Category Archives: Hiking

Niagara Parks Part II

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This is Part II of the Niagara Parks piece. We are so fortunate to be living in one of the most beautiful areas on earth. We hope you enjoy the photos and learn a bit more about Niagara and its parks and then come on over to inspect them for yourselves.

Queen Victoria Park

Queen Victoria Park is the park in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, where people go to see the Falls – all three – The American Falls, Bridal Veil and Horseshoe. It is maintained by NPC – the Niagara Parks Commission, and is truly lovely, in itself.

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This exquisite pond is located directly across from where one views the American Falls.

Niagara Falls, USA as seen from Niagara Falls, Canada
Niagara Falls, USA as seen from Niagara Falls, Canada

In the same vicinity, is the Oakes Garden Theatre. This is a great place to sit and have a picinic, take wedding photos, or to walk around and check out the gardens.

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Nestled in behind the theater, and through a gate, lies a secret garden. Yes, really. Many visitors miss this gem.

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And, here I am, (one of the two chicks) sitting at a restaurant right next door, called the Secret Garden. I honestly can’t give a review of the menu, as I’ve only had drinks on the terrace, but the link is here, http://www.secretgardenrestaurant.net/

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Fort Niagara 

Back over on the American side, one really must see Fort Niagara. The Niagara River empties into Lake Ontario at this juncture. There is a lighthouse, the Fort, the River, The Lake a swimming pool, picnic area, snack bar and more. It’s a great place to spend the day with the family.

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The Fort Niagara Lighthouse offers tours and a gift shop.

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There is an old road that follows the river and makes for a great walkway, with beautiful views along the way.

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You can even stop and take a moment to reflect.

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Public Dock – Youngstown, NY

Just down the way from Fort Niagara, are the Youngstown Public Docks. we like it there. When you’re at the Fort, you can see sailboats emerging from upriver, and coming out into the open waters of Lake Ontario. But going to the Docks, you can see these boats up close at waters edge. It’s also kind of handy if you happen to have a boat. 😉

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Lewiston’s Waterfront Park

At the river’s edge, in Lewiston, downriver from Niagara Falls and upriver from Youngstown is a quaint little park. Lewiston has their docks down at the water below, but up some steps and at the end of Center Street is this park. The Silo Restaurant is there, picnic tables, a couple of bench swings to watch the sunset over Canada. One of our favorite things are the spectacular statues by sculptor, Susan Gessler.

http://www.lewistonsilo.com/

http://www.susangeissler.com/

Susan Gessler's sculpture, Freedom Crossing at Lewiston's Waterfront Park.
Susan Gessler’s sculpture, Freedom Crossing at Lewiston’s Waterfront Park.

Peace Garden – Lewiston, NY

Back up the hill, on Center Street lies a quiet little nook, behind the main buildings. It is a peaceful place with flowers and sculptures and a table to play chess on. A small oasis during a tour of the historic town of Lewiston.

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Lockport Cave Entrance/Lockport Canal/Town of Lockport Nature Trail

Alright folks. You got me. Have you ever been someplace and don’t really know where it was? I googled until my eyes crossed and then called the Lockport Library where a very kind research librarian helped me. (Heck, they live there and don’t know what it’s called.)

The Erie Canal runs through the town of Lockport and there are trails meandering all around the canals, here and there. There are walkways and ruins, and woods and hiking and picnic tables, oh my! In the midst of that is an attraction called the Lockport Cave and Underground Boat ride. Near the entrance is a park-like area. We choose to call it a park!

Famous "upside down" railroad bridge. Railroad companies built the bridge this way to limit size of ships going through canal to force companies to use rail transport for goods.
Famous “upside down” railroad bridge. Railroad companies built the bridge this way to limit size of ships going through canal to force companies to use rail transport for goods.

There is the famous ‘upside down’ railroad bridge. It’s an interesting story:

http://historicbridges.org/bridges/browser/?bridgebrowser=truss/lockportrr/

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There are all kinds of photo ops, with ruins and scenery and historical buildings. Such a fun place to go!

Hyde Park – Niagara Falls

Hyde park is New York State’s largest park aside from Central Park in Manhattan. It has a lake for fishing and boating, bocce ball, tennis courts, a golf course, a swimming pool and a baseball stadium. We take walks quite often through this park, and it’s one of our favorite ways to exercise. With the holiday weekend upon us, it is also good to mention that every year, they have an impressive fireworks show over the lake for the 4th of July.

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Niagara has a treasure trove of parks and green spaces, and we hope that you’ve enjoyed touring it with us! Stay tuned for part three…

The Parks of Niagara – Part I

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Devil’s Hole State Park

The Niagara region is rife with vegetation and life. It’s beaming with beauty and verdancy.  So much is accessible to the public for viewing, some in a natural state and some in more manicured park lands.

Here is a quick overview of a few of the Parks Niagara has to offer, featuring Devil’s Hole, Whirlpool State Park and Niagara Reservation State Park.

Devil’s Hole State Park has been a great source of Inspiration for our family. With it’s changing moods, with the seasons, diverse paths and trails, it seems to always present something for each of our tastes. Mom likes the above trail and the creative opportunities a stroll affords. The rest of the family likes the hiking down the cliff to the water’s edge: destination ‘wild water’ and unique rock formations.

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No pictures of the lower path. Sorry. Everyone was too busy having fun! You’ll just have to come and experience it for yourselves.

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And on a practical note, there are picnic tables, so bring a lunch.

Whirlpool State Park and Devil’s Hole are ‘next door’ to one another and accessible via a trail that runs along the top of the gorge. It is not a difficult connection, but it is not easy either. If you are looking for an easy walk, the Devil’s Hole trail is the easiest. Whirlpool’s has a hill you need to navigate and the connection between the parks has a stony and hilly trail.

October 25, 2012. Whirlpool State Park. A special treat of 78 degrees!d
Whirlpool State Park

Whirlpool Park has a lovely view of the Whirlpool, below on the Niagara River and of the Aero car that crosses the gorge, over the Whirlpool, from Canada to Canada.

Lovely stone building and look-out.
Lovely stone building and look-out.

We would be remiss if we did not turn the spotlight toward Niagara Reservation State Park. A constant beauty, showcasing the Falls, renowned world over, this Park is the number one destination of all tourists visiting from across the globe. A four-season reservation, no room for any hesitation, this is the ultimate destination! 😉

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Niagara Reservation State Park – America’s oldest State Park.
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The water crashing on the rocks below. Always magnificent.
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On Luna Island, between the Bridal Veil and American Falls…up close and personal.
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In the heart of the City, Niagara rings true with paths and walkways, assured of natural beauty.
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You never know what you’ll find around the corner at Reservation: Buffalo Philharmonic performs.