Postcards from the Perimeter
The Falls are on the eastern edge of New York state, surrounded on three sides by:
- Lake Ontario (north)
- Canada (west)
- Lake Erie (south)
The area around Niagara Falls city is industrial (which makes sense since the waterfalls create quite a bit of cheap energy.) ‘Rust Belt’ easily comes to mind while driving towards it from neighbor Buffalo, NY.
Not the romantic entrance to a honeymoon destination that I expected.
However, the Falls are in Niagara Falls State Park, which is America’s oldest State Park as well as a welcome respite after a hectic drive.
The Park is largely open green space and offers a system of footpaths, each sporting a view of the rushing Niagara River and the three iconic falls.
Also at the Falls are popular tourist attractions, such as Maid of the Mist (boat tour) and Cave of the Winds (get close and personal to falling water). Click here for an informative interactive map.
The reason the Perimeter Postcard is not a picture of a waterfall is because we didn’t get close to one. For two reasons:
- We had to park far from the waterfalls (I didn’t do navigational research ahead of time.)
- We arrived too late in the day to get closer.
I simply drove towards Niagara Falls with a rumor RV parking was available, “Niagara State Park” in my GPS system and an expectation that dogs are allowed.
When I got close enough to get excited I encountered a low clearance warning sign of 12’ (Betty is 12’ 3”). So I turned around (often) until I found the Park.
Then discovered all parking lots close to the falls are for cars only.
Eventually, I found myself at the eastern end of Goat Island where RV parking was permitted.
Semi Pet Friendly
Dogs are allowed all along the green space and foot paths of Niagara Falls Park, including within view of the Falls (on the US as well as Canadian sides.)
But dogs are not allowed at tourist attractions or in the buildings.
Goat Island is a part of the Park and that’s where we spent our time (by default, since that’s where we parked.) There are shaded picnic areas, shade along the paths, benches along the river, and trash cans here and there.
Dogs are allowed at the overlooks but the distance between the RV parking lot and the Falls is a little too far (.8 miles one way) for my hot, tired senior dogs. Plus, if there were any kind of crowd, it would have been hard to give people room (not everyone likes dogs goosing them, I’m not sure why.)
So we made do with walking to the Three Sisters Islands (next to Goat Island), witnessing the thrilling rush of Niagara River and the spray from its demise down stream (see Postcard.)
Where to Next?
We’ve already been through New England as I write this. I have a bit of catching up to do with the Perimeter Postcards. Let’s just say: Wow! The colors we’ve seen!
http://www.niagarafallsstatepark.com/Pet-Information.aspx (pet policies)
http://www.niagarafallsstatepark.com/Map.aspx (an interactive map of the park)
http://www.niagara-usa.com/plan/faqs/: (FAQ’s for Niagara Falls)
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