Unless you are crazy enough to go down in a barrel, Niagara Falls is best enjoyed from the many park attractions that showcase the view from above, beside and even behind. These are not for the faint of heart though, the Cave of the Winds, for example, allows visitors to actually stand in the flow of the waterfall. You can stay dry and explore the hiking and bicycling trails around Niagara Falls and enjoy the oldest state park in the United States.
Bicycle the Robert Moses Parkway Trail
The Robert Moses Parkway Trail is a wide paved trail that showcases Niagara Falls from several angles. Whether you choose to rent a bicycle at the trailhead or bring your own bike, roller blade, or even just walk, the Robert Moses Parkway Trail is unforgettable. The pounding of the water can be heard all along the trail and in some places, you can even feel the mist from the falls. The trail is three and a half miles one way and easy enough to push a stroller on. Entrance is adjacent to the Niagara Gorge Discovery Center.
Niagara Gorge Discovery Center
Robert Moses State Parkway
Niagara Falls, NY 14303
Goat Island and Cave of the Winds
Goat Island houses several hiking trails, as well as scenic overlooks and even a "Top of the Falls" restaurant and bar. From Goat Island, the 175 foot elevator ride down into the gorge makes for a pretty dramatic entrance to the cave. The Cave of the Winds was a natural cave, destroyed by nature and then rebuilt by man. Admission to the Cave of the Winds includes a complimentary souvenir raincoat and an exciting walk along a catwalk with water pounding down all around you. Travelocity reviewers have voted it the top attraction at Niagara Falls.
Goat Island Niagara Falls, NY
Cave of the Winds
P.O. Box 773
Niagara Falls, New York 14302
Hiking at Whirlpool State Park
Whirlpool State Park has an upper level and a lower level. The upper, or street level, is where visitors can look out at the swirling waters of the Niagara River escarpment. It also features picnic areas and a playground for children. To get to the lower level, there are 300 feet of trails with stone steps that lead right into the gorge. Once visitors reach the bottom, there are several other nature trails and access to fishing areas.
Whirlpool State Park
c/o Niagara Frontier Region
PO Box 1132
Niagara Falls, New York 14303
Article Written By Lisa Russell
Lisa Russell has been a freelance writer since 1998. She's been published in "Rethinking Everything Magazine," "Playdate" and "Home Educator's Family Times." She has a professional background in education, cosmetology and the restaurant industry. Russell studied early childhood education at Antelope Valley College, and is pursuing a degree in law.