Niagara Falls not frozen over
Major media have reported that Niagara Falls has frozen over.
That’s just not so.
It may look that way since a layer of ice covers everything, but tons of roaring water still flow beneath the ice cover.
Early in January I took an elevator 150 feet down into the bedrock next to the Falls, then walked through tunnels that went about one-third of the way under the main Horseshoe Falls on the Ontario side of the Niagara River. It was cold – just below zero on the surface – but not so bad in the tunnels away from the wind. You can’t walk out doors on the observations decks in winter as you can in summer. But there are several portals you can look through to see the icy Falls. Its beauty in winter is simply spectacular.
The Falls carries 20% of the world’s fresh water from Lake Erie and the other Great Lakes down 300 feet between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. All the Great Lakes are almost frozen over over by now, in late February. But that’s just on the surface.
On very cold days, like this winter’s frequent zero and below, the spray from the Falls turns to tiny ice crystals the moment it hits the air. It sparkles like diamond dust as it’s suspended in the air and sometimes, when the sun is bright, forms into the most amazing ice rainbows. Then it settles over railings, bushes, hats, faces and everything else.
Niagara Falls in winter is definitely worth a visit. Make your own Journey Under the Falls with a ticket from the Niagara Parks purchased at the Table Rock Visitor Center.