Recently I wrote a travel article on the top ten waterfalls in the U.S. for the Uptake.com attractions blog. A few days later I received an email from Jesse Baier, who is employed by Delaware North Companies, the company that provides food, concessions and guest services for Niagara Falls State Park. Jesse had read my waterfall article and wanted to pass on some interesting historical information about frozen Niagara Falls:

“When winters are cold enough for Lake Erie waters to freeze, ice flows down the Niagara River and over the falls, jamming and growing constantly until an ice bridge, spreading from the Canadian to American sides of the falls, is created. At 30 to 100 feet thick, the size and duration of the ice bridge vary from year to year. It has been illegal for almost a century for anyone to set foot on the ice bridge. Tragically, in 1912, the ice abruptly broke apart and fell down river, taking the lives of three people. Before this accident, in the winters of the late 1800s and early 1900s, thousands of people from across the world visited Niagara Falls State Park daily to skate and play on the naturally formed wonder of the Ice Bridge. Brave concessionaires even pulled huts and shanties made of wood onto the bridge to sell tea, coffee, food, souvenirs and liquor.”

I was really amazed. I’d never heard that Niagara froze over and had to go hunt down proof. I found two pretty amazing images, one a historical photo of people walking on the iced over falls in 1911 and a second taken in 2007:

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Historical 1911 photo of people hiking on a frozen over Niagara Falls

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Taken in 2007, this photo shows the falls partially frozen. Photo courtesy of http://flickr.com/photos/jcpiercy/382145202

Since we’ve had an extremely cold winter all across the country, it makes me wonder if the falls have frozen completely over this year. Something I would definitely love to see someday!

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