Website: https://www.niagarafallsstatepark.com/attractions-and-tours/hiking-trails Know Before You Go: This trail is VERY crowded around the Falls and on Goat Island. It’s almost like running an obstacle course. The large number of tourists means parking can be difficult in Niagara Falls. We parked at the Niagara Falls Aquarium where you can book a parking spot online prior to your trip. It’s steps away from the Niagara Gorge Trailhead Center. Length: There are various lengths of trails in this system. We ran a little over 3 miles. Time: It depends on how far you go. Our run took around 30 minutes. Difficulty: Easy Terrain: Paved, dirt, rock Dog-Friendly: Yes. Kid-Friendly: Yes.
We didn’t expect to find such a great walking path at Niagara Falls State Park, but shouldn’t have been surprised since it’s the oldest state park in the U.S. Opened in 1885, this park has a variety of interpretive displays about the history of the Falls. This park has several miles of hiking trails referred to as the Niagara Gorge Trail System, both paved and rock/dirt. Some start at the Trailhead Center and others start in nearby state parks. We chose to run the Great Gorge Scenic Overlook hike and the Upper Great Gorge Hike, which led us to a sidewalk that circles beautiful Goat Island on the Niagara River. There are more difficult hiking trails, such as the Devil’s Hole Rapids and Giant Rock Trail as well as the Whirlpool Rapids Adventure Hike, which would make a great day-long hike. We chose a shorter hike because we were only there for one day and wanted to take the ferry out to the Falls as well as experience the Hurricane Deck. We ran south from the Niagara Gorge Trailhead Center through large crowds past all three waterfalls - enjoying the cool spray on what turned out to be a hot summer day - then took the bridge west to Goat Island. We ran along a paved path around the island that has gorgeous views of the river and the rapids to the south of the Falls. We headed back the way we came to the Trailhead Center, then walked off our run by heading north on the path to a view of the class 6 Whirlpool Rapids. Most of this route had gorgeous views of the river and the Falls. Magnificent!
If you’re new to hiking, Niagara Falls State Park offers guided hiking tours from mid-May through October. More information can be found at NiagaraFallsStatePark.com.