The story of Niagara Falls began about 18,000 years ago with advancing ice caps. After the ice melted, it left a waterfall that flowed into the Niagara River. Over time, this inundation eroded nearby cliffs, creating the wonder of nature that we know today.
Nowadays, the nature reserve is located on the border between the United States and Canada, and it is one of the most famous tourist attractions in the world.
Although French explorer Samuel de Champlain first heard rumors of a huge waterfall in the region in the early 1600s, it wasn’t until 1678 that Niagara was first spotted by Europeans. That year, a priest named Father Louis Hennepin was witness to the astonishing spectacle on an expedition to what was then known as New France.
Five years after his discovery of the falls, priest Hennepin published A New Discovery, in which he described his incredible find. It was in this publication that the name Niagara first appeared — believed to have originated from the Iroquian word “onguiaahra,” meaning “the strait.” From the moment Westerners became aware of the falls, more and more people started travelling to the region.
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