Located on the Upper Niagara River in LaSalle, Griffon Park commemorates the general location where French explorer Rene-Robert Cavalier, Sieur de La Salle, launched the first sailing ship, the Griffon, to ply the upper Great Lakes. La Salle, seeking the Northwest Passage to China and Japan, sailed the Griffon across Lake Erie, Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. The Griffon sailed through waters to the interior of North American where previously only canoes had ventured. Filled with furs, La Salle disembarked and sent the ship back to Niagara. The Griffon disappeared along the way; never returning to Niagara and never being found. At Griffon Park, a commemorative rock details the history.
The flow of water was stopped completely over both falls on March 29th 1848 due to an ice jam in the upper river for several hours. This is the only known time to have occurred. The Falls did not actually freeze over, but the flow was stopped to the point where people actually walked out and recovered artifacts from the riverbed!
NYS Parks / Trails