Review of Niagara Falls State Park, NY

 

Rainbows over the Niagara Falls, NY

Mark Twain:  “One frequently only finds out how really beautiful a really beautiful woman is after considerable acquaintance with her; and the rule applies to Niagara Falls, to majestic mountains, and to mosques-especially to mosques.”

During the month of June 2021, we booked a month long stay at a rental in a western New York town of Ellicottville, using Vrbo.  During this month long stay, we visited so many wonderful places, one of which was Niagara Falls State Park.

Our previous visit to Niagara Falls was with our friends 19 years ago.  It had been a long time and we were looking forward to visiting it again.

On a warm June weekday, our pack (myself, my wife, and Toby, our Pomeranian dog) set out to Niagara Falls State Park.  My wife prepared lunch, snacks, and drinks so we can eat at the park.

We left early around 8:30 a.m. from Ellicottville hoping to arrive there by around 10 a.m.  We didn’t want to scramble for a parking spot if we were to arrive there too late…

Luckily, we arrived on time and was able to find a good parking spot at Visitor Center parking lot #1 after paying the parking fee of $10.  Note:  Niagara Falls State Park does not charge an admission fee.  Only parking is charged.  $10 on a weekday, and $15 on weekends.  If there’s no parking available, you should be able to find a parking spot nearby from various places that offer parking for the same $10 on weekdays.  

We ate our prepared lunch, then started towards the visitor center to use the restroom.  The visitor center did require masks when we visited.  You should check with their website for latest information on COVID-19.

The visitor center is a newer building that has tourist information, cafe, restrooms, and a theater showing a film about the falls called Niagara Adventure Theater.

We proceeded via the beautifully manicured walkways and lawns toward the American Falls viewing area.  Toby, our Pomeranian, was excited to be at the falls!  He was in his exploration mode:  ears perked up, sniffing the air, and tail up!

Toby having a good time at the falls!
Rainbow at the Bridal Veil Falls!
At the entrance to the park
American Falls

We took some time to fully grasp the enormity of all the stimuli nearby, with the sound of water rushing, water crashing down, and people excitedly talking about the falls!

We’ve seen the falls few times, but the experience is unlike anything else we’ve ever experienced.  It just hits you as you walk towards the falls.  

First there is a gentle murmur of crowd as you reach the falls viewing area.  Then the sound of the waters making their way toward the ultimate destination, is heard and felt.  The sound is not unlike an earthquake, with its quivering and rumbling, and it is unbelievably loud.  

By the time you reach the viewing area, you feel the crashing sound of waters going over the falls.  The mist thrown up by the crash then comes up to you to cool you down.  Like I said, it’s an experience like no other…

We enjoyed the American Falls for several minutes, then started walking towards the Goat Island to experience the Bridal Veil Falls.  

The nice walkway heading towards the Goat Island was beautifully maintained with landscaping, and trees, lots of trees!

We stopped at one of the benches for some rest and to give Toby some treats and water.  We lifted him up after his treat time/water time, so he can see the falls from a higher vantage point.  He seemed to be viewing the falls with awe!  

We left him on one of the rock pedestals for few more minutes until we nudged him to continue our walk to the Goat Island.

By the time we crossed over the first bridge towards Goat Island, Toby was tired.  He was dragging his leash, and didn’t want to walk anymore.  I lifted him and gave him a free ride.  He seemed happy at that.

I let him down near the Goat Island, and we continued our walk admiring the views of the Niagara River.  We stopped over several times so we can cool down, which Toby appreciated.

We made it to Goat Island, and by that time of the day, the place got busy.  There were visibly more people out and about near the walkways and to the viewing area at Bridal Veil Falls.

Many commented on Toby’s cuteness and his prancing walk, and his happy/smiling face!  It practically melted their hearts.

We arrived at the Bridal Veil Falls viewing area and immediately was blown away by the appearance of what appeared to be double rainbows!  It was an awesome sight to behold.

Toby cooling off
Walkway to Goat Island 
Bridal Veil Falls
Entrance to the Bridal Veil Falls viewing area 

After taking a breather, we slowly made our way back to head home.  Toby was feeling the heat by then.  We stopped multiple times to cool down, and to drink some water.  

We decided to buy some cold drinks at the visitor center cafe.  Although it was expensive ($7.50!) for a bottled water and an orange juice, we definitely needed the cold drinks.

We cooled off for few minutes just enjoying our day at an iconic destination in New York State.  We were glad we took Toby with us so he can experience the falls himself.   He didn’t say so, but I think he really enjoyed it!  You’re welcome, bud!

Our drive back to Ellicottville was uneventful.  Toby looked exhausted from his exertions that hot day and was knocked out on our drive back.  Our job to tire him out was done!

My wife and I, on the other hand, were tired but also excited that we got to visit Niagara Falls again.  We talked about when our next visit there might be, knowing full well, the chance to visit there won’t come often…

We each expressed our gratitude at being able to travel to great places like the Niagara Falls, thanks to our early retirement, and hoped we can do this again in the near future…

Thank you all for reading!


Jake

Wandering Money Pig 


Travel tips:

  1. Maid of the Mist is a ship that takes you close to the falls and is something you should plan on doing at least once in your lifetime.   Tickets can be obtained at the attraction site.
  2. Cave of the Winds allows you to walk under the falls, which is another must to try.  
  3. Visitor Parking Lot #1 is the closest lot to the park.  It fills up fast on summer months.  Plan on getting there before 11 a.m.
  4. Top of the Falls Restaurant is the only restaurant that overlooks the falls.

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Please check out our YouTube channel ‘Wandering Money Pig’ showcasing our travels and our Pomeranian dog! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3kl9f4W9sfNG5h1l-x6nHw


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