Niagara Falls State Park

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Niagara Falls State Park
Niagara Falls 2009.jpg
Niagara Falls State Park's overlook of the American Falls, with the Horseshoe Falls in the distance
Niagara Falls State Park is located in New York
Niagara Falls State Park
Niagara Falls State Park is located in the US
Niagara Falls State Park
Type State park
Location Prospect Street & Old Falls Street
Niagara Falls, New York[1]
Coordinates 43°05′N 79°04′W / 43.08°N 79.07°W / 43.08; -79.07Coordinates: 43°05′N 79°04′W / 43.08°N 79.07°W / 43.08; -79.07
Area 221 acres (0.89 km2)[2]
Created 1883 (1883)[3]
Operated by New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
Visitors 9,011,709 (in 2014)[4]
Open All year

Niagara Falls State Park

Niagara Reservation
Location Niagara Falls, New York
Built 1885
NRHP Reference # 66000555[5]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP October 15, 1966
Designated NHL May 23, 1963[6]

Niagara Falls State Park is located in the City of Niagara Falls in Niagara County, New York. The park, recognized as the oldest state park in the United States, contains the American Falls, the Bridal Veil Falls, and a portion of the Canadian Falls, also known as the Horseshoe Falls.


Postcard from 1898 showing view of the American Falls from Goat Island

Niagara Falls State Park is claimed to be the oldest continuously-operating state park in the United States[7][note 1] and the first established via eminent domain.[9] On April 30, 1883, a bill authorizing the "selection, location and appropriation of certain lands in the village of Niagara Falls for a state reservation" was signed into law by then-governor Grover Cleveland.[3][10] The act led to the establishment of the Niagara Reservation in 1885.[9] New York State Assemblyman Thomas Vincent Welch figured prominently in getting the bill signed, and served as the first Superintendent of the Park for 18 years from its inception until 1903.

The Niagara Reservation was declared a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1963.[6][11] It is a major contributing element to the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area.[12]

A $44-million refurbishment of the park's facilities was completed in 2003. Work focused on improvements to the park's observation tower, visitor's center, bridges, trails, and other infrastructure.[7]

In 2007, Niagara Falls State Park was named as the 10th most beautiful spot in America by The Today Show.[13]

Park facilities[edit]

Niagara Falls State Park visitors center

In addition to facilitating views of the American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and the Canadian Falls, the park overlooks the Niagara Gorge and allows access to the Maid of the Mist tour boats, Cave of the Winds, Goat Island, the Prospect Point Observation Tower, a statue of Nikola Tesla, and the IMAX movie Niagara: Miracles, Myths and Magic which is shown at the Niagara Adventure Theater.

The park also offers a museum, food concession, a movie theater, a gift shop, fireworks, hiking and nature trails, picnic tables, recreation programs, and fishing. The Top of the Falls Restaurant, located on Goat Island overlooking the Horseshoe Falls, is also available within the park.[14]

Discovery Pass[edit]

Visitors to Niagara Falls may purchase the Discovery Pass, a guest pass that allows entrance to several attractions at a smaller price. As of 2016, the ticket provides admission to the Cave of the Winds, Maid of the Mist, the Niagara Adventure Theater, the Niagara Gorge Discovery Center, and the Aquarium of Niagara. The ticket also provides discounts for Fort Niagara, and entitles the holder to free gifts at Artpark and the New York Power Project Power Vista.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Although claimed as the oldest state park in the United States, Niagara Falls was not the first state-managed park.[8] For a discussion of earlier state parks, see History of state parks in the United States.


  1. ^ "Niagara Falls State Park". NYS Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation. Retrieved October 8, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Section O: Environmental Conservation and Recreation, Table O-9". 2014 New York State Statistical Yearbook (PDF). The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government. 2014. pp. 671–674. Retrieved October 8, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "Chapter 336: An act to authorize the selection, location and appropriation of certain lands in the village of Niagara Falls for a state reservation and to preserve the scenery of the falls of Niagara". The General Statutes of the State of New York for the Year 1883. Albany, NY: Weed, Parsons and Company. 1883. pp. 155–157. Retrieved October 8, 2016. 
  4. ^ "State Park Annual Attendance Figures by Facility: Beginning 2003". Retrieved October 8, 2016. 
  5. ^ National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  6. ^ a b "Niagara Reservation". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. 2007-09-17. 
  7. ^ a b "Governor Announces Completion of Multi-Million Dollar Improvement at Scenic Niagara Falls State Park". NYS Office of the Governor. June 24, 2003. Archived from the original on October 3, 2006. Retrieved October 22, 2016. 
  8. ^ Edmondson, Brad (2001). "Publication #72 - Environmental Affairs in New York State: A Historical Overview" (PDF). New York State Archives. pp. 7–9. Retrieved October 8, 2016. 
  9. ^ a b "Niagara National Heritage Area Study Report". National Park Service. 2005. p. 26. Retrieved October 8, 2016. 
  10. ^ Natural Heritage Trust; New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; New York State Council of Parks & Recreation (1975). Fifty Years: New York State Parks, 1924-1974. Natural Heritage Trust. p. 10. 
  11. ^ Richard Greenwood (January 16, 1976). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Niagara Reservation" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 2009-06-22.  and Accompanying aerial photo, undated. PDF (477 KB)
  12. ^ "History and Culture". Niagara Falls National Heritage Area. National Park Service. Retrieved 15 March 2012. 
  13. ^ "Niagara Falls State Park Named to Today Show's List of America's Beautiful Spots". July 12, 2007. Retrieved October 30, 2015. 
  14. ^ Hufnagel, James (July 17, 2012). "Top of the Falls Dining Experience Falls Short". Niagara Falls Reporter. Retrieved October 30, 2015. 
  15. ^ "Niagara Falls USA Discovery Pass". Niagara Falls, USA Discovery Pass. Retrieved October 8, 2016. 

External links[edit]