Random Facts about Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls is the destination heard round the world. Millions of tourists every year from all over the planet go to experience the beauty and allure that is, Niagara Falls. Created over 12,000 years ago at the end of the last glacial period, Niagara Falls has been the staple tourist attraction in America for . Whether you’re face-to-face with the falls on a Maid of the Mist boat ride, at any number of observation areas around the park, or you’re just beneath the falls at the Cave of the Winds, Niagara Falls has a view for everyone.

Niagara-Falls-Photo by Mike Shubic of MikesRoadTrip.com

Niagara Falls and its surrounding areas are also rich with historical significance. The falls were first discovered by French explorer Louis Hennepin in December 1678. Soon after, the area became a French stronghold, as they built forts at the mouth of the Niagara River, creating what is now modern day Old Fort Niagara. The village of Lewiston, just a 10 minute drive from Niagara Falls, was the site of the first battle of the War of 1812 and the last stop for slaves escaping to freedom in Canada on the Underground Railroad. Whether it’s the history buff in you, or the adventurer, or you’re heading to the honeymoon capital of the world, Niagara Falls has something for everyone.

Fort Niagara sign by MikesRoadTrip.com

Niagara is famous the world over for it’s majestic falls, but did you know these interesting facts?

  • Niagara Falls actually consists of three waterfalls; American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Horseshoe Falls.
  • Annie Edson Taylor was the first person ever to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel and live! On October 24, 1901 she made her trip over Horseshoe Falls…it was her 63rd birthday.
  • Nikola Tesla (arguably the greatest inventor of all time) was the engineer responsible for harnessing the vast water power of Niagara Falls. Due to his invention of the alternating current reduction motor, the water could be sent 20 miles to Buffalo from Niagara Falls. It was one of the first steps to harnessing hydro-electric power. Now, power generation facilities along the Niagara River supply more than one-quarter of all power used in New York State and Ontario.
  • In 1969 the American and Bridal Veil Falls were turned off by the U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers so they could further study the effects of erosion.
  • Niagara River is one of only a few rivers that actually flow north.
  • Only 25% of the water flowing down the Niagara River flows over the falls, the rest is diverted for hydro-electric power.
  • A War of 1812 flag is on display at Fort Niagara, one of the oldest surviving United States flags.
  • Despite the myths, Niagara Falls does not freeze in the winter.
  • Niagara Falls State Park is the oldest state park in the United States, it was established in 1885.
  • There are over 500 waterfalls taller than Niagara. However, the combination of height and volume of water is what makes Niagara Falls so awe-inspiring.
  • While Niagara Falls isn’t the tallest waterfall in the world, it may be the fastest moving waterfall on the planet. Next to Victoria Falls, it’s the second in terms of water volume.
  • Each season, the massive wooden staircase at the Cave of the Winds attraction is assembled and dissembled.

Please leave a comment below if you know of some other interesting and random facts about Niagara Falls.

Aerial view of Niagara Falls by MikesRoadTrip.com

Mike Shubic

Mike Shubic is a seasoned road trip travel video blogger, traversing the byways of the world looking for those hidden gems of the road. From unique destinations, unexpected discoveries, creative cuisine, intriguing inns to exciting attractions…the road is his page. The experiences are his ink. And every 300 miles, a new chapter begins. Whether you live vicariously or by example, Mike will do the exploring so you can have an adventure.