Nearly everyone has heard of Niagara Falls and most people even know a few facts about
these famous falls. Some people know Niagara Falls is not one but three waterfalls – the Bridal
Veil Falls, the American Falls, and the largest of the three, the Canadian Horseshoe Falls. Most
people know that Niagara Falls spans the United States and Canadian border at Niagara Falls,
New York and Niagara Falls, Canada. And who hasn’t heard about the woman who went over
the Falls in a barrel and the might who made his way across the Falls via a tightrope? But today,
let’s have some fun learning some lesser known, completely amazing facts about these
- The Falls were created nearly 10,000 years ago by the Wisconsin glaciation which also
created the Niagara Strait and the Great Lakes.
- The origin of the Falls is at the centre of the Niagara River, which isn’t a river but a strait
which flows south to north (the opposite direction of North American rivers) between
Lake Ontario and Lake Erie.
- Niagara Falls is the largest in North America by width and volume and has the highest
flow rate when compared to all the world’s waterfalls. The Falls could fill an Olympic-
sized pool in half a second with its combined flow rate of more than 3,100 tons per
- Fish fly over the Falls regularly, with a 90 percent survival rate. It is believed the survival
rate is so high because the white foam and air cushion their fall. If you go on the Cave of
the Winds tour while visiting, keep an eye out to avoid being struck by falling fish – it
- The origin of the name Niagara Falls is in question. The well-known American historian
and toponymist, George R. Stewart, declares the name comes from the Iroquois word
ongniaahra which means “point of land divided” or onguiaaha meaning “a thundering
noise.” American geographer, Henry Schoolcraft, reports the name is from the Mohawk
language and means “neck of land.” While others still believe the Niagara is a derivative
of the native Niagagarega people who inhabited the region in the late 1600s.
- Thought to be the first European to view the Falls, Father Louis Hennepin visited in
1678. He drew and wrote about the Falls in his book, New Discovery, describing them as
much larger than they were.
- The first bridge, the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge, near the Falls was completed in 1897. The
Rainbow Bridge followed in 1941.
- In The Ion Effect Dr. Red Soyka states, “Niagara Falls is the most stupendous negation
generator in the world and these neg-ions create a sense of well-being." He’s right; the
water rushing over the falls is the world’s largest source of negative ions, which make
humans feel ecstatically happy.
- The Maid of the Midst had its maiden voyage in 1846, making it North America’s oldest
- Daredevils are drawn to the Falls. In 1859, the first tightrope walker to successfully cross
the gorge (near the site of the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge) was Jean François Gravelet.
Later in 1876, Maria Spelterini, became the first woman to cross the Niagara Gorge,
successfully crossing four times, once blindfolded. Tightrope crossings were outlawed in
1896. In 2012, Nik Wallenda, world renowned high wire artist, gained special permission
from the U.S. and Canada and crossed the Canadian Horseshoe Falls, completing what
he deemed “the longest unsupported tightrope walk in history.”
Are You Ready to Have Your Niagara Falls Adventure?
Campark-Niagara Falls is ready for you with exceptional camping accommodations including
RV and tent sites as well as cabins and cabanas. Call today to schedule your visit.