The Maid of the Mist is in the USA, in Niagara Falls, NY. Located inside Niagara Falls State Park, the attraction is at the base of the NY Observation Tower near the American Falls. While often confused and thought to have the same name, only the US boat ride is called Maid of the Mist. The Canadian version is known as Voyage to the Falls, operated by Niagara City Cruises by Hornblower.
Is Maid of the Mist Worth It?
While seeing the Falls from land is beautiful, the best way to appreciate this natural wonder is by riding the Maid of the Mist. While it is touristy, experiencing the Falls from an on-the-water view is a must-do activity, and you can’t get any closer to the Horseshoe Falls than via a Niagara boat ride. The Maid of the Mist was so exciting and one of the top things I did in Niagara Falls, so I highly recommend it.
History of the Maid of the Mist
In 1846, the Maid of the Mist steamboat started as a better and more profitable way to transport people, luggage, mail, and cargo, than the previous rowboats. In 1848, the construction of the suspension bridge hindered business, and thus the Maid of the Mist adjusted to become a sightseeing adventure. Throughout history, these boats have constantly been improving, from steam to diesel to now electric, all to have better performance and provide the best experience.
When Will the Maid of the Mist Open for the Season?
The Maid of the Mist opens each year in either late April or early May. The opening of the Maid of the Mist 2023 season is currently TBD. Once open, the boat ride runs until early November.
Does the Maid of the Mist Go Behind Niagara Falls?
The Maid of the Mist goes alongside the American Falls before bringing you into the mist of the Horseshoe Falls. It does not go behind Niagara Falls, but the boat travels to the bedrock of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls. No attractions on either the American or Canadian side take you behind the Falls, but attractions like the Maid of the Mist and the Cave of the Winds bring you up close and personal.
How Long is the Maid of the Mist Tour?
The Maid of the Mist tour is 20 minutes of excitement. Starting at the base of the Niagara Gorge, the boat passes by the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls before heading into the Horseshoe Falls mist zone. After the 20-minute boat ride, walk along the side of the American Falls for another view.
How Often Does the Maid of the Mist Run?
The Maid of the Mist boat tour runs every 15 minutes and departs from the US side of the Falls near the NY Observation Tower in Niagara Falls State Park. This frequent running time keeps wait times to a minimum.
Maid of the Mist – Hours of Operation
Season Open to Late May: 9 am – 5 pm
Late May – Mid June: 9 am – 6 pm
Mid-June – Early August: 9 am – 8 pm
Early August – Early September: 9 am – 7:30 pm
Early September – Late October: 9 am – 5 pm
Late October – Early November: 9 am – 4 pm
Hours are approximate, and some hour extensions on weekends and holidays.
Note: The Maid of the Mist is closed for the late fall and winter, reopening in the spring.
Maid of the Mist Tickets
You can buy tickets online via the Maid of the Mist website or at their ticket office for a same-day visit. An adult ticket starts at 28.25 USD, with a discount available for youth and groups. Maid of the Mist Tickets bought online are valid for the whole season, and tickets purchased at the office are only for same-day use. Tickets do not reserve your entry time, and boats board on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Note: Tickets aren’t available once the season closes in November and reopen for purchase in January for the new year.
What To Wear On Maid Of The Mist Boat Tours
Deciding what to wear on the Maid of the Mist boat tours is important for a comfortable journey. You’re bound to get a bit wet due to the powerful spray from Niagara Falls.
Regular shoes are fine to wear on the boat but you may want to consider flip flops to avoid soaking your shoes. Although the rain slickers provided by the Maid cover your body up to your knees everything below will get wet.
Therefore wearing shorts is a practical choice.
Remember there are no lockers on the boat to store extra clothing or items. To keep your personal items such as camera bags and purses dry you might want to use a shoulder strap bag and tuck it under your poncho.
And if you keep a change of clothes avoid heavy items like wet jeans as they might adversely affect your comfort and trip experience.
Interestingly Cave of the Winds offers flip flops to their visitors which can be handy for other wet attractions like the Maid especially if you opt for the plastic bag approach. However this is not recommended because it might cause you to slip on wet surfaces.
Stay Dry On The Maid Of The Mist
To make your Niagara Falls adventure on the Maid of the Mist boat tour as enjoyable as possible staying dry is essential. Besides protecting your body you need to be mindful of the other items you carry.
The ponchos offered on the Maid are large enough to tuck your possessions underneath keeping them protected from the mist generated by the falls.
A reliable yet simple way to keep your belongings dry is by using a waterproof backpack or bag. This is not only useful for your Maid of the Mist tour but also beneficial while exploring other attractions in Niagara Falls State Park.
Keeping a few zip-top bags handy can further ensure your essentials like mobiles and other electronic devices stay moisture-free.
Alternatively first ensure to check the local weather report of the day. This way you might time your visit on a less rainy day enhancing the overall comfort of your boat ride.
After all navigating the waters close to the world’s most powerful waterfall is an experience to cherish.
Dressing Tips For Maid Of The Mist
When it comes to the Maid of the Mist boat tour one of the top Niagara Falls attractions dressing up appropriately is key. Here are some expert tips:
- Wear shorts and flip flops mainly because your clothes from the knees down will get wet.
- Your regular shoes are fine but since they may get wet lighter footwear like flip flops is recommended.
- Since lockers are not available on the boat carry the minimal essentials.
- For a hands-free experience opt for a shoulder strap bag.
On this Journey to the center of the earth the ponchos provided are large enough to tuck personal items underneath ensuring everything remains dry.
Keeping Personal Items Dry On The Boat
Keeping your personal items dry on the Maid of the Mist can sometimes be challenging due to the spray from the powerful waterfall. Some tips include:
- Under the poncho given you can stash your purse camera bags and backpacks.
- Consider wearing the provided flip flops rather than risking wet shoes.
- While some people use plastic shopping bags on their shoes be aware of the risk of slipping on wet surfaces.
Ultimately being prepared and taking preventive measures will offer a dry enjoyable experience of this water wonder of North America.
Footwear Suggestions For Maid Of The Mist
Wearing the right shoes on the Maid of the Mist can greatly enhance your visit. Given that rain slickers only cover the body up to the knees your legs and feet can get quite wet.
It’s recommended to wear flip-flops or other water-friendly shoes to keep your feet comfortable.
You can also use the flip-flops provided at the Cave of the Winds saving your regular shoes from getting wet. However if you choose to wear your regular shoes they’ll dry off as you spend the day exploring Niagara Falls.
Some visitors use plastic shopping bags over their shoes to keep dry. However this is not advised as it can cause accidents due to slipping.
Packed your extra shoes in your backpack or bag is the best approach to safeguard against wet shoes.
Remember the best footwear choice may vary depending on the local weather the day of your visit so always check ahead and dress accordingly for maximum comfort on your