Waterfalls of the Niagara River Gorge

     In approximately 12,300 years the Niagara River has eroded a gorge 7.2 miles (11.6 km) in length. Starting between the villages of Lewiston, NY and Queenston, Ontario the Niagara Gorge extends southwards to the cities of Niagara Falls, NY and Niagara Falls, Ontario.

     In the past, perhaps as many as 10 tributary streams spilled over the edge of the Niagara Gorge and fell to the Lower Niagara River. Sadly most have been drastically altered in the name of progress. Below you will find information on some of the waterfalls found on these streams.

     Use the pull down menu below to jump to that falls.


Locust Grove Falls

     Locust Grove Falls is located on the Canadian side of the gorge about 1.1 km (0.7 mile) south of Queenston. From its 3 m (10 foot) wide crest the creek first free falls 6 m (21 feet) and then continues in a steep decent to the river below. The falls has a total vertical drop of 64 m (210 feet). The natural volume of the creek was greatly diminished by the construction of the 300 hectare (750 acre) storage reservoir for the Sir Adam Beck Power Plants.

     Click here to see photos of Locust Grove Falls.


Fish Creek Falls

     Fish Creek Falls is located on the American side of the gorge about 0.5 mile (0.8 km) south of Lewiston. In 1962 construction of the Robert Moses Parkway channeled the creek into a 1,300 foot (396 m) long culvert that exits at a spillway on the south side of Earl W. Brydges Artpark State Park. The original course of the creek was first changed by the construction of a railroad in early 1900's. The creek was channeled a little to the north of its original location and then spilled down the side of the ravine it had eroded in the Niagara Gorge wall. The drop from this crest to the river below is 320 feet (98 m). The natural volume of the creek was greatly diminished by the construction of the 1,900 acre (760 ha) storage reservoir for the Robert Moses Power Plant in the late 1950's.

     Click here to see photos of Fish Creek Falls and the 50 foot (15 m) high by 12 foot (4 m) wide Fish Creek Spillway.


Spring Cave Cascade

     Spring Cave Cascade is located on the American side of the gorge about 0.8 mile (1.3 km) south of Lewiston. A stream exiting Spring Cave cascades 150 feet (46 m) down the gorge wall, flows into a pipe passing under an old railroad bed, and descends another 130 feet (40 m) to the Niagara River.
     Several other caves are located in an area just north of Spring Cave, the most notable being Milk Cave. A creek flowed from the cave and the whiteness of the cascading water lead to the naming of the cave. The creek is believed to have been a lower level of Fish Creek. The bed of Fish Creek was sealed with 21 inches (0.5 m) of concrete and the entrance to Milk Cave filled when the Robert Moses Parkway was built in 1962.

     Click here to see photos of Spring Cave Cascade.

     On a 1912 map of the Niagara Gorge a stream is shown flowing over the rim of the gorge from a small pond about 0.8 mile (1.3 km) south of Spring Cave Cascade. This area was destroyed by the construction of the Robert Moses Power Plant in the late 1950's. This waterfall would of had a total height of around 280 feet (85 m).


Smeaton Falls

     Smeaton Falls is located on the Canadian side of the gorge about 2 km (1.3 miles) south of Queenston. Just north of the Sir Adam Beck Power Plants and across the road from the Floral Clock, a creek has eroded back about 152 m (500 feet) from the edge of the Niagara Gorge to form Smeaton Ravine. Called a "Secret Fairyland" in a 1935 newspaper article by Albert H. Tiplin, the ravine contains two waterfalls and series of rapids. The first falls has a drop of about 27m (87 feet). It was followed by a series of rapids and a 12 m (40 foot) falls and more rapids all the way to the Niagara River. The creek has a total drop of 88 m (290 feet). Today, even in especially wet weather, only a little water dribbles down the ravine. The drainage area of the creek was destroyed by the construction of the Sir Adam Beck Power Plants and storage reservoir.
     About 3.8 km (2.4 mile) south of Smeaton Falls, a short distance before reaching Thompson's Point, another creek once plunged into the gorge. It is shown on a 1842 map of James Thompson's farm. A sawmill on the gorge bank was powered by the creek. Apparently during the construction of the Whirlpool Golf Course in 1947 the drainage area of stream was filled in. When the stream was flowing this waterfall would of had a total drop of around 79 m (260 feet).


Bloody Run Falls

     Bloody Run Falls is located on the American side of the gorge about 1.7 mile (2.7 km) south of Lewiston in Devil's Hole State Park. The creek is named after a massacre of about 90 civilians and British soldiers by a party of Seneca Indians in 1763. The creek is said to of run red with their blood.
     The creek probably first fell vertically about 40 feet (12 m) and then continued to down to the river as a series of smaller falls and steep rapids. Today the cliff below the crest of the waterfalls is only slightly damp. The drainage area of the creek has been filled by construction of area streets and the Robert Moses Parkway. The total drop of Bloody Run down the Devil's Hole Ravine was roughly 275 feet (84 m).
      You can see a small remnant of this waterfall as you descend the trail in the ravine. A spring flows from the creek bed about 90 feet (27 m) below the original crest of Bloody Run Falls and creates a small falls. This falls is known as Devil's Hole Falls and it is 10 feet (3 m) high and 10 feet (3 m) wide. The bedrock is Irondequoit Limestone.

     Click here to see a photo of Devil's Hole Falls.


Harvie Falls

     Harvie Fall was located on the Canadian side of the gorge about 6.6 km (4.1 miles) south of Queenston. Found in the upper reaches of Bowman Creek Ravine this waterfall was described in an 1880's guide book to Niagara Falls as "a sublime little waterfall that is not to be missed by the traveler." Apparently the falls was destroyed by the construction of hydro canals for the Sir Adam Beck Power Plants.


Colt's Creek Falls

     Colt's Creek Falls is located on the Canadian side of the gorge about 5.1 km (3.2 miles) north of Niagara Falls. Today the source of the water for Colt's Creek is hard to determine. The hydro canal for the Sir Adam Beck Power Plants has reduced the area that the creek once drained. I have been told that the water is now mostly excess cooling water from nearby manufacturing plants. The creek exits a 1 m (3 foot) wide culvert, narrows to 0.6 m (2 feet) in width and then free falls 15 m (50 feet). It then descends a section of steep rapids, free falls 8 m (25 feet) and becomes a very steep cascade. The cascade is followed by another section of steep rapids followed by a free fall of 6 m (20 feet) to the Whirlpool. The total drop of Colt's Creek Falls is 75 m (246 feet).
     The creek gets its name from Samuel and Leander Colt. In the early 1870's they built an incline railway down to the bank of the Whirlpool that was powered by a water wheel on the creek. The railway was destroyed by a landslide in 1889.

     Click here to see photos of Colt's Creek Falls.


Muddy Run Falls

     Muddy Run Falls is located on the Canadian side of the gorge about 6.7 km (2.4 miles) north of Niagara Falls, Ontario. Apparently during the construction of area roads and parking lots the creek bed was filled in as no trace can be seen of it today. Muddy Run Falls had a total drop of approximately 76 m (250 feet).

     Click here to see photos of Muddy Run Falls.

     About 4.5 km (2.2 miles) south of Muddy Run Falls, across from the gorge from the American Falls, a small stream can be seen falling into the gorge in old engravings and paintings of the Horseshoe Falls. Apparently during the construction of the Queen Victoria Park the drainage area of stream was filled in. A small pond in the park may of been the source of the stream. This waterfall would of had a total height of about 55 m (180 feet).


The three waterfalls below are found on the Niagara River.
They are known collectively as Niagara Falls.

American Falls
The American Falls is located on the American
side of the gorge at Niagara Falls, NY.

Click here for more information on the American Falls.
Click here to see a photo of the American Falls.

Bridal Veil Falls
The Bridal Veil Falls is located on the American
side of the gorge at Niagara Falls, NY.

Click here for more information on the Bridal Veil Falls.
Click here to see a photo of the Bridal Veil Falls.

Horseshoe Falls
The Horseshoe Falls is located at the southern
end of the gorge at Niagara Falls, Ontario.

Click here for more information on the Horseshoe Falls.
Click here to see a photo of the Horseshoe Falls.


Wild Ones Niagara promotes the restoration and preservation of the botanically unique habitats of the Niagara Gorge and the Niagara River region.


Copyright 2016 by Scott A. Ensminger.
This information may not be reproduced without written permission.

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