The Niagara Falls are a stunning natural wonder that draws in over eight million visitors annually. These falls were initially synonymous with a visit to the U.S., with an origin of 12,000+ years. Niagara Falls has accrued additional uses through the years, including as a hydroelectric generating system. Today you can discover the cascading falls and their long history during a visit.
Created by the continuously freezing and melting Niagara River, the falls have a history that dates back to the Ice Age. Even so, the falls are “young” compared to other natural landmarks.
You can see a different perspective each time you visit with various ways to explore the falls (on the water or via hiking). The falls lie on the Niagara River, a natural border between the U.S. and Canada. Part of the falls land on either side of the border, creating a landmark that belongs to multiple countries.
With its fame arising from spectacular views and its unique history, one question often arises “Where Is Niagara Falls?” With easy accessibility via car, getting to Niagara Falls in both countries is a breeze.
Below, you’ll find information about visiting this stunning natural landmark so you can start planning a trip.
Where Is Niagara Falls: Take a Peek Into This Natural Landmark’s History
The Niagara Falls were formed slowly over the years and continue to form with the changing of the Niagara River’s form (freezing and melting), eventually flowing into Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. It is thought that the first people to experience the falls were the local Native Americans. However, the first recorded discovery was in the late 1600s by a French priest, Father Louis Hennepin.
Inspired by the fall’s power, Hennepin wrote “A New Discovery” about the falls, which began to draw attention. Once the railroad was established near the falls in the 1800s, visitors started flocking to the attraction.
In 1896, Nikola Tesla curated a hydroelectric system that used the power of Niagara Falls to bring electricity to Buffalo, NY. This occurrence was marked as the initial use of a commercial long-distance A.C. system, which is still in use globally.
Activities at Niagara Falls
These activities at Niagara Falls are excellent options for visitors of all ages. They range from scenic views of the falls to nature walks and historical sites.
Cave of the Winds
One of the top attractions at Niagara Falls is the Cave of the Winds. This site allows visitors to stand near the falls and enjoy the stormy mist. Bringing or purchasing a rain jacket before exploring this activity is ideal to avoid soaked attire.
This location also holds the “World Changed Here Pavilion” interactive exhibit for an additional fee.
The aquarium is an excellent family-friendly activity that offers views of 1,500 aquatic animals. With ecosystems worldwide, you can enjoy spending time at the aquarium with your whole family. The aquarium also offers various educational exhibits, helping to spread awareness and education about conservation.
Various hiking trails are available, providing exquisite views of the park and the falls. Some top options include the Niagara Gorge Trailhead and the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge and Adventure Hike (for experienced hikers over eight years old). There are many other amazing hiking trails around Niagara Falls as well.
The Observation Tower is a must-visit while at Niagara Falls. It provides epic views of the incredible waterfalls without the typical mist at the Cave of the Winds. This spot is the only location in the park where visitors can view all three waterfalls simultaneously.
Schoellkopf Power Plant Ruins Site
Originally built in three stages in the early 1900s, the Schoellkopf Power Plant Ruins site features offices, gatehouses, and more. It was the biggest hydroelectric power station in the world at the time. Visiting the ruins allows you to take a step back in time for a few minutes.
Niagara Falls Tours
There’s no better way to see Niagara Falls than right on the water with one of the available tours. These tours offer valuable insight into the falls. Here are some of the tour options you can enjoy.
These Canada-side Tours with Niagara City Cruises include options for an up-close tour or a lovely tour with views of fireworks. You’ll find even more Niagara City Cruises available, ranging from a cruise that includes wine tasting to an option that allows you to ride on the first boat of the day.
On the U.S. side, experience the most adrenaline filled way to see the falls on an exciting thrill boat ride with Niagara Jet City Cruises.
Where Is Niagara Falls: Planning Your Visit
Whether you plan on visiting Niagara Falls, from the U.S. or Canadian side, you’ll be able to gain views of this popular attraction easily. As there are quite a few activities and things to see nearby the falls, creating an itinerary beforehand is ideal, especially if you’re short on time.
Where Is Niagara Falls (USA Side)?
The Niagara Falls are in western New York/upstate New York on the USA side. These falls are in Niagara County.
Where Is Niagara Falls in Canada?
The famous Niagara Falls are in the Golden Horseshoe region on the Canadian side. They’re in Ontario, nearby Toronto.
Where Is Niagara Falls in New York?
As mentioned, Niagara Falls are found in Niagara County and the City of Niagara Falls. They’re about 17 miles away from Buffalo, NY. You’ll find the cascading falls on Buffalo Ave.
Which Country Owns Niagara Falls?
Neither country completely owns Niagara Falls; it’s shared between the U.S. and Canada. Multiple waterfalls help make up Niagara Falls, with some lying in the U.S. territory and others in Canadian territory. The Bridal Veil Falls and American Falls are situated in the U.S. The Horseshoe Falls share land in the U.S. and Canada.
Where Is Niagara Falls in Niagara Falls State Park?
Upon entering the Niagara Falls State Park on the U.S. side, the falls are about 0.5 miles from the parking lot. A quick hike through the park will bring you to the Observation Deck, where you can view the American Falls or opt for a mist boat tour.
Can I Walk to Canada From Niagara Falls?
Surprisingly, you can walk, drive, or bike across three available bridges that take you from the U.S. side to the Canadian side of the falls. One such bridge is near the state park (Niagara Falls International) Rainbow Bridge. If you plan to cross the U.S./Canadian border, make sure to bring your passport.