Niagara Falls rarely freezes in winter. But at this time there are usually few tourists. But in vain! Despite the cold weather, this place is impressive, and it is the location that you should visit at least once in your life.
Most likely, you have seen Niagara Falls many times in photos and videos, but you can doubtfully imagine the whole beauty of this place. No photo can carry the waterfall’s true power and the sensations you get when standing next to it. So hop in your car or bus and go on a tour. It is as simple as playing crazy fruits. And we will tell you all the details in our article. Stay tuned to find out more!
What’s so Special about Niagara Falls in Winter?
From afar, you can estimate the range of the waterfall by the noise. But what your eyes will see on the observation deck cannot be imagined or described in words. The water falls down in tons at an insane speed, hovering upward in a white cloud of water dust and sparkling in the sun with many rainbows. It hypnotizes and keeps you from looking away. Giant icicles hang down from the opposite bank as a wall and touch the edge of icy rocks at the bottom.
We recommend that you dress warmly and take a leisurely walk along the waterfall for a couple of hours to view it from different angles. The beauty of this place will set you up for peace and deep thoughts. Take your time, be alone with the wild nature. Then you can go to warm up and admire the waterfall from the second floor of the tourist center, have a snack and a cup of excellent coffee.
Niagara Falls can be the most incredible winter sight of your life. Here are some interesting facts and tips to help you get the most out of your trip.
Interesting Facts about Niagara Falls
As you stand on the edge of this amazing place, think about the facts that will help you realize its power:
- Where is Niagara Falls? It is located on the border of two countries: Ontario, Canada, and New York, USA.
- It consists of three falls: American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and the largest — Horseshoe Falls.
- Niagara Falls height is 51 meters.
- It was formed by glacier activity about 10,000 years ago.
- The name “Niagara” supposedly comes from the local Indian tribe “Onguiaahra,” which also means “thunder of the water.”
- A lot of rainbows are guaranteed on any sunny day on the Canadian side of the falls. From the American one, you can find them only in the morning.
- The waterfall is gradually shifting, and the world may see Niagara Falls drained in the future. According to the latest research by scientists, it has already moved 11 kilometers, and due to the current rate of erosion, it will disappear in about 50,000 years.
- 90% of fish swimming across Niagara Falls survive.
- People are not allowed to go rafting in Niagara Falls, Canada. However, according to Wikipedia, more than 5,000 people have tried to do this since 1850! The first officially surviving extreme lover was recorded in 1901. This is a 63-year-old teacher from Michigan going down over the waterfall in a barrel.
- More than 13 million people visit Niagara Falls annually.
- Every second, 3160 tons of water pass through the falls. It is one of the largest sources of electricity in Ontario.
What Time To Choose To Visit Niagara Falls In Winter?
What weather does Niagara Falls have in winter? In general, snow starts in November and can last until April, but most of it falls by the end of February. The average temperature in December is the highest in winter, at 36 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius). The average temperature in January is the lowest at 30 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 1 degree Celsius). Temperatures rise to 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius) in February, accompanied by heavy snowfalls and frequent snowstorms. We recommend that you keep an eye on the forecast for snowstorms, as there are bad days for a tour in winter.
During the winter months, the cold at Niagara Falls, Ontario, becomes more noticeable due to strong winds and short daylight hours. In December, the sunny day is the shortest; in January and February, it becomes longer, and the sunsets are at about 5 pm.
The total freezing of all three falls is a very rare event (last recorded in 1848), but each year the falls partially freeze when temperatures drop below 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius.)
When choosing clothes for this trip, expect that you will have to stay outside for at least two to three hours to enjoy the beautiful view to your fullest. Choose an outfit that will protect you not only from cold and snow but also from strong winds.
How to Get to Niagara Falls?
The simplest solution is to go by car. However, if you are arriving at the tour for a couple of days and do not plan to rent a car, you can use buses that travel to Niagara Falls from different points in Canada and the United States.
You can also purchase a tour and go to the falls directly on a tour bus. Different companies often have promotions for such trips.
The waterfall is located in the city of the same name – Niagara Falls. It is quite large and the distance from the bus station to the most beautiful part of the waterfall – Horseshoe Falls, is four kilometers. You can take a walk or take a taxi.
But if you come for a day or two and want to see something else besides the waterfall, we advise you to buy a WeGo card with unlimited rides on a special city bus for 24 or 48 hours. These cards are sold at the Niagara Falls Bus Terminal.
What to Do at Niagara Falls in Winter?
Hornblower Cruises sailing directly to the waterfall do not operate on Niagara in winter. The cable cars over the whirlpools – Whirlpool Aero Car, White Water Walk, and the zip line are also closed.
But all year round, you can wade through the hundred-year-old tunnels behind the waterfall and view it from unusual angles. The ride is called Journey Behind the Falls.
There is also a Niagara Falls state park, Niagara Skywheel, Bird Kingdom aviary, Butterfly Conservatory, casinos, wineries, all kinds of entertainment centers, helicopter flights, and a tower with an observation deck and Skylon Tower restaurant. You can find a complete list of entertainment and timetables on the official website.
In winter, Niagara Falls hosts the Festival of Lights, Niagara Icewine Festival, and fireworks shows. Since 1925, the Niagara Illumination Board has hosted free evening performances, lightening the falls in different colors.
Many photographers find that Niagara Falls is best visited in winter. Everything is covered with ice and snow, and it seems that you are in some kind of fairy tale. You are standing there, a few inches away from a huge amount of water rushing down. So dress warmly and enjoy the great views!
Have you seen Niagara Falls frozen? Please share your impressions in the comments below.
Arthur Rowley is an avid writer specializing in travel. Having spent years finessing his craft, he now can ensure you that Arthur has much acclaim for these areas and dedication to providing high-quality blogging content.