Scenic USA - New York

Niagara Falls

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American Falls

Photos and Article by Monnie Ryan
Monnie's Zenfolio Gallery

     The Niagara River, from a derivative of the Iroquois word Onguiaahra meaning the strait, split into two channels about 500 years ago. The division has created the well-known Horseshoe Falls in the province of Ontario, Canada, and the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls in what is now Niagara Falls State Park. These two American waterfalls, welcoming an estimated 12 million visitors every year, place Niagara Falls near top of America’s 25 most popular tourist destinations.
     Incredibly, some 150,000 gallons of water pour over the the American Falls every second depending on the draw from two nearby hydroelectric plants. Much of the water originates from the Great Lakes, which hold roughly 20 percent of all the fresh water in the world.
     Visitors may take an elevator ride at Goat Island, 175 feet down to the base of Bridal Veil Falls. This area also offers access to the Cave of the Winds, Three Sisters Islands, Terrapin Point, Luna Island and views Niagara Trolleyof the upper rapids. Many visit the observation tower at Prospect Point for spectacular views of the falls from the top. At the bottom, many hop aboard the Maid of the Mist for a half-hour boat ride that takes passengers remarkably close to the American and Horseshoe falls.
     Getting in and around the park is easy via the Niagara Scenic Trolley which stops at a number of park attractions. The three-mile run, including the Three Sisters Islands, is linked by three walking bridges to Goat Island. Part of Niagara’s Green Park Project, this eco-friendly scenic trolley ride introduces visitors to the park, fun facts and tips on the park’s top attractions.

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