Our Dramatic Escapade to Niagara Falls State Park: More Than Just Water Going Over a Cliff!
If you've never had a questionable Airbnb experience, count yourself among the lucky ones. But even sketchy beginnings can have silver linings. Let me take you on our latest, somewhat topsy-turvy adventure to Niagara Falls State Park on the US side of the iconic Niagara Falls.
After an interesting stay in Lockport, NY, we decided to hit the reset button and relocate. Good fortune was on our side, and we struck gold with a perfect Airbnb at 312C Buffalo Ave in Niagara Falls, NY. The universe seemed to make up for our earlier hiccup. This location wasn't just good; it was golden! With an abundance of free parking (a rare gem these days) and a mere 5-minute jaunt to the park, our trip was looking up.
Stuart and Archie's Wet and Wild Adventure: The Niagara Edition!
Now, any story about Niagara isn't complete without mentioning the grand escapade of Stuart and Archie. Who are they, you ask? In the video attached to this blog post, these two intrepid explorers set off for a two-hour jaunt through Niagara Falls State Park. Just two hours, you say? With these two, it was nothing short of epic.
Our dynamic duo didn't just meander along; they went for the Niagara experience! From checking out the sweeping majesty of the American Falls to the more delicate spray of the Bridal Veil Falls and culminating with the iconic Canadian or Horseshoe Falls, these gents left no stone unturned, or more aptly, no waterfall ungazed!
But here's the clincher. The American side of Niagara isn't just about taking a selfie with a waterfall backdrop. It's a chance to get up close and personal with "Mighty Niagara". Stuart, ever the daredevil, led Archie to the Three Sisters. From this vantage point, they got right up to the river's edge at the top of the rapids. Some say they were negotiating with the water not to wet their shoes, others claim they were caught in the awe of the roaring rapids. One thing's for sure: they got to immerse themselves in Niagara's glory without getting into a barrel and going over the edge. Smart move, guys!
So next time you think of Niagara Falls, remember Stuart and Archie's morning escapade. It's a testament to the fact that adventures come in all sizes, and sometimes, the best ones are just a two-hour walk away.
A Little Lesson from the Past
Now, before I delve into our adventures, let’s douse ourselves with a splash of history, shall we? Did you know that Niagara Falls State Park is like the granddaddy of all state parks in the U.S.? Yup! Established in 1885, this park is the nation's oldest state park. It began as the Niagara Reservation and paved the way for many other parks that now fall under the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation umbrella.
Ever heard of Central Park in New York City? The genius behind it, Frederick Law Olmsted, also had his visionary mitts on Niagara Falls State Park. The park sprawls over 400 acres, and if you're imagining vast green landscapes, hold that thought! Almost 140 acres of it is underwater.
Speaking of names, Green Island, sandwiched between Goat Island and the mainland, wasn’t named after the color green but after a man named Andrew Green. No, he didn’t turn green when he got seasick. He was a big shot in New York City, playing a vital role in crafting Central Park and laying plans for other parts of the city. If you’ve ever enjoyed a day out at the Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or the Bronx Zoo, you have Mr. Green to thank. He was the mastermind behind merging the municipalities around Manhattan Island, resulting in today's sprawling 5-borough city.
Now, for a fun fact: Three Sisters Islands got their name not from a fairy tale but in honor of Parkhurst Whitney's daughters: Asenath, Angeline, and Celinda Eliza. Wonder if they had to draw straws to decide the order of naming.
And if you’re looking for a hearty handshake and a pat on the back, head over to the Welcome Plaza at Prospect Park. There, you’ll find a statue of Chief Clinton Rickard, the founder of the Indian Defense League.
Now, Let's Get Wet and Wild!
When you gaze at the magnificent Niagara Falls, you're not just looking at the water cascading over a cliff. You're witnessing 3,160 tons of it rushing over every second! That’s a staggering 75,750 gallons per second splashing over the American and Bridal Veil Falls and 681,750 gallons thundering over the Horseshoe Falls. Talk about a heavy downpour!
The force at which this water smashes at the base is monumental! The energy produced here is so immense that it can generate over 4 million kilowatts of electricity, a power that both the U.S. and Canada harness. Fun fact: back in 1896, they managed to send electrical power from Niagara Falls to Buffalo. Quite electrifying, huh?
But wait, there's more! In 1969, American Rapids was de-watered for six months. Can you imagine staring at a dry Niagara? It was all for geology and erosion studies and the consensus. Let nature do its thing!
While Niagara Falls State Park is undeniably about epic waterfalls, it's also a testament to history, nature, and the spirit of innovation. Our trip, with its sketchy start, turned out to be an enlightening, entertaining, and wet adventure (both literally and metaphorically!). So, if you're seeking a mix of humor, history, and a lot of water, Niagara should be your next pit stop.