Visit Goat Island Niagara Falls New York USA
Goat Island is located within Niagara Falls State Park in Niagara Falls NY USA. Phone: 1-(716) 278-1794
Parking is available year round from dawn to dusk. Rates range from free to $20.00 – tax not included. parking information
It takes 30 minutes to walk around the islands 1.5 mile-2.4km perimeter.
Open every day of the year from sunrise to sunset. current hours
There are no fees to visit Goat Islands Three Sisters Islands, Terrapin Point or Luna Island. Fees apply for the Cave of the Winds.
Visitors average 60-120 minutes here.
Restrooms available. Limited picnic tables available.
Food services are available in season at the Over the Falls restaurant near Terrapin Pointe.
The Niagara Scenic Trolley stops on Goat Island.
For better or worse Goat Island no longer has any goats. John Stedman, an early pioneer kept a herd of goats on the island. The animals all died in the terrible winter of 1780, but gave the island its name. In 1879, botanist Frederick Law Olmsted, wrote that he had traveled four thousand miles throughout the continent “without finding elsewhere the same quality of forest beauty which was once abundant about the Falls, and which is still to be observed in those parts of Goat Island where the original growth of trees had not been disturbed”.
Olmsted concluded that the spray from the Falls created a natural nursery for indigenous plant life. The preservation of the island as parkland is due to the early efforts of Augustus Porter, who in the middle 19th century recognized the long-term value of the Falls as a tourist attraction. Porter purchased the island and later allowed a group of Tuscarora Native Americans to live on the island and sell their crafts to the tourists who came to the Falls by stagecoach and early railroads. In spite of pressure, Porter refused to tame the environment on the island. In 1817, he built a toll bridge to the island for tourists. It was swept away by ice, so another was built the following year downstream. British Naval officer and world traveler Basil Hall called it “one of the most singular pieces of engineering in the world”. Almost seven hundred feet long, it soon became the best-traveled walkway in the region. In 1885 the island was included in the Niagara Falls State Park which is the oldest state park in the U.S.A.
This video showcases the Canadian Falls from Terrapin Point on Goat Island.
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