• Southern Ontario Hiking Resources


Niagara Falls (Rating=A) is a curtain plunge waterfall with a crest of 675 m and a drop of 57 m into the Niagara River below. The volume of water and the roar are astounding and the sight amazing.


The QEW takes you to Niagara Falls but it's a better journey to exit the QEW into Queenston and take the beautiful Niagara Parkway into Niagara Falls.
Falls Type: curtain plunge    Falls facing: N
Falls Latitude: N43.07821    Longitude: W79.07648
Height: 57 m    Width: 675 m
Click on the Road Map button below for a Google map and directions. The Falls Locator button shows a map of other waterfalls in the area.


Access is plentiful all along the built-up tourist promenade and it is wheelchair accessible. Click on the Trail Map button below for area walking trails.


Overall Rating: Niagara Falls = A

Waterflow: A -year round flow of Niagara River
Falls Size: A - > 15 m
Aesthetics: A -busy, beautiful area but definitely not natural or isolated.

Nearby Falls

DeCew Falls, Swayze Falls, Terrace Creek Falls, Rockway Falls

  TRAILMAP trailmap
   ROADMAP road
   LOCATOR niagara region waterfalls


The Niagara River Recreation Trail is a 56 km paved path running along the Niagara River from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Fort Erie. It forms part of the Greater Niagara Circle Route, a 140-km loop around the Niagara Peninsula. Other components are the Waterfront Trail along Lake Ontario to the north and the Friendship Trail to the south. The Niagara River Recreation Trail is a segment of the Trans Canada Trail.

More than 168,000 cubic m of water go over the crest line of the falls every minute during peak daytime tourist hours. The Canadian Horseshoe Falls drops an average of 57 m into the Lower Niagara River. The crest line of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls is approximately 670 m wide. The plunge pool beneath the Falls is 35 m deep. The rapids above the Falls reach a maximum speed of 40 km/h. The fastest speeds occur at the Falls: 110 km/h has been recorded at Niagara Falls. The water through the Whirlpool Rapids below the falls reaches 48 km/h, and at Devil’s Hole Rapids 36km/h. The Niagara River is a connecting channel between two Great Lakes, Erie and Ontario. Niagara Falls has moved back 11 km in 12,500 years and may be the fastest moving waterfalls in the world.

The Niagara River and the entire Great Lakes Basin of which it is a part, is the result of the last Ice Age. 18,000 years ago, Southern Ontario was covered by ice sheets 2-3 kilometers thick. As the ice sheets advanced southward they gouged out the basins of the Great Lakes. Then as they melted northward for the last time they released vast quantities of melt-water into these basins.

The Niagara Peninsula became free of the ice about 12,500 years ago. As the ice retreated northward, its melt-waters began to flow down through what became Lake Erie, the Niagara River and Lake Ontario, down to the St. Lawrence River and on to the Atlantic Ocean. There were originally 5 spillways from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. Eventually these were reduced to one, the original Niagara Falls, at the escarpment at Queenston-Lewiston. From here the Falls began its steady erosion through the bedrock.


The Niagara Recreation Trail. For a map of area trails, click on the Trail Map icon above.

IMG_1321_niagarafalls86Niagara Falls in WinterThe trail is essential lost in downtown Niagara Falls but nevertheless it continues along the built-up edge of the city of Niagara Falls. You can walk as far as you wish in either direction and once out of the city the trail is easy to find. There are many viewpoints for the falls. To view the falls from the base consider a ride in the Maid of the Mist boat. You can also pay an admission price to walk in a tunnel under the falls.


warningDon't even think of going over the falls in a barrel.


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