Niagara Falls State Park is the oldest state park in the United States. Every year it is visited by over six million visitors, making it also one of the most visited in the country.
Niagara Falls State Park is situated on 400 acres of area. It is home to thousands of protected wildlife making it a haven for nature lovers. While it is not necessarily known as a hiking mecca, the parks feature several trails systems that will give you a glimpse of the natural beauty of the Niagara region.
In this post, we will take you to the top trails that will allow you to have the best Niagara Falls State Park experience.
1. Great Gorge Scenic Overlook Hike
We start the list with this easy, one-hour round trip hike. As the name alludes, the Great Gorge Scenic Overlook Hike will take you through some of the most beautiful vistas that you can get in Niagara State Park, without too much climbing involves.
The trail starts at the Niagara Gorge Trailhead Center building and follows along the Niagara River. It offers views of the Niagara Escarpment, Gorge as well as the historic Schoellkopf Power Station. This trail is suitable for all ages, and even your furry pals as it is dog-friendly. You still, however, need to put them on leash and clean after them.
2. Niagara Gorge Rim Trail
Source: Visit Buffalo Niagara
If you’re looking for a more expansive Niagara Gorge experience, this one is definitely for you. The Niagara Gorge Rim Trail spans 5.3 miles from point to point and will take you through 3 state parks along the way: the Devil’s Hole State Park, the Whirlpool State Park, and the Niagara Falls State Park.
Start the trail at the Devil’s Hole parking area and make your way south towards the endpoint of the trail at Terrapin Point on Goat Island. Simply follow the wide and relatively flat rout along the rim of the Niagara Gorge. The highlight of this trail: continuous view of the Niagara River throughout the route.
3. Devil’s Hole Rapids and Giant Rock
Much as the previous trial, the Devil’s Hole Rapids and Giant Rock trail start at the parking area of Devil’s Hole State Park. This route, however, is intended for more experienced hikers and certainly not for your children.
The trail will take you on a descent into the Niagara Gorge, right beside the river, where water rushes at more than 20 miles per hour. The point of interest of this trail is a huge boulder named Giant Rock. Right after passing this, you will ascend back up to Whirlpool State Park, towards the end of the trail.
4. Whirlpool Rapids Adventure Hike
Source: Step Out Buffalo
Another trail for the more experienced hikers as well as for those who are looking for a thrilling adventure. This trail starts on the Niagara Gorge Rim Trail. You will go down the steep descent to the bottom of the gorge right at the water’s edge. Extreme caution is imperative when hiking this trail, as a simple misstep can mean a deadly plunge to the roaring rapids. On the other hand, you’ll be rewarded with the thrill of adventure like nothing else.
5. Niagara Scenic Parkway Trail
As the name suggests, this trail spans approximately 4 miles along the Niagara Scenic Parkway. Start the trail from Main Street in Niagara Falls, New York and head north along the Niagara River.
Throughout the trail, you will pass several state parks, including the De Veaux Wood State Park, where you will find historical buildings and recreational amenities. Benches and picnic tables are also available along the trails, which will come in handy if you want to have a quick picnic lunch stop.
6. Goat Island Scenic Walk
Source: Niagara Falls USA
If you have visited Niagara Falls before, chances are you’ve been to Goat Island. Goat Island is a popular spot to get up close to the Falls from the American side. But did you know that the 2-mile walking path looping around the island also makes for a great and fun hike?
To reach Goat Island you can go through one of the two bridges that connect it to the town of Niagara Falls, New York. This trail is definitely an easy one but do wear comfortable shoes nonetheless. The highlight of this trail? You’ll get an amazing view of both the Bridal Veil Falls and the Horseshoe Falls. Top your hike with a meal at the Top of the Falls Restaurant, where you can enjoy good foods with an unbeatable view.