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Saturday, July 8, 2017

Exploring Niagara Falls State Park in New York

Exploring Niagara Falls State Park in New York
Niagara Falls is located in the northwest corner of the great state of New York. You'll find Niagara Falls State Park located right on the banks of the mighty Niagara River that flows between Niagara Falls in New York and Niagara Falls in Canada. This is an older city in the area (could use some modernization), but it does offer a lot of historical charm.
Niagara Falls State Park in New York
When visiting the state park, you'll find the entrance and parking located on 332 Prospect Street. Be expected to pay $10.00 for on-site parking or try to locate metered and free parking nearby. A lot of the downtown hotels and motels are within a short walking distance from the park, so that would save you on parking too!
Niagara Falls State Park in New York

We stayed at the luxurious Seneca Niagara Casino & Resort which sits approximately 3 blocks away. It was a short 7-10 minute walk to the park entrance. Along the way, we were able to check out some of the nearby restaurants, gift shops and local attractions.
Niagara Falls State Park in New York - Park Map

Once you enter the park, I suggest you find one of their large park maps to help guide your way. It's quite large and offers you a lot of things to see and do. All of the paths are paved and are easy to walk. Many of them are handicap accessible. Need to sit down to rest & relax? You'll find plenty of benches too. If you plan in sitting in a scenic location, you'll want to arrive early in the day.
Niagara Falls State Park in New York - Visitor's Center

If this is your visit to the area, I highly recommend that you start your visit at the Niagara Falls State Park Visitor's Center. Once inside you'll locate all kinds of park information, a small gift shop for gifts & souvenirs and you can use the public restrooms. What's really cool is that you can learn all about the history of Niagara Falls when you visit the visitor's center! Matter of fact, you'll find 3 different gift shops located within the park in different locations.
Niagara Falls State Park in New York - Trolley Tour

The trolley is a great way to go if you want to see the entire park while riding around in comfort. The trolley operates year-round, weather-permitting. When you take a ride on the trolley, you'll get a guided tour of the park, learn about it's history and learn some interesting facts that you won't learn elsewhere. You can purchase your tickets at the visitor's center and it only costs a few dollars. I highly recommend it!
Niagara Falls State Park in New York

As you walk around the park you'll get some gorgeous views of the area. You'll come across educational & information plaques, historical & memorial statues, and other interesting things. I highly recommend that you plan on visiting at least four hours, so that you can really explore the park and everything that it has to offer.
Niagara Falls - Maid of the Mist Boat Tours

The Maid of the Mist boat tours are located within the park. You'll find ticket gates where you'll pay your admission fees and then you'll walk down to the observation tower where you'll get onto an elevator that takes you down to the Maid of the Mist boat dock. They will give you a blue plastic rain jacket to wear, since you'll be getting a little wet while on the boat tour.
Niagara Falls - Waterfall in New York

The Maid of the Mist offers up a new tour about every 15-20 minutes, so you won't have to wait too long in line. Each of the tours lasts 15-20 minutes and they have two boats running at the same time. On the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, you'll find another Maid of the Mist boat dock with two tour boats too! These boat tours will take you up close to the bottom of each of the waterfalls, so that you can really get a good look at them from the bottom, looking up! (see photo above).
Niagara Falls - Waterfall in New York

Niagara Falls is made up of three separate waterfalls: The American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and Horseshoe Falls, which is on the Canadian side. Different areas within the park will give you different views. I could show you a thousand different photographs of the falls, but then again, I've already got a lot of photos in this travel feature now! If you look at the photograph above, you can see all three of them if you look close! This view is from the American side, looking over to the Canadian side.
Niagara Falls - Waterfall in New York at Night

During the evening hours they turn on rotating, colorful lights that shoot over from the Canadian side and shine directly onto the waterfalls. It's really pretty to see, so if you're going to be there overnight, I highly suggest that you walk over to the park and check it out. On the night that we were there, it was quite windy and water/mist was blowing all around, so my nighttime photo isn't that great, since I was trying to protect my camera.
Niagara Falls Canada - City Skyline

If you want to see a gorgeous view of the Niagara Falls Canada city skyline, I highly recommend you check out the observation area that is near the visitor's center. I think you can get some of the best views of their city skyline while standing there!
Niagara Falls State Park in New York

We spent three days and two nights exploring Niagara Falls State Park and still didn't get to see and do all of the things that we wanted to do! Hence, we're already planning a return visit in the near future. If you're looking for suggestions of things to do, things to see and places to stay that are in the Niagara Falls area, you can find those right here on our travel blog, under the New York section, where you'll find some extensive review.

Note: You can double-click on each photo to have it automatically open up in a new browsing window and in an enlarged size to allow you to see the smaller details up close.

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