Niagara Falls NY Local

Does Niagara Falls Turn Off at Night?

News when the American Falls were turned off in 1969

Every second 3,160 tons of water flows over Niagara Falls. There are rumors the Falls run dry at night after the lights go off. Tourists often ask, “What happens to Niagara Falls at night? Does someone turn it off?”  No, all that the water does not stop. However, there are some times when the water flow changes. The American Falls did run close to dry in the summer of 1969. The Falls were also reduced to a small trickle of water in the spring of 1848. These historic events may be where the rumors started.

Power Plant Impacts

Water levels do change almost nightly. Water intakes along the Niagara River in both New York State in the USA and Ontario in Canada, draw a portion of the water from the river before it can go over the Falls.  The water diverted into the  intakes is diverted to go through power plants, producing electric energy.  Over 4 million kilowatts of electricity can be produced by the Falls.

The power authorities can adjust the amount of water they draw and it is not uncommon to draw more water overnight than during the day. The overall water level of the Upper Niagara River often drops at night due to this process. So while the Falls don’t stop flowing, there is technically less water going over Niagara Falls at night and more going through the power plant.

If you’d like to learn more about hydroelectric power generated from the Niagara River, spend an afternoon touring the Niagara Power Vista.

Shutting Off Niagara Falls in 1969

In 1969, man walked on the moon, Sesame Street aired their first season, the Beatles played their last performance together, an event named Woodstock happened and Niagara Falls ran dry.

The United States stopped almost all water from going over the American Falls in New York during the summer of 1969.  A dam diverted the water toward the Horseshoe Falls in Canada, allowing geologists to study the erosion happening.  For roughly six months the American Falls were practically shut off.

1848 Ice Jams Divert Water

Water flows into the Niagara River from Lake Erie.  Each spring, the ice from Lake Erie travels down the Niagara. In March of 1848, huge ice flows created a natural dam, reducing the water at Niagara Falls to a trickle for a short time.

This natural occurrence is unlikely to ever happen again, since the US Army Corp of Engineers now puts an ice Boom in the water every winter, to control the flow of the ice.

More about the Falls

No matter when you go to see Niagara Falls, there will be plenty of water flowing.  Night is a great time to explore the American, Horseshoe and Bridal Veil Falls. For more information on what you can see at night, visit our page about viewing at night.

Niagara Falls Tourist Attractions Opening for Summer

Maid fo the MIst one of the most popular Niagara Falls Attractions

The summer tourist season is almost here. Many of Niagara Falls’ tourist attractions and services are opening for the busy travel season.

Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours opened last week. This adventure ride up the lower Niagara River is an exhilarating ride will show you the beauty of the Niagara Gorge from the safety of your boat. Expect to get completely drenched!

The Maid of the Mist, the area’s most famous boat ride, takes you right up to Niagara Falls. There’s no better way to grasp the majesty and power of the Falls than looking straight up at the waterfall from the middle of the Niagara River. Opening day has not been officially announced, but is likely to be within the next week. This year the tour boat company will begin using emission-free electric boats.

Fireworks over the Falls begin Friday night, May 17th. This 6-minute display begins promptly at 10 PM and lasts about 6 minutes. You’ll want to have your camera ready to capture the beautiful display of fireworks directly over one of the wonders of the world.

Getting to and around Niagara Falls State Park is easier with public transportation options added for the summer.  Niagara Falls Scenic Trolley is already operating for the 2019 summer season. Discover Niagara Shuttle begins running on May 24th.

Fantasy Island Theme Park is just 10 minutes away from Niagara Falls on Grand Island. It’ a popular place for families to spend the day when staying in the Falls for the rides, shows and water park. Fantasy Island is open on weekends in May and will expand operating hours to a daily schedule in mid-June.

For more information on these and other attractions and services, as well as links to their websites, check out these pages:

Area Attractions

Travel and Transportation







Lewiston Smelt Festival

Sample free Smelt at the Lewiston Smelt Festival

Lewiston’s Smelt Festival

The town of Lewiston, NY celebrates smelt season with a free event, where you can sample fried smelt for free. Close to 400 pounds of smelt will be handed out. Donations to support local charities are encouraged.  Additional food vendors and a smelt-eating contest and live music add to the festivities.  Many area restaurants also offer smelt on their menus.

When: Friday, May 3rd, 2019 from 5-10PM

Where: Academy Park in Lewiston, 890 Center Street

For more information, visit the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce.

What’s a Smelt and Why a Spring Smelt Event?

A smelt is a small fish, usually growing to about 7 or 9 inches long.  They can grow much larger. They are important food for larger fish like bass, salmon and trout.

When the water temperatures begin to rise into the 40s, the smelt appear in schools. Fishing enthusiasts can spot them with a flashlight after dusk and dip for them with nets.


Welcome to our new travel information site for Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls NY

Welcome to Niagara Falls New York Local, the website dedicated to what to do and see in Niagara Falls, NY.

Niagara Falls spans the US-Canada Border with the American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and Goat Island on the New York state side and the Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side. Not all tourists have the credentials to cross the border and see this natural wonder from both sides.

This website is dedicated to travel information to guide anyone visiting Niagara Falls from New York State.

So where does the “Local” come in? Area residents created this tourist information site, using our own knowledge and opinions. We aim to be inclusive of as many local options as possible and share tips for where we’d take our guests, park, eat and more.

The site is new in 2019. We’re still adding and welcome your feedback.

Most of all, we hope you come and visit Niagara Falls on the American side in New York, one of the wonders of the world!