Niagara Falls Worth a Trip as One of America's Natural Wonders
Byline: Madelyn Merwin
Q. While Disney World, Six Flags and other theme and water parks are unquestionably great places to take young children, I would like my own grandchildren to learn about and appreciate the wonders of Mother Nature. We have visited the Grand Canyon and now I would like to take them to see Niagara Falls. I also have a number of other places on my list. Could you provide us with information on the falls and a little background?
A. Hooray for you. Too often we overlook the natural wonders of our vast country in favor of traveling to faraway places. I've long championed domestic travel - east, west, north, south and everything in between. This time we head northeast to stand in awe of the falls that are midway between lakes Erie and Ontario on the Niagara River.
Although you aren't likely to notice, the falls are constantly evolving. The Canadian, or Horseshoe, Falls and the narrower American Falls originally formed near Lewiston, N.Y., but erosion has moved them about seven miles south, midway between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, which is about 325 feet lower. At one time the ledge of Horseshoe Falls was being worn away at the rate of about 3 feet a year, but erosion today is much less, perhaps an inch or so.
Horseshoe is 176 feet high with a deeply curving crest about 2,200 feet in length. American Falls, higher at 184 feet, has a fairly straight crest of about 1,075 feet. …