Horseshoe Fall. NIAGARA FALLS. 29. Route. 249
Photographs. Among the best photographs of Niagara are those of
Zybach & Co., Niagara Falls, Ontario (p. 335).
Reservations. The New York State Reservation at Niagara comprises
107 acres and was opened in 1885. It includes Prospect Park and Goat
Island. — The Queen Victoria Niagara Falls Park, on the Canadian side,
covers 154 acres and was opened in 1888. — The New York Commissioners
issue a folder of useful 'Suggestions to Visitors', which may be obtained
(free) at any of the hotels or from the officers of the Reservation.
Plan and Season of Visit. The description in the text follows the
best order in which to visit the Falls. The American side is seen to
greatest advantage in the morning, the Canadian side in the afternoon,
the sun being then at our backs as we face the Falls. The Whirlpool
Rapids are best seen from the Canadian side. It is possible to see all the
chief points in one day, but it is better to allow 2-3 days for the visit.
May, the first half of June, the second half of Sept., and Oct. are good
seasons to visit Niagara, which- is hot and crowded in midsummer. No
one who has an opportunity to see them should miss the Falls in the
glory of their winter dress.
The »*Falls of Niagara ('Thunder of Waters'), one of the
greatest and most impressive of the natural wonders of America,
are situated on the Niagara River, 22 M. from its head in Lake Erie
and 14 M. above its mouth in Lake Ontario. This river forms the
outlet of the four great "Western lakes (Erie, Huron, Michigan, and
Superior), descending about 330 ft. in its course of 36 M. and af¬
fording a channel to a large part of the fresh water in the globe.
Its current is swift for about 2 M. after leaving Lake Erie, but be¬
comes more gentle as the channel widens and is divided into two
parts by Grand Island (Bedell Ho., a popular summer-hotel, $ 2-3).
Below the island the stream is 2*/2 M. wide. About 15 M. from Lake
Erie the river narrows again and the rapids begin, flowing with ever
increasing speed until in the last 3/4 M. above the Falls they descend
55 ft. and flow with immense velocity. On the brink of the Falls,
where the river bends at right angles from W. toN., the channel is
again divided by Goat Island, which occupies about one-fourth of
the entire width of the river (4770 ft). To the right of it is the
**American Fall, 1060 ft. wide and 167 ft. high, and to the left of
it is the """Canadian or Horseshoe Fall, 158 ft. high, with a con¬
tour of 3010 ft. The volume of water which pours over the Falls is
15 million cubic ft. per minute (about 1 cubic mile per week), of
which probably nine-tenths go over the Canadian Fall.* Below the
Falls the river contracts to 1000-1250ft, and rushes down foaming
and boiling between lofty rocky walls. Two miles farther down it
is barely 800 ft. wide, and at the Whirlpool (p. 253) the huge
volume of water is compressed into a space of 250 ft. Within 7 M.
these lower rapids descend over 100 ft., but at Lewiston the river
once more becomes wider and smoother.
The gorge through which the river runs has been formed by the action
of the vast body of water rushing through it, and the Falls themselves
are receding up the river at a rate which in 1842-90 averaged 21/* ft. per
t The international boundary passes through the middle of the so-
called Canadian Fall.