November Is Wine Month in Niagara-on-the-Lake

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nfhblog3.jpegNiagara Falls is becoming one of the best places to grow wine. The fertile soils, temperate climate, and hardworking Canadian wine makers work to create some of the most delectable wines in all of North America. Niagara wines range in varieties, from exotic icewines to familiar merlots, and each one has a unique Niagara twist to provide flavor notes not found anywhere else in the world.

Connoisseurs looking to experience all Niagara wine country has to offer should flock to the cozy town of Niagara-on-the-Lake this November for the annual Taste of the Season event. Every weekend in November, Niagara-on-the-Lake showcases a different lineup of wines from the local area, providing attendees an exclusive opportunity to sample the width and breadth of Niagara vineyards in comfort. Travelers will talk with local vintners and dine on specially prepared foods matched perfectly to the featured wines. For wine lovers, this is a must-see event.

If your appetite for fine wine has been whetted, book your accommodations and learn more about the fabulous wineries that will be supplying the wines to this year’s event.

Peller Estates Winery

Peller Estates prides itself on its dedication to innovative eating and drinking experiences. Blessed with the highest possible Zagat rating — “Extraordinary” — Peller makes tastings an event to remember, with tours of the vineyards and information on the art of pairing.

nfhblog4.jpegThis year, Peller will be serving up their 2012 Private Reserve cabernet franc, a luscious red heavy with flavors like black currant, tobacco, olive, and spice as well as rich fruits like cherry, plum and blueberry. Accompanying the wine will be a dinner of caramelized onion and pulled pork topped with roasted red peppers and feta and sandwiched between two slices of shallot focaccia bread.

Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery

Ravine Vineyard Estate is a family-oriented winery that has its roots in a centuries old plot of farmland that has been owned by the current wine makers for five generations. Unique in the area for its devotion to local and fresh food, Ravine’s restaurant only uses ingredients they grow right on the farm. Perhaps not surprisingly, Ravine is rated among the top 20 wineries in the world.

During the event, Ravine Vineyard will be offering tastes of their 2021 Ravine chardonnay, which has a nose of pineapple, pear, and butterscotch to accompany its dry and acidic taste. To pair, the Ravine restaurant will serve chicken and biscuits; it sounds plain, but we guarantee you’ve never had chicken and biscuits like these.

Chateau des Charmes

Chateau des Charmes is one of the most romantic vineyards in the Niagara Falls region. Surrounded by verdant rose gardens, the farm is proud host to events throughout the year, from weddings, to anniversaries, to birthdays, and more.

In November, this Bosc family farm will present their brut sparkling wine with a plate of brown butter butternut squash and Dijon mascarpone strudel.

Inniskillin Wines

Arguably the oldest wine maker in the country, Inniskillin was granted the first ever estate winery license in Canada. Most of Inniskillin’s wines have won the winery awards, and their dedication to remaining artful and progressive in their wines truly shows.

Inniskillin will feature their iconic 2012 vidal icewine — a crisp, unique wine created by actually freezing the grapes — and pair it with a caramelized onion tart and goat cheese with thyme.

3 Reasons to Bring Your Next Conference to Niagara Falls

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nfhblog1.jpegWhen you have a conference to plan, it’s tempting to pick a location closest to you. It’s convenient — for you at least — and easy enough to scout out venues. Or, some conference planners stick to a rotation of America’s biggest cities —New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, and repeat — simply for the assured hotel space and attraction density. Admittedly, there are benefits to these planning strategies, but by choosing old standbys for conference locations, you’re robbing your attendees and yourself of a fantastic vacation experience.

There are three major tenants of conference location selection:

  • The location must have enough space, including a convention center and sufficient accommodation
  • The location must provide entertainment outside of the conference
  • The location must be affordable

For these three reasons alone, Niagara Falls is an ideal location for any conference.

Space Requirements

While it effectively maintains its small-town feel, Niagara Falls is a major city. While a mere 83,000 year-round residents call Niagara Falls home, an astounding 13 million travelers come to the area every year. As a result, the city has a bevy of excellent hotels, each with its own set of amenities to delight and enchant any visitor. Many of these hotels are equipped with large conference spaces perfect for any size event — from a knitting club meet-up to a multi-thousand attendee convention. It doesn’t take long to find the perfect venue for whatever conference you’re planning.

Outside Entertainment

Above all else, Niagara Falls is a vacation destination. Travelers of all stripes come to Niagara Falls to indulge in the unique sights and sounds of the rushing river. The falls themselves offer hours of adventure, from thrilling tours below and behind the falls to trails winding around the nearby wilderness areas that offer fantastic scenery. The outdoor nut has plenty to explore in the lush forests of the region.

While people may come for the falls, they stay for the city. Niagara Falls is chock full of entertainment and activities to excite everyone in your party. Clifton Hill is a veritable wonderland of excitement, filled with games, music, bars, and more. Encourage your attendees to ride the Ferris wheel or dare them to take a walk through the city’s perennial haunted factory. There’s so much to see, we guarantee one visit won’t be enough.

If you can believe it, that’s not all. The Niagara region provides prime land and climate for growing grapes, and thus world-class vineyards have sprung up offering visitors tastes of delicious, unique wines. Organized winery tours are a popular escape for many travelers to sample award winning wines and taste expertly paired foods.

Affordability

nfhblog2.jpegNiagara Falls is most famously a destination for families and newlyweds — a strong indication that the vacation destination is highly wallet-friendly. Groups of any size can certainly find packages that fit well with their budgets but still contain a plethora of dining options and hotel amenities to make a conference trip feel like a well-earned vacation.

This isn’t to say that Niagara Falls is cheap. Travelers certainly have the opportunity to spring for high-class meals or lavish activities. However, in Niagara Falls there are plenty of delicious five-star restaurants that fall well within the average traveler’s means.

If your conference planning is at a standstill while you choose the next location, make your conference a vacation to remember by organizing it in Niagara Falls.

Niagara Falls October Events

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Baby in pumpkin patchOctober is a beautiful month for Niagara Falls. The very middle of autumn sees Niagara’s trees turning gorgeous shades of red, orange, and brown, and temperatures are perfect for activities of all sorts, including snuggling up with your loved ones. If you’re considering visiting us for October, learn about what festivities await you. You’re sure to find an event for everyone.

Ball’s Falls Thanksgiving Festival

Canadian Thanksgiving, unlike its American cousin, occurs at the beginning of October, so if you’re a fan of Thanksgiving foods, you can’t miss Niagara in October. The Ball’s Falls Festival is a local and tourist favorite for its plethora of arts, crafts, and wares for sale. There are also plenty of shows and demonstrations, including magical acts and musical performances. Plus, the Niagara Falls Thanksgiving Festival is turning 40 this year, which means even more excitement to be had by all. The festival takes place between October 10-13, and Canadian Thanksgiving occurs on the last day.

Boo at the Zoo

Let your kids enjoy Halloween twice! On October 11, Safari Niagara is inviting families to trick or treat in the safe and fun environment of the zoo. The zoo will be done up with all the scary decorations you love on Halloween, and when the sun sets, you’ll get to see the zoo in a whole new spooky light. Walk around in full costume and see everyone dressed up for the occasion — and don’t forget to bring your treat bags, for local businesses will be supplying candy to trick-or-treating kids.

Niagara Falls International Marathon

people runningIf someone in your family loves to run, give him or her something to strive for by signing up for Niagara’s own marathon. This marathon is one of only a handful to span two different countries, starting in Buffalo, New York, and quickly crossing the border to end in Niagara Falls, Ontario. On October 26, you can walk, jog, or run 26.2 miles through the most beautiful scenery that Canada has to offer.

Before you register for the race, know that marathons are grueling physical feats, and they require extensive training in runners who hope to remain healthy during and after their run. For those not in pique physical condition, the 2K, 5K, 10K, or half marathon also occurring at this event might be more your speed. For anyone who finishes a race, there will be a plethora of prizes, including a finisher medal, a recovery jacket, snacks, and an electrolyte-filled drink.

Rock & Soul

Classic music–lovers will rejoice in this music festival that brings together the sounds of Memphis, Detroit, and Philadelphia. Rock music and soul have a long and storied relationship, and there is no better way to honor it than by hearing the two genres played from the same stage. At Fallsview Casino Resort between October 23-30, you can settle into the musical stylings of The Temptations, The Supremes, Hall & Oates, Bob Segar, and more. Tickets are only $20 per person — well worth the run and relaxation of a night of great music.

6 Quintessentially Canadian Foods to Try in Niagara Falls

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French Fries with sauceFor many, traveling is all about getting out of the house and trying something new — specifically, trying some new foods. When you think of Canada, you might not think of unique cuisine, but you’d be surprised at the amount and quality of Canada-specific foods available to interested travelers. Canada is a land rich in delicious and fascinating foods, so on your next trip to Niagara Falls, you can seek out some of these famous Canadian eats to satisfy your cravings for culinary adventure.

Poutine

Americans might think of French Fries as the most patriotic dish we’ve got, but the Canadians have added some flavors to make it truly their own. An ample serving of fries is layered with savory gravy and chewy cheese curds to give this dish a satisfying amount of flavor and texture. Gourmet chefs have experimented with poutine and added ingredients like fois gras or black truffles, though we’re partial to the regular standby.

Butter Tart

This no-fuss dessert has been around almost as long as Canada itself. It is comprised of a flaky, buttery pastry shell filled with a type of custard made of butter, eggs, sugar, and syrup, usually of the maple variety. The tarts can be runny or firm, depending on the pastry chef’s inclinations, and they often are topped with raisins or nuts.

Beavertail

This pastry concoction is decadent and delicious, and it’s a wonder that it’s barely heard of below the border. Beavertails are essentially dough shaped into the shape of a beaver tail (hence the name) and fried. Then the dough is topped with anything your heart desires. The most common toppings are chocolate and fruits, though various other candies, like Twix or Heath, are popular as well.

Maple Syrup

You’ve surely heard the phrase “as Canadian as maple syrup,” and with the iconic maple leaf front-and-center on our flag, it’s no wonder that everything maple-flavored is closely tied with Canada. You’ll get the purest and freshest maple syrup north of the border for you to pour on pancakes or waffles, plus you can get any number of baked goods maple flavored, from beavertails to doughnuts. Maple candy is also particularly popular, so be sure to sample a maple toffee or two while you’re here.

Game Meat

Plate of foodThe forests in Canada are extensive, with almost 90 percent of Canada uninhabited. This means the wild animal populations are allowed to flourish, giving Canadians access to the choicest game meats anywhere in North America. If you identify as a carnivore, here are some of the meats you mind like to try while visiting the Great White North:

  • Boar
  • Bison
  • Reindeer
  • Moose
  • Elk
  • Deer
  • Rabbit

Ketchup Chips

When you just need something to nibble on in your comfortable hotel suite, pick up a bag of Canada’s favorite ketchup-flavored potato chips. Canadians swear by the salty, non-tomato flavor of their ketchup chips, even if Americans have never caught onto the fad. We know you’ll fall in love as much as we have, though one piece of advice: Keep a napkin handy to wipe the extra flavoring off your fingers, or you might see little red fingerprints all over your clothes.

Why You Can’t Pass Up Niagara Falls for Your Next Romantic Getaway

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couple in sunsetOrganizing a vacation with your significant other can be hard work. It usually falls on one or the other of you to choose a destination, a hotel, activities, and the like, which can cause tensions that otherwise wouldn’t have existed. Sometimes it seems like you’d have a stronger relationship if you just stayed home and stuck to your old routine.

The point of taking a trip with your loved one is to rekindle the romance and gain new perspectives on your commitment with new shared experiences, so it’s vitally important to the relationship to shake things up once in a while. If you choose Niagara Falls as your destination, we can save you the headache of planning it all out. Our Ultimate Couples Experience is designed to give you everything you need to relax and reconnect with your significant other. After you book your trip to Niagara Falls, you and your loved one will have the most romantic experience of your lives — and all you need to do is show up.

Luxury Hotel Accommodations

With this package, you’ll receive lodging at one of the two most magnificent hotel resorts in the area: Sheraton on the Falls or Crowne Plaza Fallsview. Both hotels offer unbeatable amenities, and the bedrooms are spacious and sumptuous. Both hotels offer stunning views of the falls and surrounding countryside, so even from the comfort of your room you can experience the splendor of Niagara Falls.

Delectable Dining Options

You’ll never have to argue about where to eat during your stay, because this package includes three generous gift cards to top-rated restaurants around the city. You’ll be treated to world-class cuisine at each of these three locations:

  • Windows by Jaime Kennedy. One of the pioneers in the farm-to-table movement, this restaurant boasts fresh local ingredients in every one of its signature dishes.
  • Rainbow Room by Massimo Capra. International sensation Massimo Capra handpicked the dishes that make up the menu at this restaurant.
  • Fallsview Buffet. You’ll be able to eat to your heart’s content at this generous buffet filled with culinary delights.

Exclusive Winery Tours

couple wine tasting Even if you sample the creations of local vineyards at dinner, you’ll be granted unprecedented access to the best of the local wineries with tickets to tour Trius Winery at Hillebrand and Peller Estates. These vineyards are both repeat winners in wine competitions all over the world, and you’ll be able to sample several of their delicious varietals on your tour.

Trius Winery at Hillebrand is devoted to growing the best grapes for merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and cabernet Franc, but their chardonnays are also well-regarded as some of the best in their class. Peller Estates has been at the forefront of icewine production in the region, but their signature sauvignon blanc simply cannot be missed.

Soothing Spa Experiences

To round out your romantic getaway, through this package you’ll be treated with a treatment or two at the deluxe Christienne Fallsview Spa. With a calming atmosphere and glorious views of the falls, the spa creates a stress-free environment where your worries will melt away. Couples massages, body treatments, and facials are available so you can spend more time with your loved one, or you can unwind alone with any of the fantastic treatments offered by trained specialists.

Celebrate the Harvest in Niagara Falls

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Woman picking fruit Besides the falling leaves and nippy weather, autumn is known for the bounty of the harvest. A plethora of fruits and vegetables come into season, allowing communities to stock up on important produce before the winter freeze. The fall harvest is a magical and beautiful time for agricultural communities around the world, and Niagara Falls is no exception.

The Niagara region is astoundingly fertile, and plenty of farms and orchards produce tons of deliciously fresh produce for local restaurants and grocery stores. Some of these places allow visitors to come pick their own fresh fruit and vegetables and experience the fertility of the harvest for themselves. If you want access to the choicest produce, plan a trip to one of Niagara’s orchards on during your fall trip the falls.

Parkway Orchards

In the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake just minutes from Niagara Falls proper, Parkway Orchards has huge groves of all types of fruit trees. Open year-round, Parkway Orchard has fruits to pick in almost every season, so you can bring your family to the farm no matter when you come to Niagara Falls. Some of the fruits you can pick straight from the trees are:

  • Cherries
  • Plums
  • Peaches
  • Nectarines
  • Apples

Apples are the only fruit the orchard is sure to have in October, but if any of the other fruits look enticing, you can plan your trip around the fruit season. Also on the premises is a fully stocked gift shop with already-picked fruits ready for you to take home in addition to various jams, jellies, and pies made fresh from the farm. Bring a bit of your orchard experience home or give a gift to your friends who couldn’t come.

Kurtz Orchards

Fruit orchard Also near Niagara-on-the-Lake, Kurtz Orchards Farm and Marketplace offers plenty of fresh produce and products for travelers looking for Canada’s harvest bounty. Take a tour of the grounds and see the fruitful trees and fields in all their glory.

In the Kurtz Marketplace, you’ll have access to a completely unique orchard experience. Fresh fruits, including peaches, cherries, apricots, plums, strawberries, and more, are piled high waiting for you to sink your teeth. Also fresh from the farm are aged specialty cheeses and various fruit pastries and ice creams that are unparalleled in the region. Or, if preserves are more your style, sample some of the jams, jellies, and pickled goods available for purchase.

You will be able to sample new gourmet tastes created from international inspiration or even take a full lunch with fresh ingredients from the on-site bakery. You can be sure that the food you eat at Kurtz will be local, fresh, and seasonal, made from the highest quality ingredients you could imagine. While you dine, you’ll get views of the gorgeous orchard grounds, replete with turning autumn leaves.

If you fall in love with more than just Niagara on your visit, Kurtz Orchards is a beautiful place to host wedding ceremonies or receptions, and they are happy to cater with their delicious and fresh cuisine.

September Festivities at Niagara Falls

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Autumn is one of the most beautiful seasons for the Niagara Falls region. Temperatures are cool and comfortable, trees burst into flames of reds and browns while their leaves prepare to fall, and the falls are simply as gorgeous as ever. If you’ve heard of the majesty of Niagara Falls in autumn and know you want to experience it for yourself, you should consider booking a trip to Niagara during September. The wealth of festivals and festivities accompanying the overwhelmingly beautiful change of season is sure to provide a fulfilling vacation for everyone in your group. Here are just a handful of Niagara’s September events to whet your appetite for your fantastic Niagara Falls vacation.

The Shaw Festival Featuring “Cabaret”

Nearby Niagara Falls proper is the small but lively and beautiful town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. Every year, this town hosts the Shaw Festival, a tribute to Bernard Shaw in the form of witty and powerful theater. The plays shown on stage during the Shaw Festival are anything but ordinary, and this year in September you have the opportunity to see the groundbreaking and celebrated musical “Cabaret.” A challenging story set in pre–World War II–era Berlin, the play is as emotional as it is entertaining, though it does contain adult themes perhaps less suitable for any vacationers under 15.

Niagara Wine Festival

nfhblog70.jpegBy now you’ve probably heard plenty about the burgeoning wine culture in and around Niagara Falls. The quality of wines available from local vineyards certainly is only improving as vintners discover the plentiful soils and beneficial climate of the region.

The 63rd annual celebration of Niagara’s wine country occurs September 18th through 28th, and features over 100 different wine-related events. Here’s a short list of the activities you can look forward to if you indulge in the festival:

  • Winery tours
  • Wine tastings
  • Concerts
  • Regional cuisine
  • Wine seminars
  • Street parades

Most varietals of wine are seeing expansive growth, so wine lovers of all stripes can find a vintage to sample. Plus, as you can see from the list, there are plenty of non-drinking events, so the younger set or those choosing to abstain will still have plenty to do.

Who’s Live Anyway?

nfhblog61.jpegImprov comedy is usually a crowd-pleaser, as it mixes quick wit with ridiculous situations to include a variety of comedy styles to excite any sense of humor. Attending a comedy show is a must in Niagara at any time of year — the Oh Canada, Eh? Dinner Theater has won plenty of awards and runs almost every night — but in September, travelers and natives alike will have the opportunity to see some of the best comedians in action, live.

Due to popular demand, the well-known cast of TV’s improve hit “Whose Line Is It, Anyway?” are coming back to Niagara at the end of September. Join the prolific Ryan Stiles, Greg Proops, Jeff Davis and Joel Murray of “Mad Men” fame for more than 90 minutes of uproarious improve comedy and song. If you love laughing to tears after these funny men do their work on TV, you’ll be rolling on the floor during their live show. You’ll get to give them your own suggestions, and you might even be asked to participate on stage! This is a no-lose event for comedy-lovers looking for vacation ideas.

Top Camera Tips for Your Niagara Falls Vacation

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nfhblog60.jpegOf course it’s important to “be in the moment” when you’re on vacation — experiences aren’t real experiences when you’re fussing about something and not seeing and hearing what’s around you. However, no vacations are 100 percent unforgettable; some details are sure to slip through your memory’s cracks. Make sure to think about these camera options while you’re packing for your Niagara vacation to make sure you come home with all the memories you made during your stay.

Think Waterproof

Niagara Falls is wet. So much of Niagara Falls’ activities take place in or around the falls, which means you and your belongings are likely to feel some of the spray of the rushing water. If you have extremely delicate or costly photography equipment, you might forgo bringing it along while you ride the Maid of the Mist or Journey Behind the Falls. You don’t want to irreparably damage your priceless equipment — not to mention jeopardize participating in other Niagara photo-ops — because some water seeped in to the intricate tech.

Instead, look into waterproof camera options. Plenty of companies sell inexpensive disposable waterproof cameras that can even go fully underwater without experiencing damage. Alternatively, you might find waterproof covers for your equipment if you really want the best pictures you can get; rain hoods are useful, but you might need something more extensive just to be safe. No matter what, to preserve your experiences of the falls’ relentless onslaught, you’ll need something that won’t be damaged by the elements.

Think Big

The grand vistas around the falls barely fit into your field of vision when you’re there, so capturing them with a camera is truly a feat. This is where your different lenses will help you out. Wide angle lenses allow you to include more of the scenery in your picture, but come in a variety of sizes.

If you like quirkier photos, you might bring along a fish-eye lens to get an interesting perspective of the falls and surrounding areas. Moreover, the curve of the lens might allow you a wider view of certain landscapes.

Think Light

nfhblog61.jpegNiagara Falls is all about lighting. From the breathtaking pastels of sunrise, to the eye-catching, bright explosions of fireworks, there are plenty of opportunities for the light-lover to snap dazzling photographs.

If you’re still using film cameras, you might look into purchasing a variety of films for the various lighting situations. The color temperature of the film will affect how your subjects appear in different lights, and slower films might be better for night photography.

Bring a Tripod

One of the more fun lighting tricks you can perform with cameras is a long exposure. If you bring along your tripod, you can leave the shutter open to get pictures of the falls over a long period of time. These photographs almost capture the actual movement of the rushing water. Plus, if you use your tripod and long exposure at night, the colors of the falls and the lights of the surrounding city will look even brighter.

What Not to Wear to Niagara Falls

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nfhblog50.jpegOnce you’ve planned your vacation — from the hotel to the activities — it seems all that’s left before your trip is the packing. For some reason, this is often the hardest part of the whole journey. How can you possibly pare down your wardrobe into a handful of outfits? What if you forget something absolutely crucial or you just don’t want to wear the shirts you’ve chosen? What is going to be climate-appropriate for your trip? We can’t make the packing process go completely smoothly, but we can help you on that last point. Here are some packing tips for the different climates you might experience, so you can get the most out of your Niagara vacation.

Spring

There’s still some snow on the ground in the spring months, but the temperatures are still entirely bearable with the right layering of jackets. Snowfall usually ends before April, but you really shouldn’t plan to do any outdoor camping before May.

You can expect daytime temps between 40 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit and nighttime temps in the 30s, and the weather can be a bit unpredictable. Make sure to bring cold weather clothes, including light jackets, heavy jackets and warm socks.

Summer

Summer is high tourist season in Niagara, and it’s no surprise why. Temperatures remain comfortable all day and night, with highs hovering in the 80s and lows only dipping into the 60s Fahrenheit. It probably depends on what kind of weather you’re used to, but most folks feel most comfortable in shorts and T-shirts, especially if they have a bunch of activities planned.

Some kind of rain gear might come in handy if you plan on getting close to the falls. Though popular tour groups often provide plastic ponchos to save the majority of your outfit from the moist onslaught of water, you should still weigh the durability of your bottoms and shoes when choosing your outfits. You don’t want to find yourself sliding around the deck of the Maid of the Mist while your Manolo Blahniks get drenched.

Fall

The temperatures do dip a little in the fall, but the weather is still manageable for most vacationers; plus, the magnificence of the trees’ flaming leaves makes a couple more layers totally worth it. The climate is comparable to that of the spring, but it can get a bit wetter. Your suitcase should contain layer-able clothing plus some rain jackets and boots in case you get a little wetter than you expected away from the falls.

Winter

nfhblog51.jpegIf you are looking to see true and unique beauty, you really must see Niagara Falls in the dead of winter. Though you might miss out on some of the features of the high season, you will get to experience the lakes and rivers when they are completely covered in ice, which is a quiet beauty unlike anything you’ve seen.

If your interest is piqued in a Niagara winter vacation, you’ll need to pack extremely warm. During the day, you’ll be lucky to see highs in the upper 30s, but at night you’ll want to be bundled up warm for temperatures in the negatives.

It’s a Wild World Around Niagara Falls

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nfhblog30It’s obvious that Niagara Falls is a place that is attractive to any kind of vacation-goer. Relaxers, explorers and revelers alike can find the perfect attractions to help them unwind. If you are a type who enjoys experiencing the great outdoors, you must know about all the astoundingly beautiful hiking opportunities at the falls and nearby spaces. However, even if you are a true nature lover, you still might not know what critters you might find living amidst the falls’ surrounding parks and forests. Here’s a short list of the wildlife you might spot while you’re wandering around the falls during your fantastic Niagara Falls vacation.

Swimmers

The New York side of the falls has plenty to offer those looking to find life in the waterways alongside hiking or riding trails. Literally hundreds of different fish species inhabit the waters around Niagara Falls. Avid anglers or astute students of aquatic life might be able to discern in particular the abundant lake trout, lake salmon, small- and largemouth bass and panfish. With the right permits, you might even be able to catch some for dinner!

Flyers

nfhblog31.jpegIt seems that any bird can be majestic, but that doesn’t bar us from claiming that our own feathered friends are particularly grand. At any rate, the falls region can truly boast more than 300 species of wild bird, many of which are endangered or at-risk. You’ll easily spot the bright feathers of common birds such as cardinals, blue jays and robins. Plus, the ornithologists in your group will probably be able to distinguish the finches, thrushes and chickadees that almost overwhelm our trees’ branches.

The indigenous birds of prey, for those who enjoy the adrenaline and excitement in bird-watching, include turkey vultures, hawks and several species of owls. If you’re lucky, you might be able to see a great horned owl, one of the larger and more recognizable of the owl family.

Larger and more familiar birds of the region include the ubiquitous Canada goose and heron, which children will enjoy identifying. The plentiful ducks are always a family favorite, as well, though we ask you not to feed any wild animals you may spot on your travels.

Walkers and Crawlers

Mammals in the region make up as many as 53 species, and almost all of them have familiar names. Most of our mammals are small and furry: among other small rodents, squirrels, raccoons and even skunks — though you need not worry much about being sprayed if you stick to proper wildlife etiquette. If you’re quiet and respectful, you may be able to spot white-tailed deer or red foxes. At one time, you might even have caught a glimpse of a black bear or mountain lion, though many of these hunters have been driven out of the region by development and human activity.

Many of the mammals in the area are accustomed to human presence, but again we ask that you refrain from feeding the wildlife; we want to keep the animals happy and healthy in their own habitats, and encouraging comfort with humans prevents our furry, feathered and scaly friends from living a satisfying life.