Dufferin Islands Trails, Niagara Falls Topo Map

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Dufferin Islands, a 16.2ha (28- acre) park made up of eleven islands, is a stunningly beautiful area across the road from Horseshoe Falls. Although it takes only an hour to walk through the entire park, add at least another hour to your visit to enable frequent stops. You’ll want to spend some time gazing at the scenery from one of the 22 tiny bridges that connect the islands, staring at the cattails in the marsh, or relaxing in the shade of the large poplars and oaks in the wooded areas. The creek that gives the area its charm is actually the fast-flowing Niagara River, which is pushed into the area by a tilting of the Horseshoe Falls rock shelf. The currents were once strong enough to propel a waterwheel that powered a saw and gristmill built on the islands in 1794. Bridgewater Mills employed many people until it was destroyed during the War of 1812. The islands, which only numbered five at the time, then became known as the Clark Hill Islands, after one private owner, and were named Cynthia Islands by another. They’ve held their current name since 1886, when the Niagara Parks Commission officially named them after the Earl of Dufferin, then Canadian governor general and a leading proponent of creating a public park in Niagara Falls.

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