When you step on a Maid of the Mist boat, from either the U.S. or Canadian side, you are embarking on the second-most popular boat tour in North America. Get ready for an exciting — and wet — adventure past American and Bridal Veil Falls, right into the ferocious mist and spray of Horseshoe Falls.
Maid of the Mist began as a ferry service between the U.S. and Canada in 1846. It was converted into a tourist attraction after the first suspension bridge across the Niagara River Gorge opened in 1848.
Two Maid of the Mist boats operate on the U.S. and Canadian shores, just south of the Rainbow Bridge. On the U.S. side, the entrance to the boat ride is within Niagara Falls State Park. On Canadian soil, drive down through Queen Victoria Park to Maid of the Mist Plaza where you can park and purchase tickets. Service on both sides is first come, first served and both are wheelchair accessible. In peak season, expect to wait up to three hours.
Before boarding, you will be given a plastic poncho to help keep you dry. There is no seating and no washrooms on the boats. Both the upper and lower decks are flat, so if you aren’t very tall, board early enough to get a place near the railing for a view.
Maid of the Mist begins operating in April or early May, depending on when the ice disappears from the river, then continues until late October. Check the website for the seasonal schedule of departure times.