Niagara Falls Cave of the Winds – Experiencing the Power of Nature
During your visit to the US Side of Niagara Falls, do not miss the spectacular “Cave of the Winds”, a tour takes you closer to the falls into a stormy mist zone, where “soaking up the experience takes on new meaning!”
Photographer: Jason Li
Where is it?
The “Cave of the Winds” locates in the heart of the Niagara Falls State Park at the Goat Island. Goat Island is the piece of land that separates the Bridal Veil Falls and the Horseshoe Falls. The island is accessible by car or shuttles. Goat Island is an interesting place; from there, visitors can admire both the American Bridal Veil Falls and the Canadian Horseshoe Falls. It is also the location of many of the best attractions of the park.
|Cave of the Winds Information & Ticket|
Cave of the Winds Information & Ticket
|Cave of the Winds Entrance|
Cave of the Winds Entrance
|Goat Island Parking|
Goat Island Parking
|Niagara Falls - Horseshoe Falls|
Niagara Falls - Horseshoe Falls
|Niagara Falls - American Falls|
Niagara Falls - American Falls
Although the island is great because of its location and the surrounding waters hostile, its western end is slowly being eroded by the falls and the entire island will eventually disappear as the falls erode further upstream.
Many attractions of Niagara Falls State Park are located in the Goat Island, including the “Cave of the Winds”. There are park trolleys taking visitors around the Goat Island and in the park. However, if you enjoy walking, there are many trails, benches and panoramic views available for visitors to wander around.
Image from the New York State Parks Recreation & Historic Preservation website
A little history
According to “A History of the Cave of the Winds”, the original “Cave of the Winds” was a cavern located behind the Bridal Veil Falls. The cave was an overhanging ledge of Lockport Dolostone rock at the top portion of the gorge which originally protruded more than 100 feet over which flowed the waters of the Bridal Veil Falls. The outcropping (or overhang) of rock created a cavern behind the sheet of falling water of the Bridal Veil Falls. This cavern became known as the world famous “Cave of the Winds”.
The current cave nicknamed “Aeolus Cave” was named after the Greek God of the Winds. The cave was destroyed in a massive 1954 rock fall and the subsequent dynamiting of a dangerous huge rock overhanging the fall. Today, visitors are taken to the Bridal Veil Falls but not behind the Falls.
What will your expect to see?
The “Cave of the Winds” tour is an exciting experience. Visitors will descend by the elevators (about 50 m) and can walk a few meters to the plummeting water and feel the enormous power of the wind and spray.
Raincoats and boots are equipped, visitors can follow the path to the foot of the falls, and the walk ends at the Hurricane Deck. You could be suddenly flooded when the east wind are projected water falls. Bridal Veil Falls cause conditions similar to a tropical storm with winds up to 109 km/h. Many people compare the experience as being inside of a hurricane.
When does it open?
The “Cave of the Winds” is only open during the summer season. Winter is tough to Niagara Falls and can damage platforms.
According to the Niagara Falls State Park, each spring, special-edition “Cave of the Winds” tours are offered so visitors can experience a seasonal version of the attraction and see the decks being built for the upcoming season. You can see how the skilled workers rebuild the wooden boardwalks that will allow summer visitors to reach the Hurricane Deck. The walkways and decks are removed every November and reassembled each spring to protect them from the extreme winter weather conditions that prevail in the Niagara Gorge.
Fees and rates
The ticket to the “Cave of the Winds” is $17 for adults and $14 for youth (2016 prices). They offer discounts for group trip. If you drive, there is a big parking lot near the attraction, and the parking fee is $10. Please check the Niagara Falls State Park official website for the most updated fees.
[728 total views]