As one of the wonders of the world Niagara Falls sees millions of visitors each season. One of those ways is from the Maid of the Mist boat ride which was first launched in 1846.
With the harsh winters often seen in western New York, visitors often have to wait until well into May before they can get that close up view..and spray…from the Horseshoe Falls on the decks of the Maid of the Mist because the waters still have ice in them.
This past winter was a mild one by western New York standards with little ice on the river. As a result, the United States Coast Guard has certified the waters safe for boating.
For the first time in the history of the Maid of the Mist boats, were taken from dry dock and launched in preparation for a new season on April 1.
As Mother Nature threatened to spill snow upon the ground, the Maid of the Mist made its maiden voyage for the 2016 season on April 2! The boats will thrill visitors from around the world with up close views of the famous thundering Falls until November 6, 2016.
While in dry dock over the winter, the Maid of he Mist VII was outfitted with new engines that are environmentally friendly, a navigational upgrade, and some new deck lighting.
The Maid of the Mist launches its first trip of each day at 9am. The last boat trip of the day varies depending on the days of the week and time in the season from 5pm to 8pm in summer months.
The Maid of the Mist can be reached from Prospect Point in Niagara Falls State Park.
Established in 1885, the Niagara Falls State Park is the oldest State Park in the United States. It’s 400 plus acres of landscape was originally designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead. And features not only the Maid of the Mist boat ride but the Cave of the Winds, the Adventure Theatre, and the Discovery Center. The Park includes Goat Island, Green Island, Luna Island, the Three Sisters Islands, Prospect Point, and Terrapin Point.
Only on the American side of Niagara Falls can a visitor get close to all three Falls that make up Niagara Falls – the American Falls, the Bridal Veil Falls, and the Horseshoe Falls (also known as the Canadian Falls). The American Falls run between the mainland side of the Niagara Falls State Park and Luna Island; the Bridal Veil Falls runs between Luna Island and Goat Island; and the Horseshoe Falls – which are twice at long as the American Falls – runs between Goat Island and the Canadian mainland of Niagara Falls, Ontario.
The Maid of the Mist boat ride allows visitors to get a view of the three Falls from water level. A bit of a wet ride, ponchos are given to each visitor to stay dry; but on a hot day the coll water is refreshing.
All photos by Sherrill Fulghum
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