Serenity Sunday – Niagara Falls from Maid of the Mist


On Friday, October 25 and 26 the Maid of the Mist was a free boat ride, and the last voyage of the season. It is usually chilly riding into the cold mist in October, so put on a warm coat to come along.

Knowing a good DSLR camera would get soaked and the lens would be dripping wet, these images were shot with an underwater camera, the Nikon AW100. To read my views on this fine camera, see posts from a much warmer climate.

I saw people taking photos with a DSLR with no camera protection at the bow of the boat. I believe by the swearing, at least one froze up from the driving water. I wish I had the nerve to bring my DSLR, but even with its ‘raincoat’ , it would not keep out the fine mist.


It is relaxing taking a boat ride into the mist of the Falls. It is almost an experience one could dream if not surrounded by a few hundred other people.


Each boat holds 600 passengers. Happily, many are kid-sized.


I was hoping for cleaner images but the mist from the Falls is thick and gets all over the tiny lens of the camera. I had to clean it off often. It makes it look foggy, but boy is it scenic down on the river. Lots of gulls fly in and out of the falls’ mist.


This shot is from the Rainbow Bridge between the US and Canada. I had my passport along to gain access. The mist was billowing higher than normal.


You can see the trees are starting to color. See more Fall color on Tuesday when I take you to the Niagara Gorge.


This is as the boat is pulling out from the base of the Horseshoe Falls. When we got here the sky was really overcast, yet the sun was just catching one side of the falls. Looking in the opposite direction, there was more blue in the sky.


The Maid of the Mist boats are diesel-powered ferry boats.


At one time, they did ferry people between Canada and the US with steam-powered vessels. After the bridges were constructed, the ferry boats were no longer needed for transportation between countries. Above is a summer shot of the ferries, one coming from Canada and the other docked in the US for passenger pickup.

See the tower on the left above? The deck in that photo is where I was standing to take the photo below, just as millions do.


Observation deck looking down on the American Falls.


It’s quite a feeling riding in on the rapids.


Everyone was taking photos with their phone. Since everyone gets rather wet, I hope those phones are still working.


Talus rock at the base of the Bridal Veil Falls

Next week, Serenity Sunday takes you to the Buffalo waterfront at a nature preserve you have yet to visit. Tuesday, Fall color in Niagara.


About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
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52 Responses to Serenity Sunday – Niagara Falls from Maid of the Mist

  1. I remember going out on the Maid of the Mist many years ago when Matt and Alex were little. Beautiful scenery but quite wet. I always love your photos of the falls.

    • Thanks Carolyn. This camera performed well in St. Lucia, but I was a little disappointed with it at the Falls. The day was very overcast, maybe that did not help since I cannot adjust settings on this camera. I did like the moody image from the deck though. I have to get down there with the DSLR for that shot again in that kind of weather – where I can make manual adjustments. It says so much more about the falls with this moody feel. As pretty as it is in bright sunlight, there is always the ominous feel knowing the history. That shot from the deck shows where people either went over the falls willingly or were tossed there a long time ago as a sacrifice.

  2. Very nice 🙂 How do you keep the lens clear?

  3. alesiablogs says:

    I know I will probably never go there so it was nice being on this trip with you! Alesia

  4. Niagara Falls is where I learned that I enjoyed nature. For our 2nd anniversary, I asked for a trip to NYC my husband booked Niagara Falls instead. We drove 8+ hours to get there and I sulked the whole time. But, once we got there I fell in love. I was begging for extra days by the end!

    • Many people like the Falls, but don’t look at it from the perspective of nature. Many don’t get to the natural areas of the park. When I talk to tourists, I send them to these places and they are always happy I did.

  5. alesiablogs says:

    I was not sure if I had shared with you , but in researching my ancestors, I found out they came through Buffalo! In this blog post I wrote have the actual document of when they landed in Buffalo! I just wonder after reading your post where the heck they exact;y landed back in the early 1800’s and what road would have been even there! Maybe they went through these falls!

  6. Countryidyll says:

    Lovely pics and informative text, great stuff! Many thanks!

  7. Victor Ho says:

    It’s a good thing they give raincoats. And it’s frightening to see the inside of your camera lens with fog. Fortunately it evaporated and no apparent aftereffects were seen. It happened with several of our cameras when we came into A/C from the high heat and humidity at Iguazu Falls in Argentina. Your idea of the AW100 was a great idea. I didn’t have one at that time. Now, I’ve access to at least 4 different waterproof setups. Who knew?

    • The rain coats are very helpful. The problem with the cameras is that when the boat takes off, everyone is dry if the wind is blowing in the direction showing in my photos. What they don’t realize is how fast the wind direction changes and how fast the boat goes into the dense mist. It happens before they even realize it. I have been on the boat before without a camera, but having it from last year’s trip, I thought it would be a way to get images without freezing up the camera.

  8. b-a-g says:

    For a moment, I thought you were describing yourself, Maid of the Mist. Thanks for taking us on this ride, love the billowing.

  9. lenaericsson says:

    I hav never seen the falls from a boat, but we did walk inside the cave when we were there. Magnificent falls. Since I do love geology I was quite fascinated when reading the story about how the falls looked in the early days compared to now. I hope to be back one day. Thanks for sharing.:)

    • I was never in the Cave of the Winds. The actual cave is no more. A rock fall in 1920 made the cave unsafe. The cave collapsed in 1954 from a larger rock fall. The only other cave I know that people can enter was closed because of a rock fall also, is Devil’s Hole Cave. I still go to it on occasion, but the climb is steep and a bit dangerous, hence why it is closed to tourists. See my post,

      • Sue Link says:

        Love the pictures, Donna. I have never been on the Maid of the Mist (yet), but I have been in the Cave of the Winds just a few years ago. Are you maybe thinking of a different cave? Here is a link to it

        • I guess I was misleading, because the deck to the Cave of the Winds is built each year, and can be seen in my photo Talus rock at the base of Bridal Veil Falls. You can still pay for the attraction, but the actual cave is no more. People take the elevator down to the base of the Falls, then they climb the red stairs to get close to the Falls. The climb leads to the front of where the cave was located. It used to be that people could go behind the Bridal Veil Falls, but now are in the front of it. I have to pay to go there sometime, but I never did because there are stairs taking people to the base of the American Falls and it is free.

          • Sue Link says:

            Yes, you are right. I guess it’s the deck to the Cave of the Winds and each year they re-build it. I just thought that the deck was the actual Cave of the Winds. I think you would like that as well if you took the elevator because you can get really close to the falls. I would suggest as far as pictures just purchasing a disposable waterproof camera.

  10. Donna I have not been to the Falls in so long….what a fun way to spend a fall day. Gorgeous.

  11. Wild experience!!! Amazing shots, Donna!! I was very young when I visited the Niagara Falls [from Canada] – 11yrs. I remember that mist being everywhere and mostly the deafening sound of the water, like intense white noise.

    • Kids just love the Falls. I watch and listen to their excitement when I am there. They run around oblivious to the danger in their joy. I do worry for them though since the parents are often looking at the sights themselves and not noticing the kids in places that are unsafe. This is often on the islands and also at the base of the Falls.

  12. Phil Lanoue says:

    THe photos really do look terrific and I believe you made to correct chioice bringing the waterproof P&S. I have an older Canon D10 and would have done the same. 🙂

  13. Phil Lanoue says:

    I of course meant…the correct choice.

  14. Someday, I’m going to get wet and see it all too.

  15. Odd that I grew up near NYC but never went got to the Niagara Falls area. Looks like a fun boat ride, and the falls are certainly majestic and beautiful.

  16. janechese says:

    Enjoyed these very much. That was my first photo experience when I was about 10 or younger,, taking a photo of the Maid of the Mist and being so disappointed when I saw a tiny dot that was the boat in the picture.I enjoyed it but thought that we were going literally under the falls-good thing we didn’t, so seeing these photos helps me remember. I was curious about the look-out and glad you mentioned it-you sure got a nice photo from that viewpoint.

    • The look out is how people get to the elevator to go to Maid of the Mist. Normally, if not taking the boat, it cost a dollar to enter the walkway to the deck. Then you take the elevator down to the base of the Falls and walk up the stairs to get close to the American Falls. I always take a photo from the many vantage points on the deck because the clouds and light are always different. Some days lots of people take this view, other days they walk the deck and don’t. This day, nobody was taking photos but me. Where I think is the best view is on the Rainbow Bridge. It is perfect for a wide angle lens. I have summer photos with that lens.

  17. Patty says:

    I have lived near by the falls for twenty years and have never taken the Maid on the Mist. I enjoyed the views from the boat as they provide quite a different perspective. The Falls are always magnificent -even in winter with snow and ice.

    • I never paid to ride the boat, but do take advantage of the free “thank you” days. You should try that next year. I don’t know if it is free on your side, but over here it is. Not that many people take advantage of it, but it is always in October when they shut down the attraction. My favorite time of year at the Falls is Winter. I love the ice and snow, and NO TOURISTS. I actually do like talking to tourists, but sometimes it is far too crowded. I do have to mention though, they have been working on redoing all the more natural areas. Luna Island is closed for construction, and so is the overlook at Luna. Last year, Three Sisters was closed. I was there today and they have really blocked off all the places to go near the water. No one was there this morning before 8am, so I could have just went around the barriers, but they made it more difficult an area to traverse now. They must have done that on purpose.

  18. Great shots! I went on the Maid of the Mist and and at one point couldn’t even see anything because the water got all over my glasses. That makes it very difficult to get good photos. While your photos are wonderful, nothing can capture the experience of really being there.

    • I have been on it when it was hard to see too. I think it must have been like that on Saturday with the wind and stormy weather – if they even ran the boats at all. I had to drain my glasses one time too. I guy next to me was laughing as I was shaking the glasses with a stream of water rolling off.

  19. What an awesome experience you had. I would love to have been there. The shots you got were wonderful. Thank you for sharing.

  20. debsgarden says:

    Nice photos! What a scenic ride that was. Since my husband once worked for a cell phone company, I can imagine how many folks are disappointed because their phones no longer work! People often complained to my husband about problems with their phones after returning from the beach. A lot of people apparently don’t realize that moisture can harm a cell phone or a camera!

  21. Pat says:

    Gorgeous shots.

  22. bittster says:

    Just looking at the pictures is relaxing….. thanks!

  23. Fergiemoto says:

    Quite an experience, and amazing shots!

  24. A.M.B. says:

    I’ve never been on Maid of the Mist, though I have been to Niagara a few times. The scenery is just beautiful. I particularly love the rainbow you captured.

  25. ginnietom says:

    impressive tour…but it’s a dangerous place, you can’t survive, cause of riptide…?

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