Niagara Falls State Park: Luna Island

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Western NY Parks

In September, I set out with a road trip buddy to visit some park units in upstate New York. For me, the highlight of this trip was visiting my 100th National Park Service unit. That puts me at Bronze status in the National Parks Traveler’s Club. After Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site we headed to Niagara Falls. After our trip on the Maid of the Mist, we headed into the park, stopping first on Luna Island.

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls consists of three waterfalls which span the Niagara Gorge along the United States and Canadian border. Horseshoe Falls, the largest of the three, straddles the border and is also called the Canadian Falls. The smaller American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls lie on the New York State side of the border.

Goat Island in New York separates the Canadian Falls from the other two falls. The Niagara River forms all of the falls as it runs through the gorge. These are the most powerful waterfalls in North America. Nearly 6 million cubic feet flow over the falls every minute.

In 1883, then governor Grover Cleveland authorized land acquisition to create a state park to preserve the area around the Falls. Canada followed suit and created the Queen Victoria Niagara Falls Park on the Canadian side.

Luna Island

Luna Island sits between Goat Island and Niagara Falls State Park on the mainland. It causes the split between the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls. A bridge crosses from Goat Island to Luna Island, allowing spectators a close-up view of the two falls.

The full moon used to cause lunar rainbows to appear in the mist over the falls. That’s how the island got its name. Since the park began illuminating the falls at night, the lunar rainbows are no longer visible.

Western NY Road Trip

Location: Vista Point, Niagara Falls, NY
Designation: State Park
Date designated/established: 1885
Date of my visit: September 26, 2022

6 thoughts on “Niagara Falls State Park: Luna Island

  1. Your Niagara Falls pieces bring back memories of my early childhood when my family lived not far away and took visiting relatives and friends there. Still a small child, I liked to count the license plates from all the visitors from different states and provinces, and now and then, a real winner from far away as México. I remember the barge near Goat Island not far from the edge of the falls.

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