Niagara Falls is without a doubt one of nature’s finest and most breath-taking attractions. More than 14 million people make their way here to experience the epic waterfall, with its expanse of tumbling water that falls at a ferocious speed with an almighty roar. Situated in the Niagara Falls State Park, the area surrounding the waterfalls is a lush wonderland filled with abundant flora and fauna. The unique location also has historical significance and acts as a symbol of national pride for both its neighboring American and Canadian communities. We look at a handful of the many reasons to put a visit here on your must-see list of places.
1. The Magnificent Waterfalls
The star attraction at Niagara Falls is of course the thunderous waterfalls. Three tumbling passages of water make up the Niagara Falls: Horseshoe Falls (also known as Canadian Falls), Bridal Veil Falls and American Falls. Thought to be the fastest series of waterfalls in the entire world, estimates suggest they gush around 700,000 gallons of water from four Great Lakes, Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, and Lake Erie, and send it crashing down into Lake Ontario below. Visitors are marveled by the loud roar of the waterfalls and the water spray that reaches them from a safe distance.
2. Niagara Falls Is a Site of Great Historical Significance
Niagara Falls has played a significant role in American history, dating as far back as the first native Americans who discovered this place of natural and sublime wonder. The Niagara Falls State Park was founded in 1885, and is now the oldest state park in the history of the United States. During the American Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, it was an important military location, while during the Underground Railroad the Niagara frontier became a passageway to freedom and a new life in Canada. Given its important place in history, it is perhaps no surprise that there are numerous museums dedicated to its preservation in the vicinity of the falls, including Old Fort Niagara and the Niagara Falls History Museum.
3. Fish (And Other Wildlife) Can Be Seen Around Niagara Falls
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Niagara Falls is an abundant natural habitat filled with all kinds of wildlife. Fish can often be seen cascading over its surface, and around 90 percent of those who make this perilous journey will survive, because they have evolved over thousands of years to exist here. Fish species found in Niagara Falls and its nearby lakes include trophy trout, salmon, smallmouth bass and walleye. More than 400 species of birds have made this watery paradise their home, including 19 different species of gulls that wheel and dive into the choppy waters, along with warblers, canvasbacks and green herons.
4. Views of the American Landscape
The Niagara Falls National Park is filled with a series of walkways and lookout points that wind through gardens and forests, offering breathtaking views not just of the waterfalls, but also out across the surrounding American landscape. The Niagara River can be seen winding into the distance, in amongst an abundant arena of un-spoilt wilderness that has been carefully preserved over the centuries, in spite of being tapped as a tourist attraction.
5. Tourist Attractions
Along with its untouched areas of natural beauty, Niagara Falls State Park has also been commercialized, for better or worse, to suit the throngs of tourists who head this way at all times of the year. Within the park are numerous activities for all ages, including boat trips, petting zoos, an aquarium, a theatre and even restaurants. If you’d prefer to escape the crowds, there are also opportunities for a wilder experience, with activities including kayaking, hiking, boat trips and fishing that are sure to make your experience the trip of a lifetime.