredible to think how they will keep moving up stream with the years!

    • http://www.stayadventurous.com/ craig zabransky

      Raul, I was really surprised to see how much they moved since the 1600s…. I thought about it when I was under the falls with Journey to the Falls…
      Stay moving, Craig

  • lola

    this makes me want to go to Niagara Falls…which, i suppose is the point. 😉

  • Mary Anne

    I really expected you to #stayadventurous and be in a barrel over the falls… next time. 😛

  • http://travelingted.com/ Traveling Ted

    I always feel a tad guilty every time I see a Niagara Falls post. I was only 90 minutes from the falls, but when you party at the RWTBEX house, even the Poutine shop down the street is a world away.

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