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Prepare to Get Wet Cruising the Foot of Niagara Falls on the Maid of the Mist

Published by Scottie Bakes, Writer

Country: Canada

The Experience

Found on the border of the twin cities—Niagara Falls Ontario, and Niagara Falls New York—the Falls has fascinated all who have witnessed it. Although there have been many documents suggesting who discovered Niagara Falls, the bottom line is, the only thing they deserve credit for is writing about it in their journal and giving themselves a pat on the back. The Niagara Falls we see today started forming itself over 10,000 years ago (meaning lots of time for people other than the Europeans to "discover" it). Over these thousands of years, Niagara Falls has been moving ever so slowly. It's believed to have started approximately six miles down river, where currently the Queenston-Lewiston Bridge connects the U.S and Canada. Each year the Falls recede roughly 6 feet in certain areas due to erosion, and it’s because of this that Niagara Falls has its renowned Horseshoe curve.

Although the Niagara Falls has been forging its own path in history (excuse the pun), it received a helping hand in the mid 18th century. In 1846, the first Maid of the Mist began to cruise the foot path of the largest waterfall in North America (and one of the largest in the world). It was initially built to act as border transportation, but after two years became part of the tourism attraction when the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge was built. From 1860–1885, there was no Maid cruising the Niagara River. But since then, the Maid of the Mist has carried millions of people along the magnificent base of Niagara Falls. The most recent ships (Maid of the Mist VI & VII) built in 1990 and 1997, have allowed passengers to get closer than ever to the Falls.

Each ride equips you with a life-jacket and, most importantly, a useless souvenir water poncho. Be prepared to get wet. The ship gets so close to the Falls that at points, the mist is so think almost nothing can be seen, and your other senses take over: The smell of fresh water, the feel of cool mist hitting your face, and, most amazingly, the shaking roar of crashing water surrounding you. For those afraid of getting wet there is an indoor viewing area, but unfortunately, you'll miss the true experience of the Niagara Falls there.

The Maid of the Mist tour lasts around half an hour, but is complemented by numerous other ways to experience Niagara Falls. Take a walk along the Niagara River to get the full panoramic view right to the point of the river's drop where only a 2-foot wall separates you from the rushing water. Another great experience is the tour behind the Falls where there are multiple look-out points. Again, be prepared to get wet. For the adventurous, try the Whirlpool Jetboats which travel along the Niagara River leading to the Falls. For this ride, bring a bathing suit and scuba goggles.

The different experiences this monster of nature offers cannot be fully explained but must be experienced to truly appreciate its power, and wonder.

Photos

Map

Puzzle

When to Go to Maid Of The Mist

The best time to visit Niagara Falls is during the summer. All the water attractions based around the Falls open between April and May 20th, depending on weather, and run until October 24th. It is still a gorgeous area to visit year round as there are hiking paths along the river and events taking place all year. In the winter it is a completely different site as many areas are frozen and the mist is reduced. Be sure to go for a walk at night to experience the light show that is displayed on the Falls.

Odds n' Ends

Because of the nature of activities at Niagara Falls, bring an extra shirt and in some cases (Jetboating) full change of clothes.

The Maid of the Mist prices are:
Adult - $16.50
Child (5-12) - $10.10
5 and under - Free

Carpe Diem! Book to do this experience now!

You'll have the best views of Niagara Falls possible from the Skylon's 700-feet/210-meter Angel's View lookout. The wet and wild cruise aboard the Maid of ...
Starting from $84.95 per person.

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