American Falls Loop, NY • Hike

American Falls Loop, NY

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Yoas Mountain - Coronado National F...
Yoas Mountain - Coronado National Forest
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Difficulty 1 of 5
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Distance Multi-Loop 8 miles
Trailhead Elevation 560 feet
Elevation Gain -220 feet
Accumulated Gain 716 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3.25 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 11.58
Interest Historic & Perennial Waterfall
Backpack No
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
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35  2022-09-16 Mike_W
Author
author avatar Guides 25
Routes 40
Photos 1,625
Trips 176 map ( 1,001 miles )
Age 50 Male Gender
Location Tucson, AZ
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Preferred May, Oct, Sep, Apr → 9 AM
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:58am - 5:01pm
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one of the seven wonders of North America
by Mike_W

Warning
The Whirlpool Rapids are rated 6 on a navigatable scale from 1 (easiest) to 6 (most dangerous). Whirlpool Rapids at White Water Walk are traveling at about 48km/hr or 30mph, creating the Whirlpool Rapids - "Class 6 white-water rapids". The Whirlpool Rapids consists of 4 kilometers of 3-5 meter standing waves, making this stretch of whitewater the largest/finest series of standing waves in North America.

Overview
This scenic loop goes along the Niagara river gorge (lower and upper level), Goat Island, and stops at various popular viewpoints of Niagara Falls, one of the seven wonders of North America (as of 2014). Apparently, this list of seven wonders can change every few years.

On this scenic and exciting loop, you will use all of the following trails: American Falls Gorge Trail (#3), Great Gorge Railway Trail (#4), Whirlpool Rapids Trail (#5), Niagara Gorge Rim Trail (#2), and some unmarked routes on Goat Island and downtown Niagara Falls.

Hike
From the Niagara Gorge Discovery Center parking lot, walk West to the Schoellkopf Power Station and enter the building. As of Sept 2022, this building is open from 7:30 am to 5 pm daily. Take the elevation to the bottom (LG = lower gorge). Walk out and to the right and you will see a sign marking the start of the American Falls Gorge Trail (#3). This trail has some ups and downs, some lookout areas along the river, and some old historical items along the way.

After hiking a total of about 1 mile, you will merge into the Great Gorge Railway Trail (#4) which will slope down heading toward the Whirlpool bridge. After hiking roughly 1.5 miles you will see a staircase going to the top of the gorge. Pass the staircase and continue on the Whirlpool Rapids Trail (#5). To cut off about 1/2 from this hike, head up the trail to the top level. If you take the Whirlpool Rapids trail it will continue under the Whirlpool Bridge. There are some great photo opportunities in this area. This area has some of the strongest currents in the river below the falls.

Next, continue to the staircase and up to the top level. It is roughly 0.15 miles from the bottom of the gorge to the top of the gorge. Once at the top, turn right and follow the Niagara Gorge Rim Trail (#2). At a few different areas, the path will have branches going into shaded areas. Take these branches to complete the longer loop. Bypass these branches for a shorter loop. After walking for roughly 3.5 miles, you will reach the parking lot at the Discovery Center. End here for a shorter loop. Continue walking South for a tour of Niagara Falls, Prospect Point, Goat Island, Luna Island, Terrapin point, etc. The posted official route is a great tour but there are many other possible routes.


Check out the Official Route and Triplog.

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2022-09-16 Mike_W
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$
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    Directions
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    Road
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Buffalo and points South of Niagara Falls, follow I-190 North.
    Take exit 21 for Niagara Scenic Pkwy, 0.3 mi.
    Continue onto Niagara Scenic Pkwy, 3.1 mi
    At the traffic circle, take the 1st exit, 0.1 mi
    Continue onto John Daly Blvd, 446 ft
    Turn left onto Rainbow Blvd, 0.5 mi
    At the traffic circle, take the 1st exit onto 1st St, 0.4 mi
    Continue onto Discovery Way, 0.2 mi
    Follow the signs to Niagara Gorge Discovery Center and park in the lot.

    From Canada, Niagara Falls, and points North, follow I-190 South.
    Take exit 23 for Packard road
    Turn right onto Packard Rd (1.4 mi)
    Take Walnut Ave to Discovery Way (2.6 mi)
    Continue on Discovery Way to your destination (0.4 mi)
    Follow the signs to Niagara Gorge Discovery Center and park in the lot.
    page created by Mike_W on Sep 16 2022 8:02 pm
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