The word "Niagara" is from the Iroquois Indian word "Onguiaahra" meaning "the strait".
The Niagara River, as is the entire Great Lakes Basin of which the river is an integral part, is a legacy of the last Ice Age. 18,000 years ago southern Ontario was covered by ice sheets 2-3 kilometers thick. The Niagara Peninsula became free of the ice about 12,500 years ago. As the ice retreated northward, its meltwaters began to flow down through what became Lake Erie, the Niagara River and Lake Ontario, down to the St. Lawrence River, and, finally, down to the sea.
You can visit "Table Rock House Plaza" where you are able to go behind the waterfall "Horseshoe Falls". This 52 m heigh waterfall is moved by erosion about 36 cm every year. So flow rate is regulated (168 000 m3/minutes in tourist peak) that erosion is not such big and water is run through hydroelectric power station. If you have ameripass for greyhound you can go from Buffalo to Niagara Falls through Canada.
Maid of the Mist - since 1846, millions of visitors have enjoyed the Maid of the Mist boat tours. The powerful diesel-engined boats take visitors to the base of the American Falls. Whole voyage takes aroudn a half hour. Souvenir rain coats are provided with admission
Niagara Falls attracts some 12 millions tourists evey yaer. Niagara Falls is the second largest falls on the globe next to Victoria Falls in southern Africa. One fifth of all the fresh water in the world lies in the four Upper Great Lakes-Michigan, Huron, Superior and Erie. All the outflow empties into the Niagara river and eventually cascades over the falls.
The first person to go over the Falls in a barrel and survive was a 63 year old female schoolteacher. Niagara Falls visited also Mark Twain.