Niagara USA, Guide and Information
Niagara Falls is actually made up of three waterfalls: Horseshoe Falls, American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls. American Falls and the much smaller Bridal Veil Falls are located on the United States side. Horseshoe Falls, the biggest of them all, skirts both the U.S. and Canada. Together they represent the highest source of hydroelectric power of any waterfall or body of water within the U.S. And not surprisingly, Horseshoe Falls ranks as the most powerful waterfall in North America; yes indeed–that would be the one with the highest flow rate of them all.
Before tourism became synonymous with Niagara Falls, man was attempting to harness the power behind the falls and the mighty Niagara River that feeds them in order to operate mills. As early as the mid 1700s, Niagara energy was tapped. With the development of electrical power, the first hydroelectric generating station was built in Niagara Falls in 1881. More hydropower plants were created, making it at one point the largest hydropower facility in the western world. Today Niagara Falls is still an electricity producer extraordinaire!
On the American side, much of the action takes place in Niagara Falls State Park. There you’ll find many great viewing points from which to take in the falls. Start out at the Discovery Center to learn more about the falls and continue to plan you day from there. You have the option of taking hikes and walks, both guided or on your own, throughout the park. Venture out to Goat Island, at the southern tip of the park, to check out the vistas and to walk through this delightful wooded area. From there, you can descend 175 feet (via an elevator) to the Cave of the Winds to feel the stormy force of the Niagara Gorge.