Helicopter Ride Over Niagara Falls

So, what’s it like to fly over Niagara Falls in a helicopter?  Pretty darn cool!  The images (above) and video (below) here were shot in the spring so you can still see some ice in the river and under the Falls.  Also, the springtime is an interesting time to view the area because there are no leaves on the trees to block your sight.

Helicopters have been operating over the Falls for many years and are considered very safe.  Some heroic pilots have been involved in amazing rescue attempts for people who’ve become stranded just before the brink of Niagara.  Most flights last less than 15 minutes and will cost $100-$200 per person.  You can find the helicopter attraction on either side of the border.  I think it adds a special touch to a private tour from Niagara Falls Walking Tours!

When does the Maid of the Mist Open For the Season?

As the Maid of the Mist operates in the lower Niagara River, immediately below the Horseshoe Falls, the boat cannot safely navigate in the water unless the river is ice free. Historically, the opening date has been May 1st, although in some years with milder winters, it has open in Mid April.
You can plan on an opening day of May 1st with 99% confidence as you plan your spring time trips to Niagara Falls.

The best place to find the official opening day information is the Maid of the Mist web site which is linked here.  The Maid of the Mist is reputed to be the longest running tourist attraction in North America.  It has been in operation since 1846, although not continually.  The attraction took some time off during the Civil War.

The Maid of the Mist is truly a bucket list worthy attraction in Niagara Falls.  If you have just one hour to do one thing in Niagara, make certain it is the Maid of the Mist.  Until just a few years ago, the Maid served both sides of the border, but today that has changed.  The Maid of the Mist now departs from the U.S. side only.  Hornblower Cruises operates the franchise on the Canadian side of the river.  Which ride is better?  Ride both boats and you tell me.  The real star is the amazing Horseshoe Falls.

Best pictures of Niagara Falls

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It is said that Niagara Falls may be one of the most photographed places on earth.  Some unique and interesting images are found here, which a widget that offers panoramic views of the Niagara Falls region.  it’s worth a look, especially if you haven’t been to Niagara Falls and are wondering what all the fuss is about.

What things can you NOT bring into Canada?

Growing up along the border with Canada, I reflect upon days where security was non-existent and crossing the border was like crossing a bridge and paying a toll.  The most grilling question from the border inspector was “Are you bringing in any fresh fruit?”  I guess bananas and some pomegranates were considered dangerous and needed to not be let in.  My how things have changed.  If you are traveling to Niagara Falls from the US and considering taking a Niagara Falls Tour in Ontario, be careful.  There are some things that can’t cross the border.  Courtesy of the Canadian government, here is a partial list of things that will be confiscated should you attempt to being them across the border:

automatic knives such as switchblades;

centrifugal knives such as flick knives or butterfly knives;

gravity knives;

mace or pepper spray designed for use on humans;

nunchaku sticks;

shuriken (throwing stars);

manrikigusari or kusari (fighting chains);

finger rings with blades or other sharp objects projecting from the surface;

Taser and stun guns shorter than 480 mm;

crossbows designed for one-handed use;

crossbows 500 mm or shorter;

Constant Companion (belt-buckle knife);

push daggers;

devices shorter than 30 cm concealing a knife blade (e.g. knife-comb);

spiked wristbands;

blowguns;

Kiyoga or Steel Cobra batons (spring batons);

spring-loaded rigid batons (triggered by a button or lever);

morning stars; and

brass knuckles.

Devices that are prohibited from entering Canada:

silencers or devices designed to muffle or stop the sound of a firearm;

certain cartridge magazines above a given capacity. Generally, cartridge magazines are limited to 5 rounds for centre

fire, semi-automatic rifles or shotguns and 10 rounds for semiautomatic handguns;

bullpup stocks;

replica firearms;

I think our Northern neighbors have it right.  They are concerned about letting people and things into their country that cause problems.  In the US our southern border is porous and daily transgressed by illegals.

 

 

Niagara Falls Trip Advisor Ratings

Thanks to all the wonderful people who’ve taken my tour and been kind enough to write a review on Yahoo’s Trip Advisor. Today I received my “2014 Certificate of Excellence”, which will sit upon the mantle with my “2013 Certificate of Excellence”. I also learned today that Niagara Falls Walking Tours is the #2 rated tour in Niagara Falls. I am behind the Maid of the Mist Boat Ride which has millions of riders each year, so I don’t think that I’m ever going to exceed their rating.
Still it is gratifying to receive the award and the ranking as the reviews are genuine.
This all coincides with the release of my new guide book on Niagara Falls, so I am optimistic that this upcoming season will be a good one for us.
#Niagarafalls #NiagaraFallstours
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