The name Niagara Falls is something most people have heard at least once in their life, being one of the world’s most beautiful waterfalls.
Of the three falls, Horseshoe, American, and Bridal Viel, the former is the largest and straddles the international border between the two nations, while the other two lie entirely in the States.
Niagara Falls State Park
Home to American, Bridal Viel, and a portion of Horseshoe or Canadian Falls, Niagra Falls State Park is a state park in the city of Niagara Falls in New York, USA. It is the oldest continuously-operating state park in the nation and offers views of several attractions to a visitor. They are:
- American Falls
- Bridal Veil Falls
- American portions of Canadian Falls
- Niagara Gorge
- Cave of the Winds
- Goat Island
- Luna Island
- Prospect Point Observation Tower
- Three Sisters Island
- IMAX Theatre
Brief History of Niagara Falls State Park
The purpose of the Niagara Falls State Park and its association is to preserve the magnificent tourist attraction from exploitation by individuals with vested interests. Before the protection was in effect, Niagara Falls was under the control of private interests, and the public couldn’t freely access it.
In the 1860s, however, landscape architect Fredrick Law Olmsted took the lead in advocating the preservation of Niagara Falls. In 1879, State surveyor James T Gardner along with Olmsted created a special report on the condition of the falls urging the state to buy lands, to increase public access to the region.
Their campaign culminated in the formation of the Niagara Falls Association in 1883 that aimed to lobby New York to protect and acquire the falls from private interests. The lobbying bore fruits in April 1883 when then-governor Grover Cleveland signed into law a bill authorizing the acquirement of some land in the Niagara Falls village for a state reservation. The act resulted in the establishment of the Niagara Reservation in 1885, which later came to be known as the Niagara State Park.
Attractions and Tours
The Niagara Falls State Park is open on all days throughout the year, and tourists can visit them at any month or season. Each season brings out a unique face of the falls, mesmerizing the crowd to no end. The Park is a place where both adults and kids can thoroughly enjoy due to its various attractions. However, getting the pass to visit them can be tricky owing to the number of people that tour the falls. Tourists can either get individual passes for each attraction or choose to buy a discovery pass that gives them discounted prices at all displays.
Tours like Maid of the Mist and Cave of the Winds are an option that tourists choose for they hold an appeal to any demographic.
The aquarium and adventure theatre along with fireworks and illumination are attractions that fascinate children and adults, alike. After dusk, the latter is a sight to behold, while the former opens the minds of kids and younger adults to the water animals and the legends of Niagara Falls.
Restaurants and Local Food Spots
The Niagara State Park, however, has more to offer to tourists. It is home to various gift shops situated near the drive-in restaurant, The Top of Falls and the entrance to the Cave of the Winds, where tourists can buy souvenirs. Aside from these, one can enjoy delicious food at cafes and grills spread across the Prospect Point and Cave of the Winds. Alternatively, they can go fine dining at the drive-in restaurant Top of the Falls.
With a horde of attractions and the lure of the trinity of falls, Niagara Falls State Park is the dream tourist place of globetrotters and seems to attract millions of people across the globe every year.