Down to the Niagara River in Winter

Niagara-Gorge

I don’t often walk down to the Lower River in winter, but I did go to Artpark State Park in Lewiston so I did not have to do all the climbing like I do where I live. Do you feel a bit chilled looking at these images?

Gorge-Trail

Here you can drive and park, where the walk down to the River is much gentler, you follow along the steep walls of the gorge riverside.

The upper Artpark Gorge Trail offers a gradual climb to the top where it meets up with the rim trail that crosses the power plant to Devil’s Hole State Park. The lower River’s Edge Trail provides access to fishing by two staircases. Both trails start at the small parking area at the upper end of the park. – See more at: http://nysparks.com/parks/113/details.aspx#sthash.ASsLrx1p.dpuf
The upper Artpark Gorge Trail offers a gradual climb to the top where it meets up with the rim trail that crosses the power plant to Devil’s Hole State Park. The lower River’s Edge Trail provides access to fishing by two staircases. Both trails start at the small parking area at the upper end of the park. – See more at: http://nysparks.com/parks/113/details.aspx#sthash.ASsLrx1p.dpuf
The upper Artpark Gorge Trail offers a gradual climb to the top where it meets up with the rim trail that crosses the power plant to Devil’s Hole State Park. The lower River’s Edge Trail provides access to fishing by two staircases. Both trails start at the small parking area at the upper end of the park. – See more at: http://nysparks.com/parks/113/details.aspx#sthash.ASsLrx1p.dpuf

Gorge-Ice

The shoreline is accessible by walking almost 300 vertical feet of trails and steps that descend into the gorge. It can be very strenuous unless you are a mountain goat. Are you tired just looking at this?

Gorge-Cliffs

Just so you know I’m not bluffing on the Gorge being STEEP! I wonder what slid or rolled down? I hope nothing with four or two legs, just rocks likely.

Steep-Gorge-Walk

Now you must be wondering for what is worth going down to the River. The ice and snow are pretty, but there must be more, right?

Devils-Hole-State-Park

There are a lot of birds besides gulls in the gorge, but often they are doing fly byes overhead. I think they do this to toy with me. They fly so darn high most often.

River-from-Above

See the teeny gulls? This view above is from the top of the gorge, just to give you a bit of vertigo. The view below I am on my way down toward the river.

Niagara-River

When I am looking at the gorge above, over my head flies a hawk carrying twigs to make a nest. Yes, this lady is very high up, snickering at me no doubt.

Hawk-going-2-Nest

From behind me, a vulture buzzes by, and I think I surprised him as much as he surprised me. Notice his quick bank away from me. Maybe he thought I was dinner since I was standing so still.

Vulture

Off he goes…

Turkey-Vulture

What I could see clearly was the ducks, but not every bird was a duck. Remember what I said about where the robins are in winter?

Robin

The woods line the gorge and many songbirds hide out in the understory. The frantic tweeting was almost deafening, which from my experience means a hawk is nearby. Ever wonder how you can hear a hundred birds and only see one?

The ducks were not very close out on the river. The one below was near the shore and the colors you see are the rocks beneath the water. Pretty colors…

Red-breasted-MerganzerRed-breasted Merganser, male

Long-tail DuckLong-tailed Duck – male

buffleheadBufflehead Duck

white-winger-Scooter-PairWhite-winged Scooter

Flying-DuckRed-breasted Merganser, flying

Duck-over-RiverLesser Scaup, male flying

Brown-DucksNot sure of these ducks – female Lesser Scaup?

I have to say, it was a change not to see multitudes of Mallards.

I went further down River to the Lake to photograph more ducks, no Mallards there either. Tomorrow, see the diving ducks and where I ended up. I was not even planning this trip, but got side-tracked. You might be interested in seeing a fort coming up too.

See other posts of the Niagara Gorge.

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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: http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com
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19 Responses to Down to the Niagara River in Winter

  1. Love you bird pictures, stunning scenery too!

  2. Spectacular! I love the vulture photo, and yes, it is a pleasure to see a different kind of duck. I went to Crystal Beach yesterday to see the ice formations, but the amazing ones were gone. It was still fun to see what looked like frozen waves.

  3. Beautiful pictures of the hawk and ducks. Nesting time- spring is near!

  4. Julie says:

    Is the temperature warming up, the light looks different as if Spring is coming soon for you. The red-breasted Merganser has a great hair do!

  5. Annette says:

    Great scenery and it’s so nice to enjoy the winter shots from the comfort of a warm home. Thanks for taking us on these rambles 🙂

  6. Karen says:

    Donna, you must be part mountain goat to clamber around on those icy trails. The scenery is spectacular and the picture of the hawk with nest building material is amazing. I guess spring is coming after all, at least the birds think so.

  7. Phil Lanoue says:

    Wow! That does look cold! Love the hawk with the branches and all the cute duckies! 🙂

  8. acuriousgal says:

    What a wonderful hike, Donna…thanks for taking us along!!! Wonderful pics!!

  9. As always – beautiful shots, Donna and I bet they were risky too!
    This must have been a very refreshing walk, to say the least! 🙂

  10. Kevin says:

    Gorgeous. Simply gorgeous!

  11. Amazingly, the blue backdrop of the sky doesn’t make the whole scene chilly at all but a bright and cool winter instead. Calmed me somehow…

  12. Those are some handsome ducks! When we were young Judy and I hiked down the gorge of the upper Rio Grande in New Mexico. Very rewarding, but I’m sure I couldn’t do it now. I find the view of the dam to be quite stirring.

  13. KL says:

    Beautiful pictures. That duck (forgot its mouthful name) seems to have a bad-hair day :-). We saw Niagra Falls in winter, and there were blocks of ice and we thought we would hop on those and touch the water. So, we went and stood on them; as soon as we did that, police came rushing to us, telling us that it was very dangerous. Now, thinking back, yes, it was dangerous but youth doesn’t know danger.

  14. Patty says:

    I haven’t seen a merganser in ages. Last time was in Algonquin Park (north of Toronto) while canoe camping. I look forward to seeing where your walk took you.

  15. lucindalines says:

    I am always amazed at your pictures and so thankful that you share them with us. Keep it up.

  16. Pat says:

    Love the ice falls.

  17. I love to see the gorge at all seasons and all the wildlife—so many ducks.

  18. mariekeates says:

    Looks like a tough walk but worth it.

  19. Wow that is an amazing sight especially walking down the gorge…fantastic and unusual birds all around…nice place to visit….you do live around some of the most beautiful spots Donna.

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