Take Your Dog To Niagara Falls

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Take Your Dog To Niagara Falls

Of all the crown jewels is America’s natural Tiara – Yellowstone, Grand

Canyon, Yosemite – nothing is as dog-friendly as Niagara Falls. Save for

Special travel, your dog can walk anywhere you walk to see

world-famous falls in New York’s Niagara Falls State Park and Ontario’s

Queen Victoria Park.

It is hard to imagine these days but Niagara Falls, one of the world’s most

visit tourist destinations, was originally viewed as a special military

post office and work site. One of the first Europeans to see the falls

51 years old French priest Father Louis Hennepin in 1678. Hennepin

is reported to have knelt on his knees in prayer and murmured, “World

he can’t afford it.” The French army, initially perhaps

Appreciate the romantic sentiment, was more interested in building a fort

to protect the natural trade route between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.

Passengers did not begin to arrive in western New York in large numbers

until the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825 and the advent of railroads

in the 1830s. Many enjoyed the same attitude as Father Hennepin. Them

tradition of honeymooners coming to Niagara where “the love of those who

The honeymoon here will last as long as they fell each other” day early

The 1800s when members of the Bonaparte family of the French Empire were on the wedding

trips. By the middle of the century the area around the Falls a

mixed hodgepodge of water-power mills and private resorts.

After the Civil War, a small group of experts began to search for him

way to heal scars to Niagara’s natural beauty. The “Free Niagara”

The crusade led to the creation of the Niagara reservation, America’s first

state park in 1885. Frederick Law Olmsted, architect of New York City

Central Park and one of the leaders of the movement, put out the park’s

network of wooded footpaths along the banks of the Niagara River. Olmsted’s

belief in retaining natural beauty while providing access to all – for people

and the dog – remain in Niagara Falls to this day.

Niagara Falls reigns as one of the world’s premier sightseeing destinations

and your dog is welcome along. Because of crushing the guests around the edge

of Falls is the best place to start your explorations of the Niagara Falls area

Kill with the dog in the early morning hours when it is easy to maneuver

around to different vantage points. Even at our busiest times

grassy fields and shady promenades for dogs to romp.

Start your journey on the paved path of Goat Island in the middle of the

Niagara River, flanked by terrifying rapids on all sides. Pedestrian bridges

lead to the Three Sisters Islands and Green Island for close-up views of the

wild river as you approach the Falls. Go down a flight of stairs to Luna

The island, located between American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls,

before crossing back across Goat Island to the precipice of the Horseshoe

Fall on the Canadian side. You and the dog can stand on each edge

three fall and catch in the water spray before the droplets fall 18

history on the crest into the gorge. Forty million gallons of wastewater

over Niagara Falls every minute.

From these vantage points you can stop and think of the first recorded

people to jump into Falls. That was Sam Patch in October 1829, who

double jump from a platform 110 feet high. You need both jumps. Them

The first person to successfully ride the falls in the barrel was a woman,

Annie Taylor, who survived the stunt on October 24, 1901. Of the 16 known

trying to ride the falls in a barrel or similar capsule – a stunt that is

now illegal – 10 ye.

And the dogs that go over Niagara Falls? Unfortunately, there is an account that has been recorded

just such an event. In December 1874 some local hotel owners bought it

An old Great Lakes schooner and he plans to send it over the Falls to lure

visitor to Niagara. To add drama to the scene the organizers gathered

a boat with a mosquito, three wolves, two foxes, a raccoon, a dog, a cat and

four-wild and cut them “Change Noah’s Ark” loose in rapids. Them

animals were seen scampering around the deck as the schooner departed

over the edge falls and breaks into hundreds of pieces on the rocks

below. Only two geese are believed to have survived the stunt.

For panoramic views of all three falls you will need to cross the gorge

into Canada where you can take the dog for a stroll among the Flower Gardens

of Queen Victoria Park. The park, managed by the Niagara Parks Commission,

actually preates Niagara Falls State Park. Landscaping of the area as well

high views of the rising cataracts began in 1837 and became a

park in 1882. Both parks are free to visit, as the nightly lights show

illuminating the falls.

Niagara Falls has a lot in store for the serious dog walker too.

The pleasures of the Niagara River are not fully utilized when there is water

a loss of 170 feet below the falls into the gorge. River, one of them

shortest in the world, rumbles another chaos 7 km before disgorging

its contents into Lake Ontario. The rapids in the river are among them

wildest and fiercest in the world, rated 6 on a navigation scale of 1-6.

The dangerous Niagara River that history had as strong hold on

daredevils like the fallen themselves. Matthew Webb, the first man to swim

English Channel, perished trying to swim across the Niagara River here

in 1883. Today, Whirlpool boat pily the tamer of the rapids fro.

unique tourism.

The flat, paved Niagara Gorge Rim Trail runs six miles from America

Falls at Prospect Point along the canyon, connecting the necklace of New York

state parks along the way. Several levels of 300+ steps descend into

gorge in the parks to reach the link trails along the river. More

of the trail below the rim follows the roadbed of the historic Great Gorge

The train The railway operated until September 17, 1935 when 5000 tons of

rock slid down the gorge and buried the track. Part of the trail crossing

this rubble and there is considerable rock-hopping for a dog racing game.

These occasional rock falls – rare like this – are more common

winter and early spring and trekking in the gorge is only recommended

between mid-May and November 1.

The trail leads to the edge of the waves where the 35-foot deep river can

reach speeds of 22 km per hour. At the sight of water churning

by Billy’s Hole Rapids and Whirlpool Rapids can be mesmerizing, no

forget to look up now and then maybe spot the occasional bald eagle

wandering around, no doubt looking for an easy meal of the dazed and battered


The northernmost park along the Niagara Gorge is Earl W. Brydges

Artpark in Lewiston, where the cocktail was created by a local restaurant

mat. He poured gin and herbal wine into a vessel and carried his mixture.

with the amount of hand stuffed pheasant cock. More traditional

artists and craftsmen show their creations on the sites of the

200-acre park. The river is calm enough at this point to survive

watch out for the dog.

The cliffs of the gorge in Lewiston is where Niagara Falls begins some

12,000 years ago at the end of the Ice Age. Floods to melt

Glacial ice poured over the edge of the Niagara Escarpment, as are the rocks

know. The great force of the water has slowly moved away from the rock and moved

they fell to their present position seven miles up. Today, they fell

is eroding at the rate of an inch per year. You can trace the journeys of

falls in the rocks that line the gorges.

The Niagara Gorge Trail System ends at the concrete dam of the

Robert Moses Power Plant, the end of the trip from the beauty of Niagara

Fall into the harsh reality of your practicality. Hydroelectricity is the most

the main product of the Falls. Plant power on American and Canadian

The sides of the Falls use water diverted from the Falls to generate electricity

lighting up to 2,500,000 100-watt light bulbs. It is one of those

the world’s largest such operations with incoming shipping lines are

both instructions to gorge. As impressive as the Falls are today, they

only a fraction as strong as our ancestors were – like half of them

The flow of the Niagara River is diverted for hydroelectric production.

Some days in the next 3000 years Niagara Falls will wear away completely and

the power will dry up as the water flows between Lake Erie and Lake

Ontario. Until that day, however, there is plenty of opportunity to be had

A wonderful dog has the power of Niagara.

copyright 2006

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