The Niagara Parks Commission, often shortened to Niagara Parks, is located along the Ontario Shoreline of the Niagara River and is an agency of Ontario. The park is a popular tourist destination and attracts several million visitors each year. Whether you’re interested in outdoor recreation or would like to spend your time visiting indoor exhibits, you can find something of interest at Niagara Parks—it offers something for everyone. Here are some of the top attractions of Niagara Parks.
Niagara Parks has cycling opportunities for visitors of all ages along the Niagara River Recreation Trail. This trail, started in 1986, is part of a wider system that includes the Greenbelt Route, the Greater Niagara Circle Route, the Trans Canada Trail, and more. Biking along the trail you will pass several different historic sites, restaurants, and other places of interest, making it a great activity for the whole family. The Niagara River Trail is split into four sections that take an hour or two to pass through, so you can feel free to slow down, taking in the natural beauty that surrounds you, rather than hurrying to get to the next stop.
The Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory is one of the most popular attractions in the park, featuring over 2,000 butterflies flying freely through the glass-enclosed building. The conservatory is paved with beautiful pathways that wind through a lush jungle of trees and flowers. At the emergence window, you can watch as butterflies complete their life cycle from the pupae stage all the way to emergence—if you get lucky. Constructed in 1996, the Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory is among the largest in North America and includes video theaters and interactive displays.
At the Niagara Parks Botanical Garden you can see everything from an aromatic herb garden to a large, Victorian rose garden, reveling in the seasonal blooms that define the space. The Niagara Parks School of Horticulture is also located on the grounds. Founded in 1936, the school has trained many students in the art of horticulture. Student-designed pieces show off more than 80,000 plants and 150 hanging baskets. Here you can also find rose, vegetable, parterre, and herb gardens. The Niagara Botanical Garden is proud to use an integrated pest management approach to upkeep the gardens in an eco-friendly way.
The Aquarium of Niagara is located on Whirlpool Street and features over 30 exhibits ranging from Aliens of the Sea to the Penguin Coast, one of just 20 facilities in North America that houses the threatened Humboldt penguins. The aquarium has 100+ aquatic animal species and hosts events such as penguin and seal feelings and sea lion shows. Some of the animals you might see during your visit to the aquarium include Peruvian Humboldt penguins, sharks, seahorses, and sturgeon. You can also see the famous Whaling Wall, a life-sized whale painting. Visitors can enjoy looking at the painting while waiting to get into the aquarium and view real-life sea creatures.
The Table Rock House Restaurant is situated near the Canadian Horseshoe Falls. Here, visitors can enjoy a diverse range of meal options while enjoying the breathtaking views of Niagara Falls. The restaurant also features a three-course date night menu that includes appetizers, an entree, and a sparkling wine cocktail. If you visit Table Rock at night, you’ll get to see an even more incredible sight—Niagara Falls illuminated. Each night the falls are lit up in multiple colors, providing tourists with a unique dining experience that they won’t soon forget.
Described by many as the highlight of their trip, the Maid of the Mist boat tour starts at the Observation Tower and takes visitors past the American and Horseshoe Falls. This spectacular sight includes everything from rolling waterfalls to impressive rock formations, giving tourists a close-up look at the splendor of Niagara Falls. The Maid of the Mist tour features a double-deck boat and has been in operation for over 150 years. The 2022 season runs from spring through early November and offers both weekend and weekday scheduling with tours going from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets are $25.25 for adults, $14.75 for children ages 6 to 12, and free for children under 5 with an accompanying adult.
Niagara Parks has its own police force consisting of 20 regular officers. It is the only park police force in Canada and currently serves just over 22 permanent residents in its small patrol area. However, the police force serves a transient population of more than 12 million annually. They are available to assist tourists as they go about their activities, helping to prevent tourists from becoming the victims of crime while they are on vacation. They also help keep traffic flowing through the park at a steady pace.
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The Niagara Parks Commission is just one of the many amazing locations in this region. In addition to natural attractions, it also offers a wealth of restaurants, wineries, and entertainment. Ultimately, Niagara Falls, ON is a great place to live, which is good news for buyers and sellers.
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