So after spending a few days at Niagara Falls, I wanted to get in the water. Rarely is something so dangerous, also so peaceful. Despite the certain demise of jumping into the falls, it certainly was tempting. Perhaps that’s why the Cave of the Winds and the Maid of the Mist are so popular – you feel the mist in your face and you just want to immerse yourself into the crisp, clear water.
Where near Buffalo can I take a dip? Buffalo Harbor State Park – there’s lots of green space for biking and walking.
I visited Gallagher Beach which is adjacent to the park. While there is no sand, the beach boasts a nice lagoon protected by a seawall. Looming over like a decaying building was the Cargill Grain Elevator. It’s a great spot to go boating, and on this particular windy day, there were lots of windsurfers.
Due to potential toxins in the water, you’re not allowed to swim. The beach is located close to superfund sites and has traces of PCB from it’s industrial past. There’s also a stormwater drain that spews chemicals into the water when it rains. But that didn’t stop this wandering explorer from taking a dip. I didn’t see any algal blooms, but if there were, the high winds (20+ knots) would spread the toxins airborne.
Where I should have gone instead was Woodlawn Beach on the eastern most part of Lake Erie. It’s a one-mile long natural sand beach which is popular with swimmers and sun bathers.
But this was convenient and I wanted to head over to the Naval Park next.