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The first time I came in Contact with the Niagra Falls was years ago. My parents are used to watch the Show of the Magician “David Copperfield”. Once, he disappeared the Niagara Falls.
Everybody was amazed about the magic I was hypnotized from all the Water and the Falls. I thought this is something really amazing in Nature and I would love to see it one day. But it was always so far away. I mean, how can I travel to Canada to visit the Falls???? There is no way for me to do that.
I always thought....
Now, where I live in New Hampshire my dream came closer. But I`m here for already nine month and I thought I`m not going to make it up there. It was a dream and should always be one.
But one day I talked to all of my friend what are we going to do on our next weekend trip. I already saw a lot of things and had the opportunity to travel a lot since I`ve been here, so there was just one thing left I really wanted to see.
Everybody was exited about it but we also knew that this is really far and we would not have so much time but spend a lot of money. But I didn`t care. I wanted to go there. The only place I wanted to go and my dream should finally come true....
Usually we like to travel with more people but just three of us could make it this time.
On a Friday afternoon we went on our way from New Hampshire to Canada. We should sit in the Car for 9 hours and we just had the Saturday to enjoy this gorgeous place.
But I had a wonderful time. This was the most beautiful place I`ve ever seen and I`m sure I can go back someday to spend more time there.
But for now I`m just happy that I made true what I was dreaming about for so long...
Niagara Falls are a set of massive waterfalls located on the Niagara River in eastern North America, on the border between Ontario, Canada and New York state (United States). Niagara Falls comprises three separate waterfalls (one in Canada, the other two in the U.S.): the Canadian Horseshoe Falls (Canada), the American Falls, and the smaller, adjacent Bridal Veil Falls. The Falls are located 17 miles (27 km) from the American city of Buffalo, New York, and 75 miles (120 km) from the Canadian city of Toronto, Ontario.
The Falls formed after glaciers receded at the end of the most recent Ice Age, as water from the newly formed Great Lakes carved a path through the Niagara Escarpment en route to the Atlantic Ocean. While not exceptionally high, Niagara Falls is very wide. With more than 6 million cubic feet (168,000 m³) of water falling over the crestline every minute in high flow, and almost 4 million cubic feet (110,000 m³) on average, it is the most powerful waterfall in North America.
Niagara Falls is renowned both for its beauty and as a valuable source of hydroelectric power for Ontario and New York. Preserving this natural wonder from commercial over-development, while allowing for the needs of the area's people, has been a challenging project for environmental preservationists since the 1800s. A popular tourist site for over a century, the Falls are shared between the twin cities of Niagara Falls, Ontario and Niagara Falls, New York.
Historical roots of Niagara Falls lie in the Wisconsin glaciation, which ended around 10,000 years ago. The North American Great Lakes and the Niagara River are effects of this last continental ice sheet, an enormous glacier that crept across the area from eastern Canada. The glacier drove through the area like a giant bulldozer, grinding up rocks and soil, moving them around, and deepening some river channels to make lakes. It dammed others with debris, forcing these rivers to make new channels. It is thought that there is an old valley, buried by glacial drift, at the approximate location of the present Welland Canal.
After the ice melted back, drainage from the upper Great Lakes became the present-day Niagara River, which could not follow the old filled valley, so it found the lowest outlet on the rearranged topography. In time the river cut a gorge across the Niagara Escarpment, the north facing cliff or cuesta formed by erosion of the southwardly dipping (tilted) and resistant Lockport formation between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. In doing so it exposed old marine rocks that are much older than the geologically recent glaciation. Three major formations are exposed in the gorge that was cut by the Niagara River.
When the newly established river encountered the erosion-resistant Lockport dolostone, the hard layer eroded much more slowly than the underlying softer rocks. The aerial photo clearly shows the hard caprock, the Lockport Formation, which underlies the rapids above the falls and approximately the upper third of the high gorge wall. It is composed of very dense, hard and very strong limestone and dolostone.
Immediately below, comprising about two thirds of the cliff is the weaker, softer, and more crumbly and sloping Rochester Formation. It is mainly shale, though it has some thin limestone layers, and contains large quantities of fossils. Because it erodes more easily, the river has undercut the hard cap rock and created the falls.
Submerged in the river in the lower valley, hidden from view, is the Queenston Formation, which is composed of shales and fine sandstones. All three formations were laid down in an ancient sea, and their differences of character derive from changing conditions within that sea.
The original Niagara Falls were near the sites of present-day Queenston, Ontario, and Lewiston, New York, but erosion of their crest has caused the waterfalls to retreat several miles southward. Just upstream from the Falls' current location, Goat Island splits the course of the Niagara River, resulting in the separation of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls to the west from the American and Bridal Veil Falls to the east. Although erosion and recession have been slowed in this century by engineering, the falls will eventually recede far enough to drain most of Lake Erie, the bottom of which is higher than the bottom of the falls. Engineers are working to reduce the rate of erosion to postpone this event as long as possible.
The Canadian Horseshoe Falls drop about 170 feet (52 m), although the American Falls have a clear drop of only 70 feet (21 m) before reaching a jumble of fallen rocks which were deposited by a massive rock slide in 1954. The larger Canadian Horseshoe Falls are about 2,600 feet (792 m) wide, while the American Falls are 1,060 feet (323 m) wide. The volume of water approaching the Falls during peak flow season is 202,000 cubic feet per second (5,720 m³/s). By comparison Africa's spectacular Victoria Falls has over 19 million cubic feet (546,000 m³) of water falling over its crestline each minute in the wet season (317,000 cu ft/9,100 m³ per second).Since the flow is a direct function of the Lake Erie water elevation, it typically peaks in late spring or early summer. During the summer months, 100,000 cubic feet per second (2,832 m³/s) of water actually traverses the Falls, some 90% of which goes over the Horseshoe Falls, while the balance is diverted to hydroelectric facilities. This is accomplished by employing a weir with moveable gates upstream from the Horseshoe Falls. The Falls flow is further halved at night, and during the low tourist season in the winter, remains a flat 50,000 cubic feet per second (1,416 m³/s). Water diversion is regulated by the 1950 Niagara Treaty and is administered by the International Niagara Board of Control.
The name Niagara is said to originate from an Iroquois word Onguiaahra meaning The Strait. The region's original inhabitants were the Ongiara, an Iroquois tribe named the Neutrals by French settlers, who found them helpful in mediating disputes with other tribes.
Native American legend tells of Lelawala, a beautiful maid betrothed by her father to a Brave she despised. Rather than marry, Lelawala chose to sacrifice herself to her true love He-No, the Thunder God, who dwelt in a cave behind the Horseshoe Falls. She paddled her canoe into the swift current of the Niagara River and was swept over the brink. He-No caught her as she plummeted, and together their spirits are said to live forever in the Thunder God's sanctuary behind the Falls.
Some controversy exists over which European first gave a written, eyewitness description of the Falls. The area was visited by French explorer Samuel de Champlain as early as 1604 during his exploration of Canada. Members of his party reported to him on the spectacular waterfalls, which he wrote of in his journals but may never have actually visited. Some credit Finnish-Swedish naturalist Pehr Kalm with the original firsthand description, penned during an expedition to the area early in the 18th century. Most historians however agree that Belgian Father Louis Hennepin observed and described the Falls much earlier, in 1677, after travelling in the region with explorer René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle, thus bringing them to the world's attention. Hennepin also first described the Saint Anthony Falls in Minnesota. His subsequently discredited claim that he also travelled the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico cast some doubt on the validity of his writings and sketches of Niagara Falls. Hennepin County in Minnesota was named after Father Louis Hennepin.
There is credible evidence, however, that Reverend Paul Ragueneau (1608–1680) visited the falls prior to Hennepin's claim. Ragueneau was a French Jesuit who was working among the Huron First Nation in Canada. Born in Paris, Father Ragueneau entered the Society of Jesus about 1626 at the and wrote more about his work than any other Jesuit in Canada. Ragueneau described the natural wonder in his writings some 35 years before Hennepin's visit.
Especially after the First World War, tourism boomed again as automobiles made getting to the Falls much easier. The story of Niagara Falls in the 20th century is largely that of efforts to harness the energy of the Falls for hydroelectric power and to control the rampant development on both the American and Canadian sides which threatened the area's natural beauty.
Over The Falls
In October 1829, Sam Patch, who called himself The Yankee Leaper, jumped from a high tower into the gorge below the falls and survived; this began a long tradition of daredevils trying to go over the Falls. In 1901, 63-year-old school teacher Annie Edson Taylor was the first person to go over the Falls in a barrel as a publicity stunt; she survived, bleeding, but virtually unharmed. Soon after exiting the barrel, she said, No one should ever try that again. Unfortunately, the fortune she hoped to make from a later lecture tour was never realized, as her manager was a con-man who took everything she owned. (Legend says that a small kitten rode in the barrel with her, but this seems to have been a whimsical myth. Still, when she posed with the barrel afterwards, the kitten sat placidly on top of it.) Since Taylor's historic ride, 14 other people have intentionally gone over the Falls in or on a device, despite her advice. Some have survived unharmed, but others have drowned or been severely injured. Survivors of such stunts face charges and stiff fines, as it is illegal, on both sides of the border, to attempt to go over the Falls.
Other daredevils have made crossing the Falls their goal, starting with the successful passage by Jean François Blondin Gravelet in 1859. These tightrope walkers drew huge crowds to witness their exploits. Their wires ran across the gorge, near the current Rainbow Bridge, not over the waterfall itself. Among the many was Ontario's William Hunt, who billed himself as Signor Fanini and competed with Blondin in performing outrageous stunts over the gorge. Englishman Captain Matthew Webb, the first man to swim the English Channel, drowned in 1883 after unsuccessfully trying to swim across the whirlpools and rapids downriver from the Falls with nine other people. Two others drowned with him, and the other seven gave up before finishing their course.
Miracle at Niagara
In what some called the Miracle at Niagara , Roger Woodward, a seven-year-old American boy, was swept over the Horseshoe Falls protected only by a life vest on July 9, 1960, as two tourists pulled his 17-year-old sister Deanne from the river only 20 feet (6 m) from the lip of the Horseshoe Falls at Goat Island.The two men, both from New Jersey, and having never met previously, sprang into action. John R. Hayes, a truck driver for a local oil company and an auxiliary police officer from Union, New Jersey climbed over the rail, stretched out his arm and pleaded with Deanne. She later said that his pleading voice made her swim harder and she grabbed his thumb just inches from going over the Falls. Fearful that the current might break the hold on the young girl, Hayes shouted for help. Climbing over the railing was John Quattrochi of Pennsgrove, New Jersey, who came to aid the rescue and the two pulled the teenager to safety. Once on land Deanne's concern was for her brother. Quattrochi realizing another was still out there quietly whispered, Pray for him. Minutes later, Roger was plucked from the roiling plunge pool beneath the Horseshoe Falls after grabbing a life ring thrown to him by the crew of the Maid of the Mist boat. His survival, which no one thought possible, made news throughout the world.
On July 2, 1984, Canadian Karel Soucek from Hamilton, Ontario successfully plunged over the Horseshoe Falls in a barrel with only minor injuries. Soucek was fined $500 for performing the stunt without a license. In 1985, he was killed while attempting to re-create the stunt at the Houston Astrodome by climbing into a barrel and dropping 180 feet into a water tank in front of 45,000 people; his barrel hit the side of the tank.
In August 1985, Steve Trotter, an aspiring stuntman from Rhode Island, became the youngest person ever (age 22) and the first American in 25 years to go over the Falls in a barrel. Ten years later, Trotter went over the Falls again, becoming the second person to go over the Falls twice and survive. It was also the second-ever duo ; Lori Martin joined Trotter for the barrel ride over the Falls. The first two-person trip over the brink goes to Jeffrey Petkovich (25) and Peter Debernardi (42) on September 27, 1989.
Kirk Jones of Canton, Michigan became the first known person to survive a plunge over the Horseshoe Falls without a flotation device on October 20, 2003. While it is still not known whether Jones was determined to commit suicide, he survived the 16-story fall with only battered ribs, scrapes, and bruises.
No human has ever survived a plunge over the American Falls, owing to the many boulders and the relatively weak current. A newspaper account in the late 19th century does cite a bulldog believed to have successfully, though accidentally endured the passage. All survivors and daredevils have passed over the Horseshoe Falls, where there are fewer boulders and the current can throw a person farther away from the brink and avoid the boulders.
Peak numbers of visitors occur in the summertime, when Niagara Falls are both a daytime and evening attraction. From the Canadian side, floodlights illuminate both sides of the Falls for several hours after dark (until midnight). The number of visitors in 2007 is expected to total 20 million and by 2009, the annual rate is expected to top 28 million tourists a year.
The oldest and best known tourist attraction at Niagara Falls is the Maid of the Mist boat cruise, named for an ancient Ongiara Indian mythical character, who have carried passengers into the whirlpools beneath the Falls since 1846. Cruise boats operate from boat docks on both the United States and Canadian sides of the falls.
The remaining tourist attractions are located in either Canada or the United States.
From the United States side, the American Falls can be viewed from walkways along Prospect Point Park, which also features the Prospect Point Observation Tower and a boat dock for the Maid of the Mist. Goat Island offers more views of the falls and is accessible by foot and automobile traffic by bridge above the American Falls. From Goat Island, the Cave of the Winds is accessible by elevator and leads hikers to a point beneath Bridal Veil Falls. Most of these attractions lie within the Niagara Falls State Park.
The Niagara Scenic Trolley offers guided trips along the American Falls. Panoramic and aerial views of the falls can also be viewed from the Flight of Angels hot air balloon ride, or by helicopter. The Niagara Gorge Discovery Center showcases the natural and local history of Niagara Falls and the Niagara Gorge.
On the Canadian side, Queen Victoria Park features manicured gardens, platforms offering spectacular views of both the American and Horseshoe Falls, and underground walkways leading into observation rooms which yield the illusion of being within the falling waters. The observation deck of the nearby Skylon Tower offers the highest overhead view of the Falls, and in the opposite direction gives views as far as distant Toronto. Along with the Minolta Tower (formerly the Segrams Tower, currently the Konica Minolta Tower), it is one of two towers in Canada with a view of the Falls.
Along the Niagara River, the Niagara River Recreational Trail runs the 35 miles (56 km) from Fort Erie to Fort George, and includes many historical sites from the War of 1812.
The Whirlpool Aero Car, built in 1916 from a design by Spanish engineer Leonardo Torres y Quevedo, is a cable car which takes passengers over the whirlpool on the Canadian side. The Journey Behind the Falls - accessible by elevators from the street level entrance - consists of an observation platform and series of tunnels near the bottom of the Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side.
There are two casinos on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort and Casino Niagara. The former is located in the Fallsview Tourist Area, alongside many of the area's hotels, whilst the latter is adjacent to Clifton Hill, a major tourist promenade.
We stayed very close to the Falls in a Motel and spent the whole Saturday at the water. A lot of tourists visited the Canadian site and we had a lot of fun.
I`m glad that we visited the Falls at the Canadian site. For me the Niagara Falls was always a Canadian place.
And the view on the Niagara Falls is just gorgeous from Canada. We could see what kind of a view you have from the United States and I would tell everybody to go to Canada to visit the Falls.
I had the best weekend of the year and didn`t want to come back. It was just awesome...
This is something you should see in your life.