It's where the expression, soaking up the experience takes on a whole new meaning — a VERY wet meaning.
And, you also put on rubber sandals and a bright yellow souvenir poncho, walk town a series of wooded boardwalks AND have one of the most unbelievable experiences ever — getting WET.
IF you are visiting Niagara Falls (and on land) you are at the Cave of the Winds and start the journey begins an elevator ride 175 feet down into the Niagara Gorge. Then, geared up, you follow a series of wooden walkways along Niagara River to the "Hurricane Deck' where the rushing torrents from the Bridal Veil Falls creates tropical storm-like conditions with winds up to 68 mph. Rainbows are usually visible day and night.
The Cave of the Winds was an overhanging ledge at the top portion of the gorge where the waters of the Bridal Veil Falls flowed over. Due to this rock overhang, a cavern formed behind the cascading water. The cavern was discovered in 1834 by Joseph W. Ingraham, who had spotted the cave from above the gorge. The first two people to walk behind the Bridal Veil Falls into this cavern (Barry Hill White and George Sims) named it "Aeolus' Cave" after the Greek god of winds. Later, it was renamed Cave of the Winds.
Until a staircase opened in 1829, sole access into the gorge was using a ladder or a rope. By 1879, the Cave of the Winds was so popular that $1 was charged to visit it.The first accident there was in 1857 when a rock fall near the cave sent rocks falling onto tourists at the base of the gorge causing several fractures.The second accident was in 1920 when rock fell from the ceiling of the cavern, killing three people and injuring several others.
In 1925, elevators were installed to provide transportation from above the gorge to the bottom of the cave. Due to water erosion, engineers determined that the cave entrance was too dangerous; the ledge which had blocked the water was at risk of collapsing. In 1955, the cave was destroyed by a controlled dynamite blast.
The elevator takes visitors down to the level of the Niagara River at the base of the American Falls. Visitors then walk over a series of wooden red decks and platforms to the base of the Bridal Veil Falls with water crashing down and flowing beneath the decking.
The decking is removed each fall due to the potential damage caused by ice buildup at the falls, then re-installed each spring by park officials. And, FYI, the decking is not secured to the rocks below by bolts or other construction materials; the wood beam supports are just wedged into the rock crevices.
Yes, we BOTH got VERY wet too!