Best Ways To Experience The Niagara Whirlpool

Best Ways To Experience The Niagara Whirlpool

Niagara Falls is a great place to visit to witness mother natures power at it’s best. Being the most powerful waterfall in the world, Niagara Falls is an incredible site to take in for any nature lover and thrill seeker. With several observation decks to view the magnificent falls, boat tours that get you up close and personal with the falls, endless entertainment options in the city of Niagara Falls Ontario and world class dining options, Niagara Falls has something for everyone to enjoy.

Whirlpool rapids

Aside from the popular Horseshoe Falls that attracts millions of visitors per year to this beautiful city, there is an incredible natural phenomena known as the Niagara Whirlpool located just a few minutes from the Falls. Although no where near as popular as the Falls themselves, the Niagara Whirlpool is also a spectacular site that every visitor must experience, especially the adrenaline junkies.

In this article we will explore some of the best ways to take in the Niagara Whirlpool. 

Whirlpool Aero Car

One of Niagara Falls oldest attractions is also one of the lesser known ones. Located in the Niagara Gorge a few km’s downstream from the infamous Horseshoe Falls lies the Whirlpool Aero Car. Designed by Spanish engineer Leonardo Quevedo in the early 1900’s, the Whirlpool Aero Car has been in operation since 1916. This antique cable car is suspended over 200 feet in the air by six interlocking steel cables that span a distance of 1,770 feet between two points on the Canadian side of the Niagara River. It can accommodate 35 standing passengers with the total round trip taking 20 minutes.

whirlpool aero car

During this trip you will get to see the Niagara Whirlpool from a birds eye view. Over 2,000 cubic meters of water per second rushing in a counterclockwise direction 200 feet below. This attraction is open to the public during spring, summer and fall, weather dependent of course.

White Water Walk

If viewing the spectacular Niagara Whirlpool from a birds eye view is not your cup of tea and you’d rather stay grounded, the White Water Walk is a great way to take in the sights at your own pace. After taking an elevator 70 meters down into the Niagara Gorge, you will enter a tunnel which leads to a 305 meter long boardwalk on the edge of what just might be one of the most magnificent stretches of whitewater in the world. Along the boardwalk their are two observation decks that allow you to get even closer to the rapids, all in the name of safety of course.

This stretch of river is known as the Whirlpool Rapids as it is where the Niagara Whirlpool is located. The water in these rapids is travelling at an impressive speed of close to 50 km/h, making it a class 6 rapid, in case any white water rafting enthusiasts are wondering. Three to Five meter high standing waves span the 4 km stretch of the Whirlpool Rapids making it the longest stretch of standing waves in North America. You can walk at your own pace on this boardwalk from mid-Apr to mid-Nov taking in not only the powerful forces of mother nature, but also the surrounding natural beauty that is the Niagara Gorge.

Whirlpool Jet Boat

Had enough of viewing the Niagara Whirlpool from outside and want to dive right into it… literally? Well then, the Whirlpool Jet Boat Tour is definitely for you. Not for the faint-hearted, the Niagara Jet Boat is operated by professional captains who will take you for a rip down the river at 80 km/h using 31,000 lbs of thrust to get it through the class 6 rapids. During the trip your guide will talk about the history of the Niagara area as well as the impressive mechanics of the jet boat you are doing the tour in.

Some of the highlights of this round trip tour include the surrounding 170 ft. canyon walls, the Niagara Gorge power plants and the Whirlpool Aero Car above. The climax of the trip is definitely the rush of passing through the Niagara Whirlpool which will toss the boat around, surely getting everyone on board soaking wet from head to toe. Due to the extreme nature of this tour, it is only available during the warmer months of the year, usually from May to mid-Oct, weather permitting.