We began our hike on the Niagara Gorge Rim Trail (easy) that runs a total of 6.2 miles. Heading north from the parking lot to the Devil's Hole Trail, we had great views of the Niagara River below and the Robert Moses Power Plant.
Devil's Hole is a geological feature created about 12,000 years ago by a waterfall. It was formed where an outlet from Lake Tonawanda drained into the Niagara River. It got its name from an event that occurred in September, 1763.
Three hundred Seneca (and other Native Americans) attacked a British supply convoy en route from to Fort Schlosser to Fort Niagara. When a military rescue party was deployed, it, too, was ambushed by the Senecas. Eventually military reinforcements arrived and found only a few survivors causing them to withdraw. About 100 casualties resulted from the attack.
We followed the Devil's Hole Trail (rated moderate) down to the river banks. The stairs are rocky and wind down the geological "hole."
Devil's Hole Trail along the river was mostly gravel (with rocks and roots, too) and afforded great views of the river and the rocky walls of the gorge.
The Niagara River is a beautiful color here. We saw lots of Canadians enjoying the outdoors on the opposite bank.
John finally let our sweet doggie, Sadie, go for a swim in the river. She was so happy to cool off in the beautiful river, but John kept her very close to the shore on a leash due to the rapids here.
We continued along the Whirlpool Rapids Trail (rated difficult with boulder hopping, narrow sections, and stairs) where we saw lots of "jet boats" taking folks down the rapids to see the Whirlpool.
Aerial cable cars run between two points on the Canadian side over the Whirlpool. There were also lots of helicopters providing aerial tours of the area.
This is the rocky trail that led down to the water near the Whirlpool.
We retraced our path along the Whirlpool Rapids Trail to the rock steps that took us back up to the Niagara Gorge Rim Trail. We had to pause along the way to catch our breath, but enjoyed the beautiful flowers and views.
Continuing our hike along the Rim Trail, we saw lots of old growth trees. Many overlooks are along the gorge trail.
After hiking about 6 miles, we were exhausted when we got back to the car (we should have packed some snacks!). But we both loved seeing this area of Niagara Falls. It's stunning.
For additional information about Devil's Hole State Park (and the Niagara Gorge Trail System), go to parks.ny.gov/parks/42/details.aspx.