Niagara Falls State Park is the oldest state park in the U.S., being established in 1885 as the Niagara Reservation. It was the first of the several such reservations that eventually became the cornerstones to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
On our way south, to the sunny Florida, we decided to stop by here, bidding farewell once again to the frigid temperatures from Canada and this part of U.S.
Niagara Falls State Park stretches over 400 acres, with close to 140 acres of that under water. We didn’t have much time to explore the whole park, as we only had about an hour available on our way to the Buffalo airport, but getting a glimpse of the U.S. side of the famous Niagara Falls was a great idea.
With a different view from this side of the river, Niagara Falls didn’t disappoint. With an average of 2,000 up to 3,000 tones of water flowing over Niagara Falls every second, it is almost impossible to see the waterfalls totally frozen. There is only one time known that Niagara Falls has actually frozen solid for about 30 hours, on March 29th 1848, when the Lake Erie (where Niagara River comes from) froze and created an ice dam, preventing the water to reach the falls.
We could see the Canadian Falls (Horseshoe falls) far in the distance. Containing 90% of the water flow they definitely look much more majestically from the Canadian shore.
But the American Falls is what I wanted to see this time.
The bone-chilling wind was daunting, and we quickly changed the plan to go closely to the waterfalls. Instead, we headed to the observation tower.
Although the elevators were closed, hence no access to the base of the gorge, we had the opportunity to see the cliffs, as well as a panoramic view of the waterfalls from above, admiring the frozen formations along the shore, and the unique appearances formed by the several layers of the frozen mist.
Tip(s) of the day:
- Have a rain jacket handy, and dress warmly during the winter, as you might get wet in the proximity of the waterfalls;
- Parking is $10 in all three parking lots of the park, but if you are only for a couple of hours, you can park along the adjacent streets, as they are metered hourly;
- The park is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, year-round, however the park attractions are opened seasonal, you should check the Attractions & Tours page if interested.
~ visited in February 2022