Who Was the First Person to Discover Niagara Falls?

Who Was the First Person to Discover Niagara Falls?


Native Americans were the first peoples to discover the natural wonder that is Niagara Falls. We can only imagine how amazed they were when they first stumbled upon the sight. Continue reading to learn more about the history of Niagara Falls and those who originally discovered it.

Planning a trip to Niagara Falls and want to learn all you can before you go? You’re in the right place. Niagara Falls is a popular destination, and for good reason. With breathtaking views and plenty of tourist attractions surrounding it, it continues to be one of the top attractions in the world. Every year, these breathtaking waterfalls bring in around 30 million people (and that number grows every year!). Experience the Falls like never before, camp at Campark!

Brief History of the Falls

Niagara Falls was created by an erosion process. In a simplified explanation, yearly thawing and refreezing of water caused the continuous wear of rocks until the Niagara River formed. To this day, the process continues to push back the Falls about a foot every single year.

So, Who First Saw the Falls?

As far as who the first person was to discover this beautiful sight, we don’t actually know. We can assume that Native Americans in the area were the first to see it, but we have no documentation of when or what specific tribe that might have been.

  • First Recorded Evidence

The first time we can see evidence of it on paper is from a European priest, Father Louis Hennepin, in 1678 while on an expedition. After returning to Europe, he recorded a book called “A New Discovery” that detailed his experience and findings in the area. This book is what quickly made the area popular and encouraged other explorers to visit.

  • Napoleon’s Brother and Nikola Tesla Saw the Falls!

Niagara Falls has brought visitors from all over the world – even Napoleon Bonaparte’s brother. As people began to visit, they also began to wonder what they could do with the power from all of this water. In 1895, it became the first-ever large-scale hydroelectric generating station and was soon after used by Nikola Tesla to transmit electricity long distances. Today, water from the Falls is still being used to create electricity for the areas surrounding it.

  • The US Army Did Projects Here

Did you know in 1965 Niagara Falls had a bit of a remodel? People began to notice that part of the Falls was starting to diminish due to a large amount of build-up at the bottom of the waterfalls (rocks were being carried over and stacking up, tarnishing the aesthetic people had admired for hundreds of years).

In order to fix the issue, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had to completely stop the flow of water from Niagara Falls and remove roughly 280,000 cubic yards of rock… until they eventually realized that the rock was what was supporting the Falls. Instead of being a complete waste of money and effort, they eventually found a way to stabilize the waterfalls in a sustainable way.

Come See the Falls for Yourself to Learn More!

There’s so much history to discover about Niagara Falls – simply seeing the Falls for yourself is an incredible experience. Plus, the local area is thriving with entertainment, attractions, and so much for the whole family to do – making it the perfect vacation destination.

Break out the camper and get to traveling! Campark Resorts has RV and tent sites, as well as cabins for rent. Along with cozy accommodations, we offer a variety of fun activities like mazes, playgrounds, laser tag, mini-golf, and a swimming pool. If you want to experience the falls in a unique manner, consider camping!

Campark Resorts offers special rates for different seasons of the year. Be sure to check out our website or give us a call at (877) CAMPARK.