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.
- Comfortable hiking shoes
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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.
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.
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