Feel the force of Niagara Falls. The "Cave of the Winds" Tour at Niagara Falls, NY is the quintessential tourist way to get as close as possible to these magnificent falls. The cave has long since collapsed so one stands at the base of the falls and experiences tropical storm like conditions. Quite impressive and at $14 a real deal. It is self-guided and you can stay as long as you like on the decks and there are many birds in the river. I recommend going in the morning as you can see the "Hurricane Deck" was empty and also bring a waterproof camera. I was able to put my Polaroid Action Camera directly into the Bridal Veil Falls water stream. Of course morning means the sun is behind the falls so photography is not as dynamic, but this is all about the power of the falls. You will of course get wet regardless of the poncho if you go right up to the big boulder as close as possible. The boulder shields you from the direct force of the falls which of course would knock everybody off of their feet.
Niagara Falls is the collective name for three waterfalls that straddle the international border between Canada and the United States; more specifically, between the province of Ontario and the state of New York. They form the southern end of the Niagara Gorge.
From largest to smallest, the three waterfalls are the Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls. The Horseshoe Falls lie mostly on the Canadian side and the American Falls entirely on the American side, separated by Goat Island. The smaller Bridal Veil Falls are also located on the American side, separated from the other waterfalls by Luna Island. The international boundary line was originally drawn through Horseshoe Falls in 1819, but the boundary has long been in dispute due to natural erosion and construction.
Located on the Niagara River, which drains Lake Erie into Lake Ontario, the combined falls form the highest flow rate of any waterfall in the world, with a vertical drop of more than 165 feet (50 m). Horseshoe Falls is the most powerful waterfall in North America, as measured by vertical height and also by flow rate. The falls are located 17 miles (27 km) north-northwest of Buffalo, New York and 75 miles (121 km) south-southeast of Toronto, between the twin cities of Niagara Falls, Ontario, and Niagara Falls, New York.
Niagara Falls were formed when glaciers receded at the end of the Wisconsin glaciation (the last ice age), and water from the newly formed Great Lakes carved a path through the Niagara Escarpment en route to the Atlantic Ocean. While not exceptionally high, the Niagara Falls are very wide. More than six million cubic feet (168,000 m3) of water falls over the crest line every minute in high flow, and almost four million cubic feet (110,000 m3) on average.
The Niagara Falls are renowned both for their beauty and as a valuable source of hydroelectric power. Managing the balance between recreational, commercial, and industrial uses has been a challenge for the stewards of the falls since the 19th century.
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