The Niagara Gorge and the river that rushes through its basin is home to many natural wonders. From the Niagara Falls to the churning waters of Whirlpool State Park and beyond, the gorge is a wild landscape. And the Devils Hole State Park (on the New York, United States side of the river) overlooks much of these rapids, and was originally created because of those same chaotic waters.
The formation of the ‘devils hole’ is the result of a long geological process, and the site stands as a monument to the long history of the Niagara Region. Once, tens of thousands of years ago, this was the site of the Niagara Falls themselves before erosion moved them upstream to their current site. At this parkland, a creek once poured over the gorge into Niagara River at this point in a sizable waterfall. The creek has since been reduced to a minor trickle, but the water flow eroded a large semicircular notch into the rock facing of the gorge.
The parkland itself it 42 square acres large and features a varied selection of hiking trails. Follow one of the trails down a stone staircase to the base of the gorge to get a great up-close view of the rapids and the rock layers that have been shaped by the fierce waters of the Niagara River over the millennia. These can be fairly gruelling trails for the uninitiated and wet stone can be hazardous, so any visitors wishing to try the longer trails should exercise appropriate caution. Visitors not enthusiastic about hiking can just as easily set themselves up anywhere on the wide open ground for a fantastic picnic spot.
Fishing is allowed here and the waters here are particularly abundant in trout and salmon. Also look out for the various birds and fowl that gather at the Devils Hole to feed on the fish and roost on the rock outcroppings.
The State Park is a large sprawling monument to the unique geography of the region – a smorgasbord of rocky outcroppings, fissures, small cave systems and wooded land. It’s a small piece of Niagara that rewards both exploration and picnicking relaxation.
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