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Niagara Falls Travel Guide: 1,461 reviews and 3,624 photos

One of the 7 wonders of the World
length of brink: 2600 feet
height: 167 feet
volume of water: 600,000 u.s.Gallons per seconde

The first person to go over the Falls in a barrel and survive was a 63 year old
female schoolteacher.
A Brief History of the Falls

Straddling the Canadian-United States International Border and both in the Province of Ontario

and the State of New York, Niagara Falls attracts some 12 Million tourists to her majestic
awesome beauty each year.
The Niagara is a fairly young river, only 12,000 years old!, a microsecond in geological time. The
Niagara Escarpment, which was created by erosion is much older. The glaciers pressed down on
the land during the last ice age and laid down layers of sediment, then the slow process of erosion
of ice and water ate at the surface of the escarpment .
The mighty river plunges over a cliff of dolostone and shale. Niagara Falls is the second largest
falls on the globe next to Victoria Falls in southern Africa.
One fifth of all the fresh water in the world lies in the four Upper Great Lakes-Michigan, Huron, Superior and Erie. All the outflow empties into the Niagara river and eventually cascades over the falls.
At the bottom of the falls, the water travels 15 miles over many gorges until it reaches the fifth Great Lake-Ontario. The land between the lakes does not slope at an even grade, but forms a
spectacular drop approximately the same height as a 20 story building and this is known as the
"Niagara Escarpment" Two billion years ago it was buried under a blanket of ice.
As the years past, the process of erosion took place, (and still does) five distinct 'gorges' were
formed-Lewiston Brange Gorge, Old Narrow Gorge, Upper & Lower Great Gorges and the
Whirlpool Narrow Gorge.
Approximately 500 years ago the river encountered an obstacle that caused it to 'split into two

channels', thus Goat Island was formed named after John Stedman whose goat herds froze to
death in the winter of 1780). This was the original sediment left from a vanished Lake Tonawanda
(an Indian name).
On the eastern part of the island, the American Falls took shape, the Horseshoe Falls, is on the
western side, where the river angles some 90 degrees.

The water flow on the American side of the falls is much less in strength because of Goat Island,

where as Horseshoe Falls has no obstruction to divert it.
It should be noted that a third much narrower falls exists. Over the years these falls have been
called at different times; Luna Falls, Iris Falls and is currently named Bridal Veil Falls.
Man has not been able to completely control the flow of the water over the falls, even modern
engineers have tried. Much of the water today is fed through underground channels and pipes to nearby hydro electric power stations.

Niagra Falls View from the sky

  • Last visit to Niagara Falls: Nov 2004
  • Intro Updated Dec 21, 2005
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Reviews (37)

Comments (1)

  • bijo69's Profile Photo
    Jan 5, 2006 at 6:52 PM

    The falls are still on my list of "places I missed". Good tips here!


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