Step – by – Step Directions: How to See the Niagara Whirlpool for Free (with a little physical effort)

Saturday May 27, 2017 Memorial Day Weekend (mid-morning)

niagara whirlpool trail

Cut with wooden beams, the stairs were impossible to see from the street. Upon approach, they looked almost vertical, descending directly into a small river valley, a pathway extending out towards the Niagara River. The landing was buried deep in mud, sucking on shoes with each step. Still, persisting, the tree covered dell promised an eventual draining. Fishermen loaded with only a pole and a tackle box passed easily, as if the stairs were flat pavement and the mud was dry dirt. Closer and closer to the whirlpool, yet the trees and bushes begrudged any hint of mighty Niagara. Without warning, the forceful, churning current, fresh from its 51m drop on Niagara Falls only 5km ago swirls, filling the picture. An extraneous, paved block jutted out on the shore, just over the water with no clear purpose but, perhaps, as a resting place for angler’s lures and tourists backsides, mesmerized by the swirling eddies. Overhead scooted the Whirlpool Aero Car, back and forth, with heads and cameras bobbing over the sides, catching the rapids from an aerial perspective.






Difficulty and Timing:

This hike is accessed from the Ontario side of Niagara River. The stairs, the mud and the winding trail (especially next to the Niagara River) makes this hike moderately difficult. We spent an hour round-trip, hiking to the Niagara river and slightly further before returning. The Niagara River took about 15-25 minutes to reach, depending on ability. You can make this a longer hike by hiking further out next to the Niagara River.


1.       Enter “Whirlpool Golf Course” into the GPS / Google Maps

About 3 km past the White Water Walk and 2 km past the Whirlpool Aero Car

Note about the White Water Walk: if you are strapped for time or have physical limitations, you can pull up a front row seat for the white water rapids at river level this way. However, be warned that this way costs about CAD $12.50 and you’ll encounter a few more tourists this way.




2.       Park Across the Street (It’s Free!)

parking across from whirlpool golf course

3.       Walk to the Right, Towards the Stairs, Down to the River

4.       Take in the Amazing View