Horseshoe Falls, Niagara Falls
For a great view of the Horseshoe Falls go just up from the Table Rock House Visitors Center. You can get very close and have great views for great photos of the Falls. The water is so clear and clean and you get a real feeling of the power these falls really have. If you look closely at the top middle of the photo you can see a dark spot next to a small glump of trees, that is a rather large barge that broke loose from it's tug when it was being towed, it is now stuck there to rust away, I mean who got the guts to go retreve it.
My wife and I come from one of the driest nations on the planet - Australia. So to come here and see one fifth of all the fresh water in the world, which lies in the four Upper Great Lakes-Michigan, Huron, Superior and Erie, I get jealous! All this outflow empties into the Niagara river and eventually cascades over the falls.
It is awe-inspiring, spectacular and should be enjoyed!
The Horseshoe or Canadian Falls are the bigger and some might say better of the Falls. Unusual in shape and mighty powerful, these really seem to be the main attraction.
Fun Falls Facts:
*Years ago, both sets of Waterfalls were about 7 miles downstream. Erosion has caused them to move dramatically, up to 6 feet a year! Unbelievable!
*In the winter it gets so cold that an Ice bridge forms by the falls. Earlier in the century, tourists were able to iceskate and walk across this bridge. After a few too many people lost their lives when the bridge suddenly broke up and they were left stranded on iceburgs, this practice was stopped.
* The first person to go over Niagara Falls and survive was a woman. Annie Taylor went over in a wooden barrel in 1901.
According to an estimate, 40 million tourists visit Niagara's Horseshoe Falls every year. This is 10 million people more than the total population of Canada.
At the top of the gorge, one can stand for hours and watch millions of tons of water fall. It is enchanting. It is mesmerizing. The Falls are truly capable of taking you into wildest imaginations. You will be brought back only when a group or a dating or newly married couple tries to squeeze in to get their picture taken. From here, one can also watch Maid of the Mist ferries fighting rough waters to take the passengers close to the Falls (see pictures).
We have been to the Falls in all seasons with tempratures ranging from -30C to +30C. We advise carrying light jackets even in the summers for tempratures in the evenings can dip below comfort level.
Canada minus Niagara is nothing, so the visitors to this country make us believe. Although we quite don't see the things like that, Niagara's Horseshoe Falls is truly fascinating. American Falls is attractive in its own right.
So is it worth a visit? Absolutely yes. However, a word of caution is in order here: You don't want to be here on long weekends of summers. The crowd can be killing.
Niagara Falls are just beautiful from every possible angle, and you will take literally hundreds of photos trying to capture the perfect picture! I tried and failed many times but I think that I captured it with this photo, taken from "the story underneath the falls"....I think that it expresses the sheer weight and force of this beautiful place.
Horseshoe Falls is separated from the American Falls by Goat Island. The crest line is 2,200 ft. (670 m.) and sends over 600,000 gallons of water per second into the Gorge at 20 mph (32 kph). The height (173 ft. (53 m.) is a little more intimidating because there isn't much rock build up at the bottom.
About 12,000 years ago, Niagara Falls was 11 kilometres (7 miles) downstream from its present location. Until the early 1950s, the Falls eroded at the average rate of one metre (3 feet) per year.
- The Canadian Falls is approximately 52 metres(170 ft) high.
- The crestline is estimated to be 675 metres (2200ft) wide.
- The depth of the river at the base of the falls is actually higher than the falls itself. The river's depth is estimated at 56 metres (184 ft).
- The flow of water over the crestline of the falls is estimated at more than 168,000 cubic metres.
- The Canadian Falls was first described as "horseshoe" shaped in 1721.
It's not always that great weather at the Niagara Falls. During my visit in the summer of 97 it was a wonderful summer's day! The big disadvantage of that is that it will be overcrowded with people. Unfortunately I hardly have any photos of that visit, so you have to do with the photos that I took in November and December 2002. Hahaha, that means cold and wet, but hardly any other people around.
This photo was taken in November, I was soaking wet from the fine drizzle of rain, hahaha, but still smiling as it is always great to see the falls :-)) In the background you can see the Horseshoe Falls.
The Journey Behind the Falls is an excellent way to get a close up view of Horseshoe Falls.
An elevator takes you down to a 200 metre long tunnel that runs behind the Falls. This tunnel takes you 1/3 of the way across Horseshoe Falls, and from here you can see the water cascading past through the "Great Falls Portal" windows. At the time of my visit, the view was obscured somewhat by icicles hanging from the windows!
However, the lack of a view wasn't too much of a problem since the main attraction of this journey is to *hear* the Falls. The promotional material speaks of hearing the "thunder" of the Falls.....and this is a very accurate description of the deafening noise that awaits you!
The best view of the Falls is to be had from the observation decks at the foot of the Falls - just a few metres above the water level. This was a spectacular sight on a cold winter's day with the combination of water, ice and snow providing breathtaking views. The lower of the two observation decks was closed at the time of my visit due to it being covered in deep snow.
Due to the lower observation deck being out of bounds, the cost of my ticket was just 8.50 CAD (reduced from the usual price of 10 CAD)....however, the website states that as at August 2006 the prices are now:
Adults: 11 CAD
Kids (6-12): 6.50 CAD
Kids (5): Free
A great way to see (and hear!!) the Falls up close!
The highest pride of Ontario is the Niagara waterfall which Canada shares with United States.
The falls at Niagara are certainly not the highest or widest falls in the world, but they are the most famous and most visited.
Niagara Falls, one of the world largest waterfall has three falls separated from each other by Goat Island and Luna Island:
the Horseshoe Falls - 53 m high and 792 m wide -, on the Canadian side and
the American Falls with the smaller Bridal Veil Falls - 21 m high and 323 m wide -, on the US side.
The water collected from four Great Lakes - Erie, Huron, Michigan and that of Lake Superior comes tumbling down on the waterfalls and flows into the fifth Lake, the Ontario.
In these Lakes almost a quarter of fresh water of the Earth can be found.
In its real splendour the waterfall can be seen from the Canadian side, from this reason also many American tourists come on the Rainbow bridge and spends one or two hours on the Canadian area.
If you do nothing else while at Niagara Falls you should at least take half-hour cruise by the "Maid of the Mist". This boat ride is very exciting. It goes right up to Horseshoe. Try to stand on the left hand side at the front, this way you can take awesome pictures of the falls, the American falls, the bridges and the landscape in the distance; but you need a waterproof camera or something to protect your camera from the Mist. This is one of those trips you just have to do and then tell everyone about it afterwards.
Another interesting trip is the Cave of the Winds on the American side , a tour to the bottom of the Bridal Veil falls.
If somebody is not interested in the nature, there are lots of overpriced things to do here, casino for gambling, the horror houses, guiness records museum, lion safari, free fall, skywheel, table rock, Greg Ferwin magic show and many more. Take a wallet of money, you will steam through it.
Facts about Niagara Falls
Get ready: Horseshoe Falls, with a brink of 2600 feet and a height of 168 feet, is one waterfall you shouldn't miss in your life. With over 600000 gallons of water pouring over each second, Horseshoe Falls is completely stunning. Rainbows form everywhere and the mist shoots hundreds of feet into the air above the falls. The falls thunder constantly while falling. It is one amazing spectacle.
The one thing I remember best from the falls is the sound. From a long distance away you can hear the roaring thunder of the falls. At first I wondered what it was, but when I got close I knew it.... it's THE FALLS! Getting up close to the falls the sound is enormous! I think that gives a clue about the power of these falls.
The historical roots of Niagara Falls lie in the Wisconsin glaciation, which ended some 10,000 years ago.
Both the North American Great Lakes and the Niagara River are effects of this last continental ice sheet, an enormous glacier that crept across the area from eastern Canada.
Some of the best close-up views of Horseshoe Falls are from Table Rock Point near Table Rock House. This viewpoint is the sister view to Terrapin Point on the American side. Thie viewpoint is amazing. You can feel the mist as the falls plunge down into the Niagara Gorge, and the force of the falls is so powerful that you'll probably get wet. At the Table Rock House itself, there is a gift shop.
On the Niagara River, straddling the Canada-US border, Niagara Falls is probably the most notable natural attraction near Toronto. The falls are generally divided into two: the narrower and shorter American Falls and the much wider and taller Horseshoe (or Canadian) Falls. Personally, I found the Horseshoe Falls more elegant and impressive.