Niagara Gorge Forest Walk

The Niagara Gorge runs for about 11 kilometres (~6.8 miles) along the Canada/United States border. On the Canadian side, there are a few trails along the gorge that allow hikers to get reasonably close to the Niagara River. One of those trails leads to the Niagara Whirlpool. This article shares a few photographs captured during a recent hike on this trail.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 6.7-13 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 6.7 mm, efov 18 mm, f/5.6, -1.0 step, 1/60, ISO-400

The trail to the Niagara Whirlpool begins with a rough stairway that helps hikers navigate their way down to the forest floor.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 6.7-13 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 6.7 mm, efov 18 mm, f/5.6, -1.0 step, 1/60, ISO-400

As you reach the forest floor the trail begins and threads its way along a steep, treed valley.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 10 mm, efov 27 mm, f/5.6, 1/40, ISO-160

Some care needs to be taken on the undulating portions of the trail as you will need to travel on a very rough, rock strewn pathway. During the fall these rocks are covered with leaves which can be quite slippery when wet.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 18 mm, efov 49 mm, f/8, 1/30, ISO-400

Much of the trail is an easy-to-navigate foot path.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 6.7-13 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 6.7 mm, efov 18 mm, f/5.6, -1.0 step, 1/100, ISO-400

There are a number of image opportunities along the route including a tribute to a fallen Canadian soldier.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 100 mm, efov 270 mm, f/5.6, 1/200, ISO-400

You’ll also find some interesting details along the way.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 6.7-13 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 6.7 mm, efov 18 mm, f/5.6, -1.0 step, 1/50, ISO-400

I captured a number of images along the route with my camera held close to ground level. This allowed me to incorporate rocks and trees from a more intimate angle.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 24 mm, efov 65 mm, f/8, -1 step, 1/200, ISO-1600

As you reach closer to the Niagara River the pathway has some steep sections requiring more care. You also may find that there is a bit more breeze, necessitating somewhat faster shutter speeds.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/500, ISO-560

Once you reach the shoreline of the Niagara Whirlpool you may be treated to one of the jet boats roaring by. If you have a telephoto lens with you some dramatic images are possible.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 12 mm, efov 32.4 mm, f/8, 1/40, ISO-400

After doing the return hike you’ll be greeted by over 60 steep steps taking you back up to the parking lot located on the Niagara Parkway.

Technical Note:
All photographs were captured hand-held in available light using Nikon 1 gear as per the EXIF data. All images for this article were produced from RAW files using my standard process of DxO PhotoLab, CS6 and the Nik Collection.

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4 thoughts on “Niagara Gorge Forest Walk”

  1. I always enjoy to see your photographs in various arenas
    and countrysides. I just wonder if you are attracted by the new Nikon mirrorless camera, namely the Nikon Z6

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the images David! The fact that the Nikon 1 system is mirrorless was never a factor in my decision to use it. For me, the 1″ sensor was the key purchasing factor as it allowed me to be far more efficient with my client video work, and also gave me a small, capable system for my other photography needs. So, the new Nikon mirrorless cameras are of no interest whatsoever to me as I have no desire to go back shooting with a full frame system.


  2. Hi Tom,

    It’s always interesting what your heightened senses can pick up and notice during a forest walk — the leaves on your feet, the beauty of fungus on the dead trees, a tribute to a fallen soldier. A camera can heighten one’s senses to these and more and it’s a blessing to have come across the mementoes of your walk.


    1. Very true Oggie! I think for many of us, the simple act of holding a camera in our hands shifts our visual perspectives and opens up the world around us as we seem to see it through ‘new eyes’.

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