July 11, 2015
I woke up early, about 5:30, and worked on my blog and the newsletter for the Co-op. Bob slept in and got up around 7:30. It was a cool morning so Auggie came to lay by me while I worked. After we had breakfast and did a few chores around the trailer, we got ready to start our day. We drove into the city to park at the Discovery Center. The parking lot was not full yet so we were in luck. We passed the parking lot in the state park and it was already full at 10 AM. I guess it’s Saturday and all the tourists are out. The hike we wanted to take today, the Great Gorge Railway Trail, began behind the Discovery Center. It would be a hike of about 1.1 miles long, one way.
It was an easy hike with gradual terrain that took us along the Niagara River into the Gorge. It warmed up quickly today. The hike we were taking today was mostly in the shade, which was great. We got to our first observation area and had a great look down the river in both directions.
We found a load of trash that people had left there and a plastic bag that someone had also left, so our “environmentalist nature” came out and we picked up the trash. That began our “conservation hike”. We stopped to pick up trash along the way wherever we came upon it…..and there seemed to be a lot.
The hike took us along the river. We came upon a large bone that looked suspicious. Bob thought that it was a ham bone that some dog had left, but we laughed and said it came from a dead body. Oooooh!
Farther down, we passed underneath 2 old bridge trestles.
The hike took us along the limestone walls that were carved out by the river many millions of years ago.
We passed an area of rapids where the river picked up speed and churned it’s way downstream in a frenzy.
We walked to the very end of the trail where we could see the whirlpool rapids. The color of the water was so beautiful.
Our hike took us about an hour to complete and we enjoyed every minute of it. We were all by ourselves for the entire trip down to the bottom of the gorge, but met other hikers on the way back. When we were finished with our hike, we had collected a whole bag of trash. People are such slobs, but it made us feel great to do this good deed.
We hopped in the truck once we got back to the truck. We decided to make the drive over into Canada to view the falls from the other side. The line to cross into Canada was short. We paid the toll ($3.50) to cross the Rainbow Bridge and did customs.
From there, we followed the signs to the falls. We found parking for $18.20 US and decided to fork out the money since we were already here. We found another close parking space (lucky us) in the lot and walked to the area by the falls. We had to take a walkway through the Welcome Center to the water’s edge.
Near the Welcome Center was a tram that took people from the lower level at the falls to the upper street level above. Pretty cool!
There was a ton of tourists walking along the falls area compared to the US side.
The other difference we noticed was how beautiful the waterfront was on the Canadian side. It was very park-like with lots of beautiful landscaping and flowers everywhere.
We were able to stand very close to Horseshoe Falls and the mist from the falls made everything wet. We got a better view of Horseshoe Falls from the Canadian side.
From the observation area, Bob noticed a barge that had been grounded upstream and did not make it over the falls….luckily.
We watched both the US tour boat (blue) and the Canadian tour boat (red) approach Horseshoe Falls. Both boats got very close to the falls, just like they did when we took the tour.
We walked farther down along the river to get a better view of American and Bridal Veil Falls from the Canadian side. We got a whole different point of view from this side.
We lingered awhile and enjoyed the scenery from across the border. After about an hour, we walked back to the truck and went back across the borger. We had a great view of the Observation Tower on the US side as we crossed Rainbow Bridge going back to New York. Checking in through customs went very smoothly.
We headed back to the campground after filling up the gas tank and stopping at Tops Grocery Store for a couple of things that we needed. Once we got back to the campsite, we relaxed with Auggie, sitting outside and enjoying the time to rest. Bob cooked dinner on the grill and afterward, Auggie and I took our nightly walk. The campground was reallly full for the weekend. We would turn in early tonight. Tomorrow we have a long day of driving through Canada, customs, and into Michigan. We’ve had a great time in Niagara Falls and did everything I hoped we would do. What a wonderful 4 days we spent here! A special thanks to my husband for being a good sport to do everything I wanted to do.