|Pier and Lighthouse at Port Dalhousie|
We started with a hike in the gorge. You can enter the trail at a few places but I like the trail head near the Niagara Parks Golf Course. After descending some man made and steepish steps you enter an idyllic trail that leads down to the whirlpool. This is a real easy trek down to the river however as you
|Trail Head Stairs|
When you get to the bottom you walk through the bush and the whirlpool appears before you. The end of the Niagara Rapids dead ahead, huge bay littered with fisherman, aero car over head along with a view of the lower and train bridge. It is an amazing sight.
The trek is easy and you go our to the left around the bay to the point where the rivers turns towards lake Ontario. A good spot to just chill and take it all in. If you have been there you know what I mean. Then along the river the trail slowly goes up and you pass the bonfires remains of teenage parties (a rite of passage in this area) and more fisherman. As you ascend up the trail past huge boulders you can almost feel the history of the natives peoples who use to call this home. A great 90 minute trek that any tourist and local should find the time to do. This hike totally energizes you, mind, body and soul
Next up was something I had never done in all my time in the Falls (I am a product of exactly what I said about going through the day to day). It was Maid of the Mist time and I was excited.
Slowly we passed the American Falls with a spectacular view of the talas and cascade. Then the boat turned towards the thunder of the Horseshoe. The water started churning and we bounced a bit, me handing onto the rails and Bama hanging onto me. Suddenly it hits you like a spring shower right in the face. The energizing mist. I had bama close her eyes and tilt her head back, just listen. When you do that you can isolate the sounds of the falls, the mist and the river from that of the squealing co passengers who were also having a great time. We sat in the mist for about 5 minutes and the positive feeling of having that spray drench you with the warm sun is what any adventure is about. I had the same experience at Iguazu in Argentina however I found this shared experience in my home town so much better.
With a quick stop at Jacks French Fry Truck downtown (if you have been there you know what I mean) we were off to the great gorge trip or the White Water Walk as it is now called.
Video on You Tube and these rapids are considered Class 6
** From Wiki** While there is some debate over the term "Class 6", in practice it refers to rapids that are not passable and any attempt to do so would result in serious injury, near drowning or death
Our Final stop for the day, the Whirlpool Aerocar. With its old world charm and views of both up and down the river plus the whirlpool this was a great way to end the trip. No explanation really needed however you do get a great view of the gorge trek from above.
Some thoughts about the Niagara River and Niagara Region. As I said, for an area so spectacular naturally I still can not shake the black cloud of doom that hangs over the town. Maybe its the work and make as much as you can in a short period mentality (yes I lived it) or the get as much as you can from the tourists as possible I do not really know. There are great people here that do amazing things and the area is littered with history, but that black cloud always seems to suck out the positive of any visit.
Finally there are so many amazing places to visit once you get past the Casino and Clifton Hill. The river from Fort Erie to Niagara on the lake is dotted with memorials and Forts from the War of 1812, the vineyards go with out saying, Niagara on the Lake is charming for a short period (niagara falls lite really), but do your homework. Find Decew Falls, visit Queenston and hike the Bruce Trail, visit the locks at Port Colbourne and have a cold beer at a canal side cafe while the lakes pass within 200 feet. Either way its up to you, drink that expensive over price pint or get out there!
The view from the upper river at sunset, nothing wrong with that
** Good Reads
Niagara A History of the Falls by Pierre Burton
White Death, the Blizzard of 77 by Erno Rossi