Maid Of The Mist
Since it began operation back in 1846, The Maid Of The Mist Boat Ride is easily the most famous activity at Niagara Falls. In case you’re one of the few left on earth who still hasn’t heard, it’s a boat ride which takes tourists to the plunge pool of the Horseshoe Falls, passing the American and Bridal Veil falls along its round trip… giving them one magnificent experience they will never forget!
No one would ever look at a Maid Of The Mist boat and judge it to be speedy… they’re short and wide and look almost pudgy. So it would be no surprise to anyone that the boat makes its way from the dock slowly, barely rocking in the current. One gets the impression that the boats are built like tanks by the way they seem to crawl their way to the falls…. the ride is rock-solid and conveys a feeling of safety.
The trip to the falls is very relaxing, passing beside the American and Bridal Veil Falls while a recording is played which details the history of Niagara and the Maid Of The Mist boats. The American falls are rocky and loud, with huge cascades over fallen boulders and white foamy water. It’s hard to believe that only 10 percent of the total volume of Niagara flows over these falls!
With the American Falls trailing behind, the captain now heads the boat straight to the Horseshoe Falls, sometimes passing another Maid Of The Mist boat on its return trip to the launch. All eyes are directed to the front of the boat as the Horseshoe Falls gets nearer and grows higher into the sky. In only moments, the boat will enter the plunge pool.
The plunge pool is an amazing place! It’s not just because of the falls which now rise 170 feet high in front of you, but also because of the water itself. It is so filled with churned-up air bubbles that it can’t really be considered normal water anymore… it’s more like a wet churning foam you’ll sink to the bottom in if you ever dove in for a swim… even ‘treading water’ would be just about impossible here without any kind of ‘traction’! Good thing you are in a specially designed Maid Of The Mist boat! The captain guns the powerful engines and the boat surges forward despite the foamy water and great current trying to push the boat backward… and you are now seeing the Horseshoe Falls from the best view possible… and in complete safety!
Maid Of The Mist Boat (partially hidden by foliage) and vivid afternoon rainbow.
While in the plunge pool, you’ll gaze upon the falls so intently that you probably won’t be aware of all the eyes watching you. The Maid Of The Mist is visible not only to the people at the railing hight above you, but also from people to you right who are experiencing The Journey Behind The Falls Tour… another incredible, not-to-be-missed Niagara Falls Classic!
From the plunge pool, the true scale of the falls becomes clear and the power of three-quarter million gallons of water falling per second becomes very obvious. Rain Panchos are provided for good reason… you quickly discover that the so-called ‘mist’ is only mist when viewed from the railings of the parkway… in the plunge pool, it’s a heavy, wind-driven downpour of solid rain! The people on deck laugh and shout while standing up to the mist… this is the best part of the trip, it’s what they paid their money for and the one part they’ll remember for the rest of their lives!
Despite the intensity of the mist, it’s a very gentle ride, and all the riders ever feel is a gentle up-and-down bobbing, even at the closest point to the falls in the plunge pool. The captain of the boat will hold position in front of the falls for a few moments, and he’ll slowly rotate the boat so that everyone on deck will get that amazing view and photo-op. When the boat changes direction and heads back to the launch, everyone on deck will remove their panchos and relive their experience with each other. Everyone is smiling and laughing, and still dry except for faces, shoes and socks. Eyeglasses will have to be wiped clear at this time, and mascara may have to be mopped. All riders disembark knowing they’re now part of a legacy of millions who’ve ridden the world-famous Maid of the Mist Boat Ride at Niagara Falls!