Discover the Niagara Gorge Trail at Whirlpool State Park and Devil’s Hole State Park. Immerse yourself in nature, the extraordinary nuances of the Niagara River and Niagara Gorge while getting your heart rate climbing. At Whirlpool State Park, you can hike down to the bottom of the Niagara Gorge where you will see the Niagara River narrow into a turbulent stretch of rapids. Hiking along the lower gorge trail, heading north, those narrow rapids will flow into a giant whirlpool. Prepared for the challenge? If you hike down, you will have to climb up at Devil’s Hole State Park. After you have climbed the hundreds of stairs back to the upper rim of the Niagara Gorge at Devil’s Hole State Park, your reward is an incredible vista of the Niagara River channeling its way to Lake Ontario. At the top, the Niagara River looks at peace but at the edge, it is a powerful experience to behold.
Forgot your solid pair of sneakers? No worries. You can still experience the transformative nature of the Niagara River by walking the Upper Rim of the Gorge beginning at Whirlpool State Park and taking you to Devil’s Hole State Park. As you walk along the paved trail, you will be able to gaze at the Niagara River, with a bird’s eye view that enables you to view the Niagara River in its entirety.
• Each year, 8 million people visit the Frederick Law Olmsted designed park, to experience the majesty of Niagara Falls in a natural setting. At the oldest state park in the United States, people can feel, see and experience the rush of Niagara’s waters by strolling through the park, crossing idyllic bridges, or touring world class attractions like the Maid of the Mist and Cave of the Winds.
Griffon Park, located in LaSalle on the Upper Niagara River, commemorates the general location where French explorer Rene-Robert Cavalier, Sieur de La Salle, launched the first sailing ship, Le Griffon, to ply the upper Great Lakes. Visitors can enjoy views of the Upper Niagara River, a boat launch and a playground.
For over 40 years, Earl W. Brydges Artpark has been Western New York’s premier summer music and theater destination. Located in the picturesque village of Lewiston, minutes from Niagara Falls, Artpark's 150 scenic acres overlook the Niagara River Gorge and features a main stage theater, lawn seating, and an outdoor amphitheater.
Discover a breathtaking vista at Artpark State Park in the quiet village of Lewiston. Explore the trails within Artpark State Park and you will discover an amazing vista that frames the lower Niagara River, the Niagara Gorge, the Escarpment, Lake Ontario and its surrounding lake plain. If you would like the peace and quiet of an outdoor experience, time your visit around the busy musical and theatrical performances this venue hosts all summer long.
Discover the best sunsets in the world at Fort Niagara State Park. Seriously, the BEST sunsets in the world happen just about every night over Lake Ontario, which is not just a lake, but one of the Great Lakes, housing 20% of the world’s fresh water. In addition to an abundance of soccer fields, Fort Niagara State Park gives visitors a glimpse at one of the largest cities in the world; Toronto. Prepare your favorite picnic basket and settle in on one the multitudes of picnic tables in the park to watch one of nature’s greatest gifts; a sunset over Lake Ontario!
The Niagara River, as is the entire Great Lakes Basin of which the river is an integral part, is a legacy of the last Ice Age. 18,000 years ago southern Ontario was covered by ice sheets 2-3 kilometers thick.
NYS Parks / Trails