Journey into the heart of one of North America’s most powerful waterfalls. Hear the thundering roar of 600,000 gallons of water falling right before your eyes. Feel the mighty rush of the mist on your face aboard the Maid of the Mist. It’s the only way to experience one of the world’s most amazing natural wonders right here in the U.S.A.
Before this date, rowboats ferried passengers across the Niagara River below the Falls. By 1846, however, entrepreneurs decided a bigger craft could profit by transporting people, luggage, mail and cargo. So, the first Maid of the Mist steamboat, large enough to carry a stagecoach and horses, was christened. In 1848, construction of a suspension bridge curtailed business and the Maid of the Mist was re-branded as a sightseeing adventure that still operates to this day.
Niagara Falls Facts
- The water that flows over Niagara Falls comes from four of the five Great Lakes: Erie, Huron, Michigan and Superior. From the Falls, the water travels down the Niagara River to Lake Ontario, then to the St. Lawrence River and finally to the Atlantic Ocean.
- Originally, 5.5 billion gallons per hour of water flowed over Niagara Falls. Now, however, half of this water is diverted for power by the United States and Canada.
- The average depth of the water below Niagara Falls is 170 feet, which is as deep as the Niagara Gorge banks are high.
- Niagara Falls is the collective name for three waterfalls — the Horseshoe Falls, the Bridal Veil Falls and the American Falls — that overlap the international borders of Canada and the United States.
- Fish actually travel over the Falls and about 90% of them survive. Experts believe that the white foam from the rushing waters cushions their fall.
- Back in the 1800s, Niagara Falls was nearly frozen solid and only a small trickle of water traveled over the cliffs.
- About 600,000 gallons of water travel down Niagara Falls every second.
- About 20% of the drinking water in the United States goes over Niagara Falls.
- The formation of Niagara Falls is the result of glaciers.
- Parts of the movies “Superman” and “Niagara,” starring Marilyn Monroe, were filmed at Niagara Falls.