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16 July 2024
Maid of the Mist approaching Horseshoe Falls.

I went on The Maid of the Mist when I went to America in the 1990s with my friend Alistar Parry. We flew to New York, hired a car and drove through the state of New York to the Canadian and American border, where we stayed on the American side of Niagara Falls.

Maid of the Mist trip.

We stayed for a couple of days in Niagara. We joined an interesting tour of the area, which took us to a hydroelectric plant, pointed out many interesting facts about the area and took us across to the Canadian side for a few hours. I don't know what it is like now, but visiting the Canadian side was disappointing. The view of Horseshoe Falls was fantastic, but the populated area was just like pleasure beaches worldwide, with so many junk funfair shows, attractions and candy floss stalls, it wasn't enjoyable.

On the second day, we joined a boat trip which went very close to the cascading water of Niagra Falls. Although we were covered from head to foot in oversized blue coveralls, we got soaked as the mist rained down on us as we approached as close to the falls as the boats were allowed to go. The falls seen from above are beautiful, but seen from underneath, they are incredible. The noise of the water was deafening, and we found it hard to hear each other talking as we approached the falls.

After we had made the trip on our boat, The Maid of The Mist, I think all of the boats have this name painted on the side; we then went down inside the cliff face in a lift to visit the Cave of the Winds. The lift stopped at the bottom of Niagra Falls, and we got to walk under the falls on wooden platforms. If we weren't already wet, we soon were.

That evening, we crossed the border again to the Canadian side and went for dinner in the Skylon Tower before going to the viewing platform to watch the nighttime laser show across the falls. It was a fantastic view, but after the show finished, we returned to the American side of the falls again to sleep before driving to Boston in the morning.

Niagra Falls Facts.

  • The amount of water going over the falls is governed these days. The falls are regulated because they produce much of the electricity for the surrounding areas. Between 50-75% of the water that flows along the Niagara River is diverted from going over the Falls to hydroelectric power generating stations.
  • The flow of water over the falls is reduced at night so that more flows through the hydroelectric power stations. This allows more water to flow over the cliffs when people are visiting Niagra Falls during the day.
  • During peak flow periods, more than 700,000 gallons of water per second pour over Niagara Falls.
  • 3,160 tons of water flow over Niagara Falls every second.
  • Despite myths to the contrary, Niagara Falls does not freeze in the winter.
  • The first person to go over the Niagara Falls in a barrel was 63-year-old school teacher Annie Edson Taylor. She is buried at Oakwood Cemetery in Niagara Falls in an area called Stunters Rest, along with other Niagara Falls daredevils.
  • Niagara Falls' current erosion rate is approximately 1 foot per year and could be reduced to 1 foot per 10 years due to flow control and diversion for hydropower generation.
  • Niagara Falls comprises three waterfalls, from largest to smallest: the Horseshoe Falls (also known as the Canadian Falls), American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls.
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