Niagara Falls Hiking; a secret spot not many people know about

I have lived in Buffalo NY, pretty much my entire life. Now, it may not be the most luxurious spot to be brought up in, but it did have some perks. Buffalo chicken wings, great pizza, great food and beer in general, great history, bars open till 4am (us buffalonians like to party!) and one of my favorites, Niagara Falls.

Every time I have hiked on this trail, I have only seen a few number of people hiking on it, which is incredibly surprising seeing how much beauty you can capture on this hike. Thousands of people visit Niagara Falls each year, seeing how it is one of the seven natural wonders, it isn’t surprising, but only a small amount of people walk on this trail. Most people in Buffalo don’t even know this exists.

This trail is called the Whirlpool Rapids Trail. You can see in the name you are probably going to encounter a lot of rapids on this trail. And yes, yes you are!11591_4880843836387_3282007971214769327_n

It’s so beautiful!

This hike is maybe three miles long. A very short hike, but far from easy. There is approximately 300 stairs in order to get to the bottom. You start at Whirlpool State Park and the parking lot is on top of the gorge. You walk maybe a quarter of a mile, up on top of the gorge, rim trail, (great view), until you reach the stairs. When you get to the bottom of the stairs, you turn left and that is where your 1.3 mile hike starts, one-way. If you turn right, there is another trail, but it is not as picturesque as if you were to turn left. Trust me, you want to turn left :). TURN LEFT!!!!! Lol, just kidding.

When you turn left and start this hike (the whirlpool rapids), it is very calm at first. So peaceful, serine, and filled bright with colors. 12289688_10201183516507442_2921865637062720391_n

10610690_4880842516354_3853722834144766677_nAfter you reach the bend, the landscape starts to quickly change.10013975_4880844036392_4009329619700170558_n

10409554_4880844316399_5163356159948635418_nThere is a distinctive trail when you first start the hike, but then, it starts to alter. Instead of a trail in the woods, it turns into spray paint on rocks. If you are not the person who likes to scramble over rocks, this hike may not be for you. You can get around it in some areas, or just not hike to the end, but in some areas it gets pretty intense. As you see in this picture, you can make it even more intense, if you want to.  Just don’t fall in! People die here.

The most prominent animal you will see here, are Canadian Geese. There flying up and down the river, soaring in the sky. Sitting on large boulders over-looking the rapids. One time I spotted one sitting on a boulder, next to the river, and just wanted to tranquilly see if I could sit next to the goose. The peaceful bird let me sit right next to him, while I was casually eating my hot dog. (Don’t ask why of all food items I had on me, I ended up having a hot dog.) We probably sat next to each other for a good twenty minutes. It was a nice experience to have. 😉10392075_1035367901892_2398377_n

You can visit this park pretty much at any time of the year. You have to be careful during winter, depending on how much snow there is. I wouldn’t recommend going if it just recently snowed, but if it happens to be on a warmer week, I highly recommend it. I have been here multiple occasions during all of the different seasons, and all the different seasons, have a particular beauty to it.10610791_4880845036417_7529720602498151940_n

Fall is obviously gorgeous with all the different colors blended together.

Hiking this during the winter, whether permitting, is an exemplary time to go, especially if it is low tide. When it is low tide, obviously the water levels go down. When the water levels go down, rocks get exposed that are not normally exposed. You can walk on these platforms and the trail now is even longer than the 1.3 miles we were talking about. This is now called the forbiden path! Yup, there is such a thing! You can’t get to the forbidden path when the water levels are high, which is like, ALWAYS! But, that special time you go at the right time, it is just an amazing experience you will never forget.11222801_10201183515827425_1417588648861298160_n


You get to walk on the algae based rock, slipping and sliding near the Niagara River. Obviously this hike isn’t for everyone. You need to be confident about hiking and not get too close to the edge.  But it is definitely fun and I love it when I get to feel that much closer to the river.

So, there is more to Niagara Falls than just this hike. There is a lot to do, and a good amount of hiking. At Niagara Falls, literally where the falls are (this secret spot is not right at the falls, its a bit North of the falls, there is more hiking at the actual Niagara Falls itself.1466261_4880846476453_6185739237120671147_n

There is hiking on top of the falls, right before the water goes over. This shot is from Goat Island. There is a lot of attractions here such as cave of the winds (get to climb down next to the falls, pretty cool. And its also wonderful to see at night. 1558517_4880847876488_6598740837970582451_n

Get a great view of Canada.


Every time I have hiked at Niagara Falls, I have thoroughly enjoyed it. If you have an act of exploring, you will definitely find yourself busy all day on what this attraction can offer. And get beautiful shots like this. There is the American side and the Canadian side. There is more to do on the Canadian side, as far as attractions, but I think the hiking is better on the American side. 10420145_4880868877013_7460779055308027548_n

This shot, is by far one of my most favorite pictures I have ever took, and I am not just talking about the falls, but in every shot I have ever took. I have this picture blown up and framed on my wall. All of these pictures that you have seen have been taking by me, and in no way do I have a good camera. Technically, I do now. I just got my first good camera, actually today. Very excited to use it! All these pictures though, were not taken by a good camera.

Thank you for reading. It was nice to share a little bit of home with you guys!



By | 2016-07-12T04:28:50+00:00 March 8th, 2016|All Blog Entries, New York, State Parks|0 Comments

About the Author:

Hi, I'm Shelly! A traveler, hiker and an outdoor enthusiast. My dream my whole life was to travel, so I stopped dreaming and started doing. I quit my job and I am currently doing whatever it takes to keep going. I'll pick up jobs along the way and do what it takes to keep being a full-time traveler! I can prove that you don't need to come from money or anywhere special to live your dream. You just have to have the power of your own life to finally say YES!

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