Niagara Falls consists of a series of huge waterfalls that are fed by the renowned Niagara River. The falls sit directly on the border between Ontario, Canada and New York. They are approximately 20miles to the north of Buffalo, New york and less than 100 miles to the south of Toronto, Ontario. There are two distinct sections of the falls that are separated by an island named Goat Island. Most of the island lies on the Canadian end of the international border, but a small piece of the island does reside on the American side of the border as well. The smaller of the two main falls sections, the American Falls, which is the section that is on the American border side, while the main falls, known as the Horseshoe Falls, are located on the Canadian side of the border, and separated only by Luna Island.
The falls were first created when the glaciers that previously inhabited the area during the last ice age receded. Water from the Great Lakes then slowly created a path for what is now the Niagara River, all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. The falls themselves are not all that high, but are among the widest waterfalls in the world. It is estimated that a total of six million cubic feet of water falls over the falls every minute. Niagara Falls is considered to be easily the most powerful waterfall in North America, and one of the most powerful in the world. Niagara Falls is still used today as a source for hydroelectric power.
The larger portion of Niagara Falls, the Horseshoe Falls, only fall 173 feet. However, the falls are nearly 2,600 feet wide. The American Falls are between 70 and 100 feet high, and are just over 1,000 feet wide.
There are a number of theories about who first discovered the falls. One theory is that the Frenchman Samuel de Champlain visited the Falls in 1604 while exploring Canada and also wrote about them in his journal. A number of the members of his group reported that they had come across a series of huge waterfalls.
In the 1800's, the area started to see its first tourists. Because of the great amount of space between the Americas and the rest of the civilized world, the area had not been visited by many outside of the area until that time. Tourism quickly became the main industry in the area.
In 1848, the falls famously went dry. No water fell over the edge for nearly 40 hours. Most of the production including waterwheels and mills stopped when the power shut off. Eventually the flow of water was restored to the falls.
Niagara Falls is able to produce a huge amount of energy and has long been recognized as a potential source of power. In the mid-18th century, the first attempts were made to harness the amazing power of the falls.
There are many things to do when visiting Niagara Falls. A number of tours are offered which will take you in a boat right up close to the falls themselves. You may also want to visit the turbulent Cave of the Winds, which is known for creating hurricane-like conditions due to the large amount of water and the power from the falls.
Niagara Falls is a destination for many tourists and couples looking to be married at one of the most beautiful locations in the world.
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