Niagara Parks: US or Canadian Side
Dufferin Islands Nature Area– This popular area is 10 acres of paradise – a quiet, secluded park containing several small islands connected by small bridges and footpaths. In winter the Festival of Lights draws thousands. Located minutes upstream from the Falls.
Floral Clock – This unique attraction is a very popular stop on the Niagara Parkway and is photographed almost as often as the Falls. The floral clock is a fully-functioning time piece, crafted out of colorful flowering plants and surrounded by an aquatic garden. The Clock is enclosed by a well-groomed garden park with hundreds of lilac bushes on display.
Floral Showhouse – Surrounded by summer gardens, this world-class greenery features orchids, succulents and other tropical plants throughout the year, along with floral shows that reflect the changing seasons. Flying throughout the greenery are colorful tropical birds. A must-see for the garden lover.
Fort Erie – Fort Erie, the local site of the War of 1812, is one of the most significant historic landmarks in the area. Fort Erie saw considerable action in the War of 1812. The fort plays an integral role in presenting Canada’s history to visitors from around the world in its capacity as a museum, living history site and memorial park.
Kingsbridge Park – Located on the bank of the Niagara just upriver from the Falls, Chippawa Creek joins the river at Kingsbridge Park. An excellent spot for picnicking and family recreation, the park offers picnic facilities, lake access, a playground and splash-pool for kids.
McFarland House – This two-century-old Georgian-style estate sits amidst a family park in Niagara-on-the-Lake and offers tours of the home and garden. The colonial-style tea garden has an extensive collection of teas, wines and pastries.
Navy Island – Located 2.8 miles (4.5 km) upstream from the falls, and adjacent to Grand Island, USA, Navy Island is less than half a square mile large. During the War of 1812, the British Navy used the island for maintenance and repair of warships. It now serves as an undeveloped park and camping area; accessible only by boat. You need a boat to get there.
Niagara Glen – The Niagara Glen is a unique spot of beauty deep in the Great Gorge that has been a designated Nature Reserve since 1992. Stairways lead to 4 km (2.5 mi) of paths that wind through a pristine pocket of Carolinian Forest, past boulders left behind as the Falls eroded through the area thousands of years ago.
Queen Victoria Park – Queen Victoria Park is literally the “heart” of Niagara Parks and arguably the prime viewing location for the Falls. Bounded by the steep Fallsview moraine and the Niagara River Great Gorge, the Park contains a valuable collection of unique native and international plants and beautifully maintained gardens. Featuring the spectacular Oakes Garden Theatre near Clifton Hill.
New York, USA
Beaver Island State Park – Beaver Island State Park is located in Erie County, New York in the town of Grand Island. The park is on the bank of the Niagara River, at the southern end of Grand Island. The park offers a beach with swimming area, picnic tables with pavilions, golf, recreation programs, a nature trail, seasonal waterfowl hunting, fishing and ice-fishing, sledding, cross-country skiing, cross country running, snowshoeing, sledding and snowmobiling, a boat launch with marina and dockage, and a food concession.
Big Six Mile Creek Marina – Big Six Mile Creek Marina is a New York state park. It is located on the Niagara River on Grand Island in Erie County. The park offers a marina, boat launch sites and fishing.
Buckhorn Island State Park – Buckhorn Island State Park is located in Erie County, New York in the Town of Grand Island. The park is on the northern end of the island of Grand Island. It is primarily an exhibit of Niagara River wetlands. The park offers biking, cross-country skiing, fishing, hiking and a nature trail.
Buffalo & Erie County Naval and Military Park – This museum on the shore of Lake Ontario is home to several decommissioned naval vessels, including the USS Little Rock cruiser and the USS Sullivans destroyer. Several tanks and aircraft are also on display. Tours available.
Devil’s Hole State Park – Devil’s Hole State Park overlooks the lower Whirlpool rapids. A wildly beautiful walkway leads down from the park along the turbulent Niagara River 300 feet into the wooded gorge and offers an up-close, spectacular view of the gorge’s rapids. Devil’s Hole has picnic areas, hiking, and nature trails. It is one of the most popular spots for fishermen.
Artpark State Park – Earl W. Brydges Artpark is dedicated to presenting the finest in performing and visual arts programs, including Broadway musicals and classical, jazz and pop music concerts; art exhibits; classes, workshops and demonstrations, and tours of the park’s geological and historic sites and nature trails. The park has picnic facilities, hiking and cross-country skiing, and access to fishing.
Fort Niagara State Park & Historic Site – Fort Niagara State Park offers boat launches, playing fields and picnic areas. The Historic site preserves Fort Niagara, a fortification originally built to protect the interests of New France in North America. Controlled by the US since its independence, it was captured briefly by the British in the War of 1812.
Four Mile Creek State Park – This popular camping park is located just 15 minutes north of Niagara Falls. The 275 campsites are located near the shores of Lake Ontario and offer spectacular panoramic views. The park has hiking trails for campers along the densely wooded bluffs. The marsh at the mouth of Four Mile Creek is an excellent bird-watching location.
Joseph Davis State Park – Joseph Davis State Park has facilities for a wide variety of recreational activities. The terrain is generally flat, with fields, woodlands and ponds. Anglers can fish for largemouth bass in the pond near the park entrance or for a variety of freshwater fish from the fishing dock on the lower Niagara River. The park also has a nature trail, as well as cross-country skiing/snowshoeing and snowmobiling trails and a 27-hole Frisbee disc golf course.
Niagara Falls State Park – Niagara Falls State Park, which surrounds mighty Niagara Falls, is the oldest state park in the United States. The park is made up of numerous islands, as well as the famous Prospect Point area. The park includes the Scenic Trolley, Observation Tower, Discovery Center, Visitor’s Center, Adventure Theater, Great Lakes Garden, and Cave of the Winds.
Reservoir State Park – Reservoir State Park, Town of Niagara Route 31, is a favorite of locals in Niagara County. The park features playing fields and picnic facilities. Part of the park is an overlook for the Robert Moses Plant Reservoir. Excellent fishing available in the Reservoir.
Whirlpool State Park – Whirlpool State Park has two levels-the upper, or street level has many overlooks with spectacular views of the swirling waters of the rapids, the whirlpool and the Niagara River Escarpment. Visitors picnic and children use the playground at this level. The lower, or river level is accessible by walking the 300 feet of trails and steps that descend into the gorge. This level has several nature trails and access for fishing.