Going Over the Falls
Going over the falls might not be the smartest thing to do. In fact, going over the falls is actually illegal. However, it has been attempted many times, with about a 75% survival rate. Currently, survivors are heavily fined. One daredevil has even been banned from ever entering Canada again because he approached the falls from the Canadian side of the river. The first person known to ever go over the falls in a barrel was a 63 year-old teacher named Annie Edson Taylor.
A man named Charles G. Stevens outfitted his barrel with an anvil for ballast. He even tied himself to the anvil for safety. When his barrel was recovered, the only thing left in the barrel was his right arm.
In order to call attention to the plight of the homeless, Robert Overcracker rode a jet ski over the edge of Horseshoe Falls. However, Robert’s parachute didn’t open. His body was never recovered.
Casinos abound in the Niagara Falls area. There are facilities on both the United States and Canadian sides. According to one tourism site, it’s interesting to note that the legal gambling age in Canada is 19, while most areas of the United States its 21. The casinos don’t just offer gambling, though. Each offers entertainment, sometimes big name entertainment. One casino, located in the United States features 82,000 square feet of gaming space with 2,595 slot machines and 91 table games. Seneca Niagara Casino is Open 24 hours a day 7 days a week. The casino has a buffet, steakhouse, Italian and Japanese restaurants.
Approaching the Falls
Nearing the falls, from below, on a chartered boat is legal. Many boat tour companies exist and offer a variety of viewing opportunities. You can take a trip that visits all the major portions of the falls and then gets close up to the heart of Horseshoe Falls. It also offers a night trip where you can watch the fireworks over the falls, weather permitting. That trip offers a music, a bar and snacks, as well.
You can even go behind the falls. It’s as close to the falls as you can get. You ride an elevator down 150 feet through the bedrock to tunnels that go to a couple of portals. You end up one-third of the way behind the massive wall of water falling from Horseshoe Falls. During the spring and summer, you even get a biodegradable poncho to keep you dry from the all the spray. The mist freezes over in the winter so the observation decks have to be shut down for the safety of visitors. The ice is too slippery.