Sunday, June 10: Middleport, NY to Niagara Falls, Ontario 40.3 miles
Monday, June 11: Zero day in Niagara
We left the Erie Canal and New York on a beautiful day with an equally beautiful tail wind. We cruised easily to Canada! We crossed into Canada in Niagara Falls. I had never been to Niagara before so I was very excited to see it. Everyone told us that the Canadian side was much nicer so that is where we went. It was fun going through customs on a bicycle. We were on the bridge with cars and trucks, but luckily it was empty on a Sunday afternoon (over a week ago – we are a bit behind on our posts).
The first thing we noticed when we crossed into Canada was the color of the river. We had just spent the last 350 miles on or near the Erie Canal, which is mud brown water (and parts of it were so smelly we called it the stink pit and old stinky). The color of the Niagara River is beautiful! It’s aqua marine and when you get close, it’s super clear.
As we got closer to the falls, the crowds got bigger and bigger. The falls were huge and amazing! I didn’t realize Niagara Falls was actually 3 different waterfalls. It was just one of those things that you could stare at for a long time and always see something different! I read somewhere that 1/5 of the worlds fresh water goes over Niagara Falls everyday!
The town of Niagara Falls is weird. Granted, we stayed relatively close to the falls (about a 10-15 minute walk) so we were still in the middle of the touristy area. It reminded me of a smaller Las Vegas. With lots of lights and hotels and a casino and lots of people.
We got to the falls later in the day, pretty exhausted, so we decided to spend an extra day in Niagara. On both days we were those hippies cooking dinner on our little camp stove in the grass where we could still see the falls 🙂
I read that we could pay to go for a walk to see the rapids and whirlpools in the river past the falls. We would of had to wait on line, pay, and then deal with the large crowds on a 1/4 mile walk. Dan found a nature center where we could also go for a hike close to the water, but for free! We decided to do that first and then decide if we wanted to pay for the White Water Walk. Plus, I love nature centers!
The hike was lovely, and not crowded at all! We walked along the river, saw how fast the water moves, and even put our feet in the water (it was freezing!). At the end of the trail, there were these huge flat rocks right on the water where we could sit. We asked someone to take a picture of us and right when he was shooting a large great blue heron flew over! It was so cool. I have never seen a great blue heron that close! (See the pictures of it below.) Needless to say, we decided not to pay for a more crowded and shorter version of what we had already seen.
My final thoughts on Niagara Falls are:
– Beautiful waterfalls
– Crazy amounts of fresh water that moves so fast
– I wonder what it looked like without all the infrastructure around it. For example, it was hard to get a picture of one of the waterfalls without a huge hotel/casino with flashing lights in the background. What would it have been like to hike to falls like that?
– I’m happy we went. I’m also happy we found a space to appreciate the water that was not super crowded.
– There was a weird amount of IHOPS and Dairy Queen (aka a lot of each in a small space).