The absolute power of the water rushing along the Niagara River and over the various Falls inspires awe even after all these years. I forgot how incredible it feels to walk along the river path, seeing the water rush by through the breaks in the trees along the banks. Starting on Goat Island at Niagara Falls State Park, we walked the paths and bridges to visit the Three Sisters Islands, and then back to walk along the river path for a better look at Horseshoe Falls and to see Bridal Veil Falls and the American Falls.
The beautiful, sunny day with the occasional cloud and low (for us) temperatures in the high 70s with humidity about average contributed to the enjoyment of the walk. A big part of the overall experience is the excitement of getting close enough to get a full view of the Falls and feel the mist on face and arms, watching it dot sunglasses and camera lens. Nothing except being there can convey that feeling.
The closer we got to the main views of the Falls, the more crowds we encountered. Walking became an exercise in avoiding people and avoiding ruining their photographs in some parts. But, due to the large area, the crowds remained spread out and not at all overwhelming. Getting close enough for a really good look and photograph proved not at all difficult.
We grew up not too far from Niagara Falls. We took it for granted as children, learning about it as one of the natural wonders of the world but, in that accepting childhood way, figured everyone must have a natural wonder of the world close by. Karl and I visited the Falls while dating, doing all the usual tourist things including Maid of the Mist boat ride and Cave of the winds hikes. We left the area forty years ago, and just visited the Falls area again this summer.
The long absence, and our role now as photographers and travelers, led us to see this area with new eyes. It changed considerably from our childhood. Once everyone went to the Canadian side of the Falls, avoiding the American side. Now, Niagara Fall State Park provides the perfect view and venue to enjoy this natural wonder.