The Niagara Falls are located along the America/Canada border. If you want to visit them from the USA side, New York State is what you touch down. Three waterfalls complete Little Niagara Falls: Bridal Veil Falls, Horseshoe Falls, and American Falls. These falls have the world’s highest flow rate as the water speed is 32 feet per second.
The Niagara River spreads over acres of land, giving people many possible sides to enjoy views of the waterfalls. This article explains all possible views of the waterfalls, historic locations, and cultural spots.
Niagara Falls American Versus Canadian Side
When we compare the American and the Canadian side of Niagara Falls in terms of fun activities to do and places to visit, the latter side wins. However, it does not mean that the USA side is less fun because it gives better views of the falls and has many attractions worth visiting.
Moreover, if you are in New York, you can cross the border to go to Canada anyway. Yes, the Rainbow Bridge connects the two sides and is open for those vaccinated. So, this way, you can make the most of both sides.
Many places in America give you a macro-view of the falls, such as State Park, Prospect Point, Maid of the Mist, and Goat Island. Let us now explore all the places you cannot miss out on in Little Niagara Falls!
4 Ways to Experience Little Niagara Falls
When you enter the realm of Niagara Falls, there is only one goal in your mind, just like every other tourist there: to see the Water Falls from all angles and sides. Here are the four ways to enjoy majestic views!
1- The Maid of the Mist
The Maid of the Mist is a boat ride that will give mighty views of Niagara Falls. This boat system was founded in the 1840s and has never stopped helping the tourists make the most of their visit. The tour starts from the base and passes through under the falls. It takes around 20 minutes to complete. Due to this experience of having the water of the rain fall on you, this stands as the best activity to do in Niagara Falls.
Considering the magical ride, the ticket price is relatively low. Before hopping on the boat, they give you a poncho for protection against water. But you should make sure to take along your protective gear as well.
The line of ticket buyers is usually long. If you want to avoid getting stuck in line for hours, put Maid of the Mist the number 1 on your day’s to-do list.
2- Journey Behind the Falls
If you want to explore the behind-the-scenes of Niagara Falls, Journey Behind the Falls is the way to go. This place gives you a direct view of the sheets of water roaring downward. You stand on an observation deck located at a certain height from the base. Do not worry; there is an elevator ride available.
You can see the Canadian Horseshoe Falls, the great Niagara River, caverns, and the curtains of the falls from the deck. Even if you ride the Maid of the Mist boat, Journey Behind the Falls should be on your must-visit list because it gives yet another magical view of the falls. It opens at 9 AM, and the first visitors enjoy a less-crowded experience.
3- White Water Walk
White Water Walk is where you can take a long slow walk with the views of the falls in front of you. It is a place full of nature, proving to be a fantastic hang-out spot in case you get tired of exploring. It is a walkway that runs across about a quarter-mile.
While on the track, you get to see the Great Gorge Rapids from the Niagara River (Canadian side), the roaring whirlpool, and many other beautiful views of the falls and attractions.
There are informational plaques at short distances where you can stop to get exciting reads. Though the pathway length is relatively straightforward, being vigilant and mindful will help you make the most of it.
4- Niagara Sky Wheel
This observation spot is for those crossing the Rainbow Bridge and making it to the Canadian side. Niagara Sky Wheel is the giant observation wheel in Canada. Located on Clifton Hill, looking at the falls is a great experience. It was opened in 2006 and has been a favorite of visitors since then. This Sky Wheel rotates around 170 feet above the falls. You will see American Falls, Horseshoe Falls, and the Niagara River.
The ride lasts for only 10 minutes, so make sure to be as attentive as you can be to absorb the views. The daytime ride is crazy enough, but the nighttime ride is even crazier because the latter gives a show of the beautifully illuminated falls. Though the ride time is short and the ticket expensive, it is an excellent sightseeing opportunity.
History, Nature, Hiking, and More
Little Niagara Falls is full of beautiful sceneries of water, adventurous hiking trails, picnic spots, and shopping centers. Let us find out below!
1- Prospect Point Observation Tower
Prospect Point Observation Tower is located close to Niagara Falls, giving a spectacular view of the mighty falls. There is a deck at the top of the tower, which extends beyond the building to get water right beneath it. Standing on the deck will let you experience once-in-a-lifetime feelings.
You can see the three falls and get sprayed with water every other minute. If you plan on riding the Maid of the Mist, you can first tour this tower and then catch the boat right from its base.
Another observation deck is located a small distance from Prospect Point Tower. Yes, walking up a set of stairs through a trail, you will reach the Crow’s Nest and bless your eyes with yet another fantastic view of the falls.
2- Cave of Winds, Goat Island
Goat Island is two bridges away from the Prospect Point, right next to the Green Island. This island is located between Horseshoe Falls and American Falls. After reaching the island, you will come across the Case of the Winds. It is a natural cave that was not discovered before 1834. Many tourists head to these locations to enjoy being right under the falls. You should be at Cave of Winds to hear the roars of the beautifully wild water, get sprayed on with water, and praise how fast water can be.
A hurricane Deck will give crazy views of the Bridal Veil Falls. Since it is only 20 feet from the roaring water, you should be prepared for an adventurous closeness to the falls.
3- Niagara Gorge Trail
Rim Trail is for those who love to hike beside the active waters. Yes, this trail spreads North from South on the Gorge. Everyone can hike on this trail because it is pretty paved and clean. Though there are steep steps, it does not feel like a mountainous trail with significant height differences.
The trail starts from the Niagara Gorge Trailhead Center and ends at Robert Moses Power Plant after covering around 6 miles. The well-trained hikers can even lengthen their trail by joining the Artpark Gorge Trail that spreads to a mile before ending at Artpark State Park.
Most people do not prefer being physically active when all they want to do is stand and stare at the falls. But if you have enough time in Niagara Falls, hiking can be another exploratory activity to undertake.
4- Whirlpool State Park
Whirlpool State Park is at a distance of a few miles from the falls. You can either rent a car or travel by trolley. You can get to the park with your picnic mat and rest for a few hours while enjoying the beautiful views of the Niagara River.
After you are well-rested, take on another adventure. Five hundred stairs down lie Niagara Gorge. This is where you can spend some time on the magical riverside. Before going to the riverside, have enough energy because you will need to climb up 500 stairs to get back.
The Whirlpool Trail is finely maintained for an easy biking experience. All adventure lovers should not miss out on this round trip into greenery and water.
5- Old Fort Niagara
Old Fort Niagara is the most excellent spot near little Niagara Falls in terms of history. This 300-year-old fort was built during the colonial wars in North America. The purpose of making this fort was to connect the Great Lakes with the continent’s center. However, this fort stopped serving in 1825 after the Erie Canal was built. The canal took the charges of the fort while the latter stayed as a functional military post during the 20th century.
All the tourists that visit Little Niagara Falls hate the idea of missing out on this historic building. This fort has collections of military artifacts from the 18th and 19th centuries. You will learn much about how wars were fought during the previous centuries and much more.
6- Niagara Falls State Park
Niagara Falls State Park was opened in 1885, and today it holds the honor of the New York’s oldest state part. Spread across 400 acres, this vast park contains five islands and beautiful waterfalls.
It is brimming with activities that you can enjoy doing. For example, you can go biking on trails with groups and go on an exploratory tour around the state park. The beautiful scenery will help you recharge, which is usually the purpose of traveling.
This is where Observation Tower and the Maid of Mist can be found. When you are hungry, head to the restaurant’s street. Gift shops are also there for shopping lovers.
The best spot in this state park is the Adventure Theater. This theater displays mind-blowing 4-D presentations from which you will get to learn many exciting things.
7- Devil’s Hole State Park
At a little distance from the Whirlpool State Park is the Devil’s Hole State Park. The name of this park comes from the fact that it is located right along the Devil’s Hole Rapids. The trail in this area is long, including many stairs. Only trained hikers should do this hiking because of the high rockfall risk.
The length of this trail is around 1 mile. Those who can do it will enjoy the magnitude, wildness, and beauty of the water closely. After the Devil’s Hole Trail has ended, you can continue on the Whirlpool Rapids Trail, which is further 1 mile long. This trail is also dangerous with high rockfall risk.
8- Lockport Locks & Erie Canal Cruise
Erie Canal Cruise is an adventurous way to enjoy the scenery. This cruise is for those crazy touristy heads who would love rising 3 million gallons of water. Because this is how much it takes to fill the locks. This tour passes across the Big Bride, the rock cuts, Upside Down Bridge, and the five locks from the 1800s.
All the tourists that head to New York have little Niagara falls at the top of their to-visit list. Indeed, the waterfalls are the best of the best places in the state. There are state parks, trails to hike on, and activities to do in Little Niagara Falls. However, you can also visit waterfalls in Massachusetts and Yellowstone waterfalls!
Even if you are going for an extended vacation comprising of months, Little Niagara Falls will keep you busy and entertained. However, weekend getaways would be a little packed since there is a lot to visit and do. If you follow our list, it would be much easier to plan your trip.
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