Niagara Falls Luna Island and Goat Island Niagara Gorge
Tiny and uninhabited, Luna Island is nestled between the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls, which are two of the three cascades that compose Niagara Falls.
Luna Island is also situated along the north side of Goat Island at the edge of the Niagara Gorge.
Goat Island, which is the oldest state park in the United States, is located on the Niagara River in the middle of Niagara Falls. A small bridge offers access to Luna Island and crosses the rapids near Bridal Veil Falls.
Luna Island separates the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls. Originally called Prospect Island, it was renamed Luna Island in the 19th century because lunar rainbows were seen hovering above it on bright moonlit nights. These moon rainbows are rarely seen today because of the nightly illumination of the falls.
Approximately three-quarters of an acre in size, Luna Island is mostly made up of a thick layer of dolostone rock and originally was blanketed with white cedar trees.
From 1954-1972, Luna Island was closed to the public. Bedrock beneath the island grew unstable and there was concern that rock could fall. The de-watering of the American Falls in 1969 allowed anti-erosion work, including removing loose rock, which stabilized the island.
Spectators on Luna Island can stand a few feet away from both Bridal Veil Falls and American Falls by walking across the island. Walking along Luna Island is a popular activity for people visiting Goat Island, which includes Terrapin Point (formerly Terrapin Rocks), an observation area located on the northwestern corner of Goat Island next to the Canadian Horseshoe Falls.
Terrapin Point is one of two major observation areas to overlook the falls and lower Niagara Gorge on the New York side. The other is Prospect Point, which is further downriver.
Before or after a hike in the Niagara Falls area, visitors can experience the stories of the many daredevils who have challenged the falls and the gorge and see relics from their adventures are showcased, at the new Daredevil Gallery at Niagara IMAX Theatre. The daredevil exhibit features the world’s largest collection of Niagara Falls history, including actual barrels and artifacts along with the engaging stories of Niagara’s heritage and tales of the daredevils.
The natural splendor of Niagara Falls and the dramatic adventures of daredevils of the past are vividly presented in the IMAX movie, “Legends and Daredevils.” The exhilarating film details the remarkable vistas of the raging waters of Niagara Falls and tells the story of when Native peoples Native peoples worshipped the thunder spirits, and when the first European encountered the region. The movie also introduces viewers to daredevils like the Great Blondin, who completed a death-defying tightrope walk over the river in 1860, and Annie Taylor, a 63-year-old schoolteacher who became the first person to plunge over the falls in a barrel.
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