Hike the Whirlpool Rapids trail and Ongiara trail in the Niagara Gorge

We'll meet at the Whirlpool State Park parking area. From the restroom shelter, we'll follow the path to Deveaux Point for a view of the whirlpool and the rapids below. We'll continue down river about 3/8 of a mile to the whirlpool stairs and the gorge trail below. After descending into the gorge, we'll walk up river, reaching a major rock fall below the point. We can choose either the orange blaze trail leading us down to the whirlpool sandstone and around the point near river level, or the pink trail leading us to a few rock falls and onto a level old rail bed. Both paths reconnect up river, splitting off again into mid-gorge and river level paths. These two trails reconnect at the stone stairs and the old viewing platform for the trolley line that once rain through here. This is the end of the trail, in which we'll turn and head back to the whirlpool stairs.

Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult; some boulder hopping involved
Distance: 3.25 miles roundtrip

At the whirlpool stairs, you can either return to your vehicle via the staircase or continue on the Ongiara trail toward the Power Authority plant. It's about a 1.25 mile hike upstream to the Devil Hole's staircase, and less than 1/2 mile to an rock outcropping along the river's edge. Upon returning to the staircase at Devil's Hole, we will ascend to the top of the gorge and take the Whirlpool Rim trail back to our vehicles.

Ongiara trail/Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 1.25 miles

Whirlpool Rim trail/Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 1.25 miles

The pace will be a moderate one. 

Proper foot ware is recommended.

Sorry, but no dogs will be allowed on this hike.  

Please fill out the liability form and email to [masked]

http://www.buffalohikingclub.com/files/ReleaseOfLiability.pdf

This hike will be cancelled in the event of inclement weather.  Due to the somewhat rough and difficult terrain that we would encounter, it would be in the best interest to do so.

However, instead of flat out cancelling the hike for those of us that don't mind hiking in the rain, I will substitute it with a hike on the upper and lower trails of the Lewiston/Artpark Niagara Gorge section.  We'll just meet in parking lot D (just off of South 4th St) at Artpark. 

This trail section starts at the edge of the Niagara Escarpment where Niagara Falls began over 12,000 years ago.  There are two trails:  the upper trail parallels the gorge at mid-level, and the lower trail follows close to the Niagara River.  Both trails officially end under the Lewiston-Queenston bridge.

Trail Difficulty:  EASY

Distance:  2 miles round trip on each trail

Optional additional hike of the trails in Oak Hill Park will also be scheduled.  This small park is located just off of parking area D.  Some points of interest on this hike is an ancient Indian burial mound dating back to 140 AD, along with sculpture located along the Upper Pathway. 

http://www.artpark.net/content/pages/oak-hill-tour


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  • Rebecca

    Missed hiking with folks this weekend but glad you all had fun. I'm headed back to WNY tomorrow and look forward to some good BHC fun :-)

    1 · November 10, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      We missed you on the hike; you would have love it! Hope you had fun on your get-away. Have a safe trip back.

      November 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Another totally awesome hike. Great hiking with old friends and great meeting some new people. Sorry about the mix up with the parking situation. I didn't realize that were two parking lots.

    November 10, 2013

  • Vin S.

    I def would have enjoyed ur hike today...though my hike today was just fine:) I hiked. it says 17 attended? and 20 was the limit....does this happen often? I like to plan my weekends in advance. If u see me signed up, it means I will be there. I understand this is a meetup site, I'm just curious how groups work in buffalo because I like to hike, however I don't like to wait. Thank you for ur response..V

    November 10, 2013

    • Gary

      Each event host runs his or her hike signup as they feel works best for them. Just send the event host an email if the you have any questions about the hike after carefully reading the hike information. For example, I require releases of liability on my hikes, and limit my hikes to 12 people. Other event host might not require releases. They might have a hike limit of 6, or 20, or no limit. Some might allow dogs, some might not.

      1 · November 10, 2013

    • Vin S.

      ok. thank you Gary. I did already have release, printed & signed. Next time I will contact leader directly and they will confirm a def plan for me, however, I do like to plan for me, and me only. thanks again, V

      November 10, 2013

  • Karen P (Twin 2.

    This was my first time on these trails and it was absolutely beautiful! Thank you, Susan, for organizing this fantastic meetup! As usual, we had a mix of familiar friends and new members. What a fun workout! Thanks, Dave, for carpooling the Twins!

    3 · November 10, 2013

  • Dave J.

    First time on this hike. It was neat to get in the Gorge.

    1 · November 10, 2013

  • Gary

    Looks like it was a lot of fun - who needs the sun when you have a great place to hike with great people to hike with?

    4 · November 10, 2013

  • Sandra B.

    4 are here at the address posted. Not sure if we are in the right place???

    November 10, 2013

  • Erin H.

    Slightly behind schedule but I'm coming

    November 10, 2013

  • mike D.

    The limit is 20 so feel free to move in to hike. Those on waiting list

    November 10, 2013

  • Kathy W.

    Just making sure all is a go this am for hike

    November 10, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Family from out of state came in unexpectedly. Someone please take my spot. Hope we can do this again sometime

    November 10, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Sorry to hear that Kelly. Hope to see you soon another hike.

      November 10, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Same here. Pesky relatives stay away when there's snow

      November 10, 2013

  • Erin H.

    My inbox is out if control and my printer is out of ink. Can someone bring a liability waiver for me (if its needed)

    November 9, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I'll have blank ones with me.

      November 10, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Spot open

    November 10, 2013

  • Vin S.

    Hey Susan. Did u finish ur 46 yet? I'm on my way:) What are the chances a spot will open up for this hike? I will be driving from the Rochester area...

    November 6, 2013

    • Vin S.

      I prefer tough hikes. Bushwacking is fine. My number is[masked] 1175. Let me know when u know of a Sunday hike that pertains to such. Thx, Vinny

      November 8, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Gary does bushwacking hikes, you ought to check out what he has scheduled. You may also like the hikes that Rebecca leads; hers are fast paced and some of the terrain encountered can be on the tougher side. Just keep checking the schedule for any hike being posted. Hope to see you soon!

      November 9, 2013

  • Kathy W.

    Hi, my friend and I will meet you Whirlpool Park paking lot at 9:30

    November 8, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      We'll see you then! Glad you and your friend will be able to join in on the hike!

      November 9, 2013

  • Dave J.

    I tried to reply below. Would not go. I will pick up the twins at the park and ride in O.P. at 7:50 and meet Susan at EMS at 8:30 and follow her to the trail head. I will have room for 1 more.

    1 · November 8, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Just look for the black SUV with NY plate# LIV2HIKE.

      November 8, 2013

    • Karen Mol (Twin 1.

      thanks Dave - see you Sunday at 7:45am OP park n ride - TWIN 1!!

      November 8, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi everyone. Looking forward to hiking in the Gorge on Sunday. I still haven't received some of your signed Liability Waivers. Could you please forward them to me at [masked] - thanks. Those of you who were having problems in forwarding a signed one to me, don't worry, I have plenty of blank ones that I'm bringing to the hike. Thanks again.

    November 8, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I will be going directly there from city of Tonawanda :-)

    November 8, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Ok Kelly. We'll see you in the parking lot then

      November 8, 2013

  • Mary Ann G

    Just wanted to comment on the weather. I was hiking there a couple of weeks ago when it was inthe 40's w/high winds. It was much calmer down in the gorge. So don't let a little wind keep you away!

    November 8, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      My only concern would be rain, as I understand the trail can become quite treacherous when wet. That's why I have a back-up hike planned in the event of inclement weather. The weather, so far is looking good for the hike.

      November 8, 2013

  • Dave J.

    Susan, looks like Karen & I are going to ride together. Is there a chance we could meet you some ware and ride together or at least follow you?

    November 5, 2013

    • Karen Mol (Twin 1.

      Dave - got room for TWIN 1 - I really need a hike!!

      November 6, 2013

    • Karen P (Twin 2.

      Yes, Dave, can my Twin ride with us? The three of us could meet at the O.P. Park and Ride! Maybe around 8:00?

      November 6, 2013

  • Sandra B.

    So do be clear, we are all meeting at 3180 Deveaux Wood Drive?

    November 6, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Yes. I guess that's the current name of what used to be called Whirlpool State Park. The park that is accessible from the Robert Moses Pkwy, between the Discovery Center and Devil's Hole State Park.

      November 6, 2013

  • Dave J.

    Is anybody going to carpool from Orchard Park?

    November 4, 2013

    • Karen P (Twin 2.

      I would like to carpool, as well!

      November 4, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I can fit 4 people comfortably in my SUV.

      1 · November 5, 2013

  • Sandra B.

    I live in tonawanda,by the mall. I can drive and take three with me

    November 4, 2013

  • Barbie L

    I need to decline...someone can have my spot.

    October 31, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I'm sorry that you won't be able to attend Barbie. Hopefully we'll be able to hike together soon.

      November 4, 2013

  • Linda P

    sorry I had to change my RSVP, my plans changed and I have to be at the airport by 2.

    November 2, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Sorry to hear that you won't be hiking with us. Hopefully we'll see you real soon!

      November 4, 2013

  • Barbie L

    Am I allowed a guest? Thanks. It would be my adult son. Is this place easy to find? Thanks.

    October 31, 2013

  • Kathy W.

    I see you only have one spot left, and my friend and I wanted to join this hike- let me know if possible, thanks

    October 31, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      You're more than welcome to RSVP for the hike and bring one guest.

      October 31, 2013

  • Kenneth K.

    I would luv to attend but you are so full. I will hike with gary

    October 27, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      If you change your mind Ken, you can come as my guest.

      October 27, 2013

  • Erin H.

    I love this trail, its close to my office and I hit it after work sometimes. You may want your hands free to steady yourself at times.

    October 19, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Looking forward to hiking with you Erin!

      October 21, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I just want to thank everyone for signing up for the hike. It's going to be great being able to spend time outdoors doing what we love to do!

    However, I need those who signed up for the hike to forward the Release of Liability form to me. You'll find the link to the form below the hike's description. Just email it to me at [masked]. Thanks everyone. See you on 11/10!

    Susan

    October 16, 2013

  • Rebecca

    Wish I could attend but I will be in Vermont this weekend-- have a great hike!

    October 9, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Have a great time back home! We'll see you soon.

      October 10, 2013

  • Carla

    Hello fellow ADKer! Unless scheduling presents some conflicts I will join you on your hike of the gorge. It never disappoints as one of the most beautiful hikes.

    October 2, 2013

    • Carla

      Wanna try? I consider myself to be a capable mentor. I am a two-time graduate of the ADK Winter Mountaineering School AND they honoured me by asking me to be an instructor. So, if you and others would like a FREE winter mountaineering tutorial, let me know and I will set one up.

      October 4, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Sounds great, but I don't know if I'm up to such an undertaking just yet. Maybe in a few years.

      October 9, 2013

  • Chris

    Where does one find the liability form? Thank you!

    October 3, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I'm so sorry Chris; I forgot to include the link to the form. It's on there now.

      October 3, 2013

  • Maureen A

    A great hike I am sure!!

    October 2, 2013

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