The eastern end of Lake Erie-Niagara Begins
Niagara Falls tops my list of exciting places to visit. The blend of nature, winds, water, and wildlife working together in harmony showcases one of the earth most beautiful sites. But……
Today, I took a step back in time to my younger years and walked along the Niagara where it begins. It’ s hard to believe that during my pre-teen years we would be allowed to pack a lunch and a fishing pole and walk over the West Ferry Bascule Bridge without adults. Just a group of neighborhood friends, and without cell phones to call our parents, we would spend the afternoon on the waterfront break wall that separates the Niagara River and the Erie Canal.
The bridge takes you to Broderick Park in the City of Buffalo. My memory did not reflect the area as it is today, family friendly with a snack bar and picnic tables. I started out by walking south along the break wall. The canal is on the left side and the mighty Niagara roars to your right. Thankfully, they now have rails unlike in the old days when we carefully stayed at the center until we found the right rocks to sit on. I remember thinking if you fall into the river they’ll find you a few miles upstream, and if you fall into the canal you’ll come out covered in leeches. Sadly, from time to time we lost friends to the river, but I never knew anyone to get the leeches stuck on them.
The Niagara River is a natural boundary that separates the United States (New York State) and Canada (Ontario). The rivers flow is at about 5 miles per hour near the bridge and speeds up as it flows north. The Peace Bridge is the entry point between the two countries.
Always aware of the force of the river, we remained careful close to the water. But we were mischievous at times. A friend of ours worked on the drawbridge and with the brisk Buffalo weather we all piled in the control house to warm up. Just when a car would get to the center of the bridge we would start ringing the alerts and flashing lights. It seemed funny at the time and most likely will connect with the “baby boomer” folks because that’s the way we had fun back in the day.
Underground railroad and River Crossing
Here are a few tips when visiting the area:
Bring a passport so you can experience Niagara from both the American and Canadian side of the river.
You can cross the border in Buffalo at the Peace Bridge, or the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls.
Niagara River current
Here is a video clip to see the Niagara River at it’s slowest. The current is swift.
Interstate 90 passes just south of Buffalo on the western side of New York State. Summers are comfortable and the winters are very cold and snowy. If the cold doesn’t bother you the frozen falls is an incredible site to see.
Bee Happy 🐝