Niagara Falls Observation Tower (Prospect Point)
Niagara Falls Observation Tower, also known as the “Prospect Point Observation Tower,” is an observation tower located in Niagara Falls State Park in Niagara Falls, New York. It offers one of the most comprehensive views of the American Falls, a section of the iconic Niagara Falls.
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General Information & Brief History
- Height: The tower stands at approximately 282 feet (86 meters) above the base of the gorge.
- Accessibility: Elevators located in the tower provide access to the base of the gorge and the boarding area for the Maid of the Mist boat tours.
- Views: Visitors are afforded unobstructed views of the American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and into Canada. The observation deck provides panoramic views perfect for photography.
Picture taken from Niagara Falls Observation Tower
Admission to the park is free, but there are taxes for the Observation Tower and all other attractions. The fee for the Observation Tower is $1.25, but if you buy a ticket for the attractions it is canceled.
You can also use the lift to get down to where the Maid of the Mist boats depart, or just look at the waterfalls from another angle.
|September 5 - October 3||8:30 AM to 7:00 PM (Sun-Thurs)
8:30 AM to 8:00 PM (Fri-Sat)
|October 4 - October 31||8:30 AM to 7:00 PM|
|November 1 - November 5||9:30 AM to 4:30 PM*|
|November 6 - December 23||10:00 AM to 4:30 PM*|
|December 24 - December 26||Closed|
|December 27 - December 31||10:00 AM to 4:30 PM*|
Why you need to visit Niagara Falls Observation Tower
Unparalleled Views: The tower offers a comprehensive, unobstructed view of all three falls – the American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and a portion of the Horseshoe Falls. The elevated perspective from the tower provides a unique vantage point that ground-level viewpoints can’t match.
Access to Maid of the Mist: The base of the tower is the boarding point for the iconic Maid of the Mist boat tours. Taking the elevator down from the tower to the base of the gorge allows you to embark on a boat journey to the very heart of the falls – an experience that is both thrilling and humbling.
Educational Value: Around the tower and within the state park, there are numerous informational plaques and exhibits that detail the history, geology, and significance of Niagara Falls. It’s an excellent opportunity for both adults and children to learn while enjoying the sights.
Photo Opportunities: The tower’s height and location provide perfect angles for photography. Whether you’re looking to capture the broad expanse of the falls, the city skylines of both the U.S. and Canada, or a stunning sunset backdrop against the cascading water, the tower is a photographer’s dream.
Accessibility: The tower is designed to be accessible, with elevators that transport visitors from the top of the tower to the base of the gorge. This means that even those with mobility challenges can enjoy the breathtaking views and access the boat tours.
Proximity to Other Attractions: The tower’s location within Niagara Falls State Park means you’re close to other attractions like the Cave of the Winds, nature trails, and picnic spots. It can be the starting point of a full day’s adventure.
Night-time Illumination: If you visit during the evening, you can witness the falls illuminated in a myriad of colors – a mesmerizing sight that’s even more magical from the tower’s elevation
Connection to Nature: Beyond the falls themselves, the surrounding area is rich in flora and fauna. The tower gives you a bird’s eye view of the surrounding landscapes, the Niagara River, and the gorge carved out by centuries of erosive force.
Early Viewpoints: Before the construction of the modern tower we see today, there were various platforms and vantage points that allowed visitors to take in the views of the falls. However, the powerful erosion forces and the changing landscape often meant these viewpoints had a limited lifespan.
Tower Construction: The present-day tower was conceived as a way to provide visitors with a durable and safe observation point. It was constructed in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The tower was opened to the public in 1961.
Design and Features: Standing at roughly 282 feet (86 meters) above the base of the gorge, the tower has an elevator system that takes visitors down to the base of the gorge. This access is particularly essential as it’s the boarding area for the iconic Maid of the Mist boat tours, allowing tourists to experience the falls up close.
Renovations: The Niagara Falls Observation Tower has seen several upgrades and renovations since its initial construction. These updates ensure the tower’s safety and its ability to accommodate the millions of visitors that Niagara Falls attracts each year.
Role in the Park: Beyond being a mere observation point, the tower plays a significant part in the operations of the Niagara Falls State Park. Its base serves as the launch point for boat tours, and the tower itself acts as a hub for visitors seeking information, wanting to capture the perfect photograph, or simply to enjoy the beauty of the falls.
Significance: Over the years, the tower has maintained its significance as a beacon for tourists. It stands not just as a vantage point but as a symbol of the continuous effort to allow people to experience the majesty of Niagara Falls in varied ways.
Experiencing the Majesty: My Visit to the Niagara Falls Observation Tower
The roar of the cascading waters was faint as I approached, a distant murmur, hinting at the grandeur ahead. But nothing, absolutely nothing, could prepare me for the panoramic spectacle that awaited me at the Niagara Falls Observation Tower.
The day began with a palpable sense of excitement. Everyone I’d spoken to had emphasized that no trip to Niagara Falls was complete without visiting the Observation Tower. They said it offered unparalleled views, and as someone who thrives on capturing perfect moments with my camera, I was eager.
Stepping into the tower’s elevator, my heart raced. Ascending, I could feel the air growing cooler, the rumble of the falls growing louder. When the doors slid open, I was greeted with a sight so breathtaking that for a moment, time seemed to stand still.
From this vantage point, the vastness of Niagara Falls unfurled before me. I could see the Horseshoe Falls in its rounded glory, the American Falls in its majestic drop, and the smaller Bridal Veil Falls, shimmering like a bride’s veil in the sunlight.
The Observation Tower’s design is nothing short of brilliant. It extends out over the Niagara Gorge, ensuring an unobstructed view. No trees, no buildings, just you and the cascading waters. The mist rose from where the waters crashed, creating rainbows that felt close enough to touch. I leaned on the railing, feeling the cool mist on my face, the wind tousling my hair, and took a moment to just… breathe.
Walking around, I noticed plaques detailing the history of Niagara Falls. I spent time reading about its formation, the Native American legends surrounding it, and its role in industry and power generation. As a lover of both nature and history, this was an added bonus.
While the panoramic views were the highlight, what added depth to my experience was the distant sound of the rushing waters below, punctuated occasionally by the delighted gasps and murmurs of fellow visitors. Children pointed excitedly, couples took selfies with the falls as a backdrop, and more than one artist sat sketching the scene.
As the sun began its descent, painting the sky in hues of orange, pink, and purple, the falls seemed to change in character. The waters shimmered in the fading light, and the entire scene felt even more magical.
My day at the Niagara Falls Observation Tower ended with a sense of profound gratitude. Not just for the visual treat but for the symphony of sounds, the play of light and shadows, and the dance of the mist and rainbows. The tower, with its expansive decks and comprehensive views, truly offers an experience that imprints on your soul.
Leaving, I carried with me memories of a place where nature’s power and beauty converge and a reminder of how small moments of observation can lead to profound feelings of connection. If Niagara Falls is nature’s grand theater, then the Observation Tower is the best seat in the house. And I’m infinitely glad I didn’t miss the show.
- Address: 332 Prospect St, Niagara Falls, NY 14303, United States
- Phone: +1 716-278-1794
How much does the Niagara Falls observation tower cost?
The observation tower costs $1.25 USD, but it is free if you buy tickets to the Maid of the Mist.
Is the Niagara Falls observation tower open year round?
No, the Niagara Falls Observation tower is not open on official holidays or when it is unsafe for visitors to remain on the deck due to weather.
How tall is the observation deck at Niagara Falls?
The Height of the observation deck is 282 feet (86 m)
Hey there, adventure seekers! I’m Nicole Valerio, your personal guide to the awe-inspiring world of Niagara Falls. With a background in Environmental Science and a pen that never rests, I’m on a mission to take you behind the mist and into the heart of one of Earth’s most spellbinding natural wonders. Join me on this unforgettable journey as we explore every nook and cranny, capturing moments that will leave you in awe. Get ready to be spellbound by the power and beauty of Niagara Falls!