Hike To Niagara Gorge Whirlpools

New York Whirlpool State Park

Added by Caitlin Marczewski

  • Distance: About 2 miles
  • Climb 500 stairs into the Niagara Gorge
  • Up close view of whirlpools and rapids
  • Recommended only for hikers over 8 years old

There are many different hiking trails in the Niagara Falls area, one of the favorites and most challenging being Devils Hole and Whirlpool Trail. Park at the far end of the lot at Whirlpool Park and walk towards the river where you'll see the trailhead going north. After about 5 minutes on this trail look for an entrance to the trail leading to the stairs on the left - keep a sharp eye out, it isn't so well marked.

The trail starts out at the top of the gorge and climbs down about 500 very old steps - be sure to step carefully and remember that children under the age of 8 years old are not recommended on this hike. Once you make it down the stairs, take the path left as it takes varies conditions between sheltered woods to boulder hopping. This trail runs right alongside the Niagara river giving you great views of the whirlpools. Keep an eye out for "Butterfly Rock," a favorite spot to launge near the water and soak some sun. This is a great path to hike in the summer or fall; however, it is often closed due to heavy rains in the spring.

Pack List

  • Water
  • Comfortable hiking shoes
  • Layers
  • Snacks
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Share

Activities:

Chillin, Hiking

Skill Level:

Intermediate

Season:

Summer, Autumn

Rating:

Features:

Easy Parking
River
Scenic

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

about 10 hours ago

See some green around the falls

My least favourite thing about Niagara Falls is the city that's built up around it, so this short walk along the gorge is a good way to get out into nature beside the river and do your best to forget the urban sprawl that is right next door. The current and whirlpools are really stunning and worth seeing to broaden your experience of the actual falls.

about 10 hours ago

about 1 month ago

Cool Trail

Awesome challenging trail, pretty cool seeing abandoned cars just don't try and climb up to see them unless you have hiking boots! Would definitely do it again!

about 1 month ago

about 1 year ago

Awesome Hike

I did this hike in the reverse direction, parking at the Niagara Glen Nature Reserve and taking the steel staircase down into the gorge. It was a fantastic hike with the fall colours, but the fallen leaves did make the path more slippery in certain spots. This trail has become one of my favourites in Ontario, the geology makes it really interesting and there are lots of spots to stop and enjoy the view.

about 1 year ago

over 1 year ago

Tough hike, though I preferred the hike on the Canadian side to the hike on the US side. The bouldering and geology was more interesting on the Canadian side.

over 1 year ago

Added by Caitlin Marczewski

I grew up in log home in the country so it's not a surprise that I love being outside at all times. I am an avid hiker and skier but I am up for just about any adventure :)

More Adventures Nearby

Hike to Boreas Ponds

New York / Boreas Ponds Trailhead

You will start from the last parking area along Gulf Brook Road.  The road is a bit rough, higher clearance vehicle recommended. Just past the gate is a kiosk and map.

Rebecca Nichols
6 Saves

Hike the Bluff Trail at Chimney Bluffs State Park

New York / Chimney Bluffs Trailhead

The trail starts right at the parking area.  You quickly climb a short ways up and through the open forest until you reach the bluffs edge.

Rebecca Nichols
26 Saves

Hike at Poet's Walk Park

New York / Poet's Walk Parking

The parking area offers a kiosk with maps.  At the kiosk you will see the main trail which will lead you 0.66 miles through open fields to the Overlook Pavillon.

Rebecca Nichols
5 Saves