25 things to do under $25—The Cave of the Winds
July 05, 2012 at 1:51 PM
The Cave of the Winds attraction brings visitors breathtakingly close to Bridal Veil Falls using a series of wooden walkways and platforms situated along the Niagara River.
Although the natural cave no longer exists, it was originally called Aeolus Cave (named after the Greek god of winds) and was discovered in 1834 behind Bridal Veil Falls. Tours began in 1841 but halted in 1920 when a rock fall made the trail impassable. In 1954, the cave was demolished as a result of a destructive rock fall and the dynamiting of a threatening overhang.
Tours of the Cave of the Winds today bring visitors in front of Bridal Veil Falls rather than behind it.
The experience begins at the top of the gorge where guests receive souvenir ponchos and sandals before lowering 175 feet via elevator to the base of the American Falls.
The redwood decks guide guests alongside a vista of whitewater that rushes through a craggy outcrop of rocks at the bottom of the cataract. Guests ascend the platforms to the Hurricane Deck, just 20 feet from the torrents ofBridal Veil Falls. Tighten your poncho or prepare to get wet. The synthesis of water and high winds atop the Hurricane Deck mimics tropical storm conditions.
“Well, I’m pretty wet now but that was fun!” said Chris Shapiro of Chicagoafter spreading his arms out wide to fully experience the Hurricane Deck.
The tour brings guests right next to the falls and offers stunning views and awe-inspiring photo opportunities. The value for this one-of-a-kind experience is unparalleled. Adult admission is only $11 (USD) and tickets for children (6-12 years) are $8.
“It’s great that for around $40, my family can get so close to see the falls,” said Maggie Richards of Pittsburg who visited the Cave of the Winds with her husband and two children.
From May to September, more than 350,000 people visit the Cave of the Winds. During the fall and winter months, a crew from Thompson’s Waterseal deconstructs the connecting decks and stairways which, if left in place during the harsh winter, would be crushed by ice. Each spring, the crew rebuilds the deck and structure using fresh lumber.
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