You may have been to Niagara Falls, but have you ever ridden the Maid of the Mist? It was an amazing experience that was very much worth the price of admission. Since we couldn’t travel into Canada easily during the recent pandemic, we wanted to see Niagara Falls up close. The Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls certainly helped us to do that!
The Maid of the Mist is a boat that has been operating on the Niagara River just below the falls since 1884. It leaves every fifteen minutes carrying over a hundred passengers, but there is often a long wait to board the boat because of its popularity. Tickets are not timed, so you can buy them anytime, but you’ll sail when you get to the front of the line. Tickets are bought right near the brink of American Falls, and the boat leaves from there. You can purchase tickets online and use them any day, but we just bought tickets when we arrived.
The boat sails up past American Falls, and though you can’t get too close due to the rubble at the bottom of the waterfall, we were plenty close enough to get covered by a bit of spray. Luckily, Maid of the Mist supplies you with a plastic poncho as you enter.
After American Falls, you continue up into the large Horseshoe waterfalls. At first, you can feel the spray in your face as you float past the extreme ends of the horseshoe. Before long you are in a torrential downpour. Squeals of laughter and delight surround you, because from there, the spray gets thicker. Eventually, it’s almost as if you’re standing in front of a fire hose. The mist is so thick that you can barely take pictures, and it is wonderful! Then the boat turns around and heads back to the dock.
Brink of American Falls
The Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls ride on the boat is quite short (only about 20 minutes), but there are other benefits to riding Maid of the Mist. First, you can walk to the brink of American Falls. There are few steps up, and the photo opportunity is spectacular.
After that, you’ll ride an elevator back to the top of the falls. Maid of the Mist has a large viewing tower that you can use to see American Falls better. This viewing tower is included in the price of admission. We took many beautiful pictures from this spot.
Even if you’ve been to Niagara Falls, you will have a whole new experience riding the Maid of the Mist. We are convinced it is the best way to see the waterfall! To purchase tickets, visit the Maid of Mist website.
Parking is probably the most difficult part of visiting Niagara Falls. There is parking at the state park where Maid of the Mist is located, but it fills quickly. There are some parking garages nearby, too. We were lucky enough to find street parking about two blocks from the park, so we paid the parking meter and parked there for a few hours.
You are supplied with a Maid of Mist poncho, but you will be soaked. We recommend wearing shoes that dry quickly, or even flip flops if you have them. Our socks were soaked!