Day Two....Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls Travel Blog

 › entry 3 of 5 › view all entries
Niagara Falls American and Canadian

   The day started early, we left the hotel at 7:30am and headed from Cleveland to Niagara Falls. It's a 3 1/2 hour drive. Very beautiful drive and the leaves are starting to change too. We arrived at 11:00 and bought our passport(ticket packet). $28 and it lets you see and do everything at the state park. Trolley ride, Maids of the Mist, Aquarium, Education center, and Cave of the Winds. Maids of the Mist(poncho included) is a boat ride into the horseshoe falls....AWESOME!!!!  Cave of the Winds, you hike next to the American Falls.....Included with your ticket is a pair of sandals and poncho. The trolley takes you throughout the park and is worth it when you start getting tired. Did not make it to the the aquarium or the education center.

Helicopter Ride Over Niagara Falls
  We decided to go over to Canada.  All I can say is WOW. The view of the falls is better and you can take a tour underground and see the back of Horseshoe Falls....SWEET.  Also, make the walk up the hill to the Sky Tower. $13 will take you up to the observation deck to view the falls. Very beautiful with breath taking views.  We ended the day with a helicopter ride over the falls.....all I can say is unbelievable. $75 gets you a fifteen minute flight over the falls. If your coming over the Rainbow Bridge from Canada you will see a Days Inn Hotel on your left side. The helicopter rides take off next to it. It's late and we are heading to Cedarpoint tomorrow.

Niagara Falls is divided into the Horseshoe Falls and the American Falls.

American Falls
The Horseshoe Falls drop about 173 feet (53 m), the height of the American Falls varies between 70-100 feet (21 m) because of the presence of giant boulders at its base. The larger Horseshoe Falls are about 2,600 feet (792 m) wide, while the American Falls are 1,060 feet (323 m) wide. The volume of water approaching the falls during peak flow season may sometimes be as much as 202,000 cubic feet per second (5,720 m³/s). By comparison Africa's spectacular Victoria Falls has over 19 million cubic feet (546,000 m³) of water falling over its crest line each minute during the peak of the wet season (320,000 cu ft/9,100 m³ per second). Since the flow is a direct function of the Lake Erie water elevation, it typically peaks in late spring or early summer.
Horseshoe Falls
During the summer months, 100,000 cubic feet per second (2,832 m³/s) of water actually traverses the Falls, some 90% of which goes over the Horseshoe Falls, while the balance is diverted to hydroelectric facilities. This is accomplished by employing a weir with movable gates upstream from the Horseshoe Falls. The Falls flow is further halved at night, and during the low tourist season in the winter, remains a flat 50,000 cubic feet per second (1,416 m³/s). Water diversion is regulated by the 1950 Niagara Treaty and is administered by the International Niagara Board of Control (IJC). Viewpoints on the American shore generally are astride or behind the falls. The falls face directly toward the Canadian shore. Thus, the most complete views of Niagara Falls are available from the Canadian side of the river.
Maids of the Mist
It is about a two hour drive from Toronto.

The features that became Niagara Falls were created by the Wisconsin glaciation, about 10,000 years ago. The same forces also created the North American Great Lakes and the Niagara River. All were dug by a continental ice shest that drove through the area like a giant bulldozer, deepening some river channels to make lakes, and damming others with debris. Scientists believe that there is an old valley, buried by glacial drift, at the approximate location of the present Welland Canal.

When the ice melted, the upper Great Lakes emptied into the Niagara River, which followed the rearranged topography across the Niagara Escarpment. In time, the river cut a gorge through the north facing cliff, or cuesta.

Helicopter Ride
Because of the interactions of three major rock formations, the rocky bed did not erode evenly. The top rock formation was composed of erosion-resistant limestone and Lockport dolostone. That hard layer of stone eroded more slowly than the underlying materials. The aerial photo clearly shows the hard caprock, the Lockport Formation (Middle Silurian), which underlies the rapids above the Falls, and approximately the upper third of the high gorge wall.

Immediately below the hard-rock formation, comprising about two thirds of the cliff, lay the weaker, softer, sloping Rochester Formation (Lower Silurian). This formation was composed mainly of shale, though it has some thin limestone layers. It also contains ancient fossils. In time, the river eroded the soft layer that supported the hard layers, undercutting the hard caprock, which gave way in great chunks.

Me 1979, Maids of the Mist. My sister's Sue and Jennifer and my Mom
This process repeated countless times, eventually carving out the Falls.

Submerged in the river in the lower valley, hidden from view, is the Queenston Formation (Upper Ordovician), which is composed of shales and fine sandstones. All three formations were laid down in an ancient sea, their differences of character deriving from changing conditions within that sea.

The original Niagara Falls were near the sites of present-day Queenston, Ontario, and Lewiston, New York, but erosion of their crest has caused the waterfalls to retreat several miles southward. Just upstream from the Falls' current location, Goat Island splits the course of the Niagara River, resulting in the separation of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls to the west from the American and Bridal Veil Falls to the east. Although engineering has slowed erosion and recession in this century, the Falls will eventually recede far enough to drain most of Lake Erie, the bottom of which is higher than the bottom of the Falls. Engineers are working to reduce the rate of erosion to postpone this event as long as possible.

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Niagara Falls American and Canadian
Helicopter Ride Over Niagara Falls
American Falls
American Falls
Horseshoe Falls
Horseshoe Falls
Maids of the Mist
Maids of the Mist
Helicopter Ride
Helicopter Ride
Me 1979, Maids of the Mist. My sis…
Me 1979, Maids of the Mist. My si…
Me
Me
Augusto
Augusto
Elevator to Maids of the Mist and …
Elevator to Maids of the Mist and…
Elevator to Maids of the Mist and …
Elevator to Maids of the Mist and…
Maids of the Mist
Maids of the Mist
Horseshoe Falls
Horseshoe Falls
Maids of the Mist
Maids of the Mist
Cave of the Winds
Cave of the Winds
Cave of the Winds
Cave of the Winds
Cave of the Winds
Cave of the Winds
Cave of the Winds
Cave of the Winds
Cave of the Winds, Hurricane Deck
Cave of the Winds, Hurricane Deck
Skylon Tower
Skylon Tower
Skylon Tower
Skylon Tower
Skylon Tower
Skylon Tower
Horseshoe Falls, Canadian side
Horseshoe Falls, Canadian side
Horseshoe Falls, Canadian side
Horseshoe Falls, Canadian side
Journey Behind the Falls, Canadian…
Journey Behind the Falls, Canadia…
Helicopter Ride
Helicopter Ride
Helicopter Ride
Helicopter Ride
Helicopter Ride
Helicopter Ride
Helicopter Ride
Helicopter Ride
Helicopter Ride
Helicopter Ride
Augusto and Me
Augusto and Me
Niagara Falls
photo by: WaltJake