Thursday, November 4, 2021

The Flowers Explore - Niagara Gorge to Niagara Scenic Trail Hike - 2021/10/02

It was just yesterday that we had gone on a 10.5 mile hike around Niagara Falls, but with rain in the forecast for the next couple days, we thought it would be a good idea to get out again today. Our ultimate destination will be the falls, but we're going to hike over to it. The kids are always up for getting some miles in. 

Devil's Hole State Park is down river and north of Niagara Fall. We parked in the lot and went to check it out. 

From the trailhead, you can look over and see the Niagara Power Project, which generates 2525 MW for the New York Power Authority, one of the 16 generation facilities. But that's not our destination. We're going in the other direction. 

That a'way. Just around the river bend! 
The sign above says the Niagara Scenic Parkway Trail is 3.2 miles one-way. A 6+ mile hike sounds great today!

I love that the trail is right up against the water. It's good that there's a barrier because if there wasn't, it would be a pretty steep fall down to the water below. 

The Niagara River twists and turns coming away from the falls. If there's a combined 750,000 gallons per second coming over the falls, it must all be coming down the river too. 
This area is called the Niagara Whirlpool. You can see the water as it enters and starts moving in a counter-clockwise direction. The opposite bank is completely on the Canadian side, and for $17 CAD, you can ride on an open-air gondola above the water. 

The rapids here are churning the water up quite a bit. It'd be a rough boat ride down there. 

In the distance we can see the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge. It's a double decker bridge that crosses between the US and Canada, with a railway for trains on top, and a second layer for cars underneath. 
But right here though, a section of the trail has been redeveloped with lots of fruiting trees and plants. Theresa first saw a whole fence full of grapes!

We found buckeyes, horse chestnuts, black walnuts, and these European plums. 

There were even some apple and pear trees! What a fun section of the trail to find!

Welcome to the City of Niagara Falls, New York!

In the 1800s, Western New York was a main ending point of the Underground Railroad. Harriet Tubman was one of the famous "conductors" on the Underground Railroad, and she likely crossed here where a suspension bridge used to be. 

We've already walked 2.5 miles and it's clear that we've got a bit more walking to go. I think it's time for a snack break. 
Sufficiently recharged, it was time to continue on. 

This millipede and a lot more like it were crossing over the path. I wish there was an app like PictureThis for animals and not just plants. 

I can see our destination! There's the Rainbow Bridge and all the buildings that are close to the falls. 

Phew! It's been a long hike to this point, but we made it. We enjoyed our lunch in the grass overlooking the American Falls. 

And since we're here, we've got to check out Bridal Veil and Horseshoe Falls too. The kids still have plenty of energy to run around and climb on the rocks. 

Beautiful. Though it's a little busy being a Saturday. The Maid of the Mist boats we've seen going out have been packed! I'm glad we're not doing that!

Theresa's favorite view from Stedman's Bluff. 
John Stedman was the owner of this land back in 1764. In 1770, he raised a heard of goats here and during an especially cold winter in 1780, all but one goat died. That's when the goat got its name, Goat Island. 

Finally we've made it to Horseshoe Falls! The wind must have been blowing in a different direction because we didn't get nearly as wet as we did yesterday. 

Nothing to it now but to walk back from the way we came. 
Around the Discovery Center, a kitty came out of the bushes and was very vocal. I wonder if she lives around here. The kids wanted to pet it, but we don't really pet stray animals. It was very loud! It tried following us down the path for a ways!

Despite being busy at the Falls, the pathways have been pretty empty. The kids could run ahead of us or behind us, playing whatever make-pretend games they wanted, while Theresa and I enjoyed our leisurely walk. 

At Whirlpool State Park the kids saw a playground and asked to go play. If you've got that kind of energy still, sure! Have fun!

Swings, slides, and lots of things to play Ninja Warrior on. 

We're getting close! It was a beautiful day for a hike and you couldn't ask for a better view. 

It's the overpass back to the car! Alli sprinted ahead! Lots of energy left in that one. 

After going back to the campground and having dinner, Theresa asked the kids if they'd like to stay home and watch a movie, or do you want to go back to the falls and watch the light show again? They're not tired. They were both excited about coming back (and eating more popcorn and candy). We parked in the Discover Center parking lot and walked over to the falls. 

Beautiful! 

And over at the Horseshoe Falls, there's a gorgeous rainbow going on. 

Aww. I love when they do things like this. 

We enjoyed another night of eating popcorn and candy together, while watching the colors change. 

On our way back, at Stedman's Bluff we can see the American Falls is lit up in Red White and Blue. Patriotic!

Also here is a statue dedicated to the electrical engineering genius Nikola Tesla. Along with George Westinghouse, he built the world's first hydro-electric power plant and started bringing AC (Alternating Current) power to the world!


Back at the closed Visitor's Center at the Discovery Center, we grabbed a bit of water from the drinking fountain. And who was still there coming to see us? That same kitty from before! Still loud and trying to come see us. I asked, but Theresa said she didn't want a cat for the RV. 


Back at the truck, it's time to stop our walk. We've been hiking for quite a while today. 

Wow. Almost 8 hours of hiking/walking. And in that time we covered, wow, is that right, 15.04 miles? That's a new record of hiking for us! Yesterday we did 10.5 miles! These kids have a lot of stamina! 

1 comment:

  1. The Niagara Scenic Parkway path that's just "around the river bend" :-) is beautiful and great for hiking...having the water & greenery (even fruit plants!) alongside the path is invigorating...the family has really taken hiking to another level, especially Ian & Alli!...so much energy! That was a perfect spot to stop for the afternoon break...benches overlooking the winding waters...so restful. The kids' energy still continued onto the playground and then the light show again (instead of resting in front of a movie!)...way to go Ian & Alli. The light show was definitely worth another look...colors are so rich. Good to see that the kids like to "immerse" themselves in a good book :-) EOM

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