With the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie out today, I felt it’s time we take a look at Niagara Falls’ own “Mermaid Nook”.
Back in the 1950s, the Schoellkopf power plant fell into the gorge. There’s a lot to talk about there, but that’s a story for another day.
What’s left of the plant is still lying around (although parts of it have been cleaned up over the years).
You used to only be able to access the Mermaid Nook by hiking the gorge from downstream. The hiking trail is a seriously brutal one, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, it can be quite dangerous.
In 2015, the Maid of the Mist restored the power plant’s elevator. You still have to get up to the trail to find the Nook, but it’s much easier to find it.
Last year, my friends and I decided to hunt for the mysterious Mermaid Nook. We found our way over to the lonesome elevator, and took the journey down to the bottom of the gorge.
We began heading up the trail, fully aware of the fact that everything was covered in poison ivy (mermaids don’t like to be disturbed!) We knew we were close when we spotted the twisted metal jutting out of the cliff edge.
Getting down to the Nook was the hardest part. The steps are old, and it is very hard to get down. Everyone fell. I escaped with only a few cuts on my hand, but my one friend scraped up his knee.
Then, we saw it.
It was the Mermaid Nook! The wall is actually quite steep. My friends were afraid to climb it, fearing that they’d fall in. Not this sheep! I carefully crept along the edge, crawling my way to the top of the first opening. When I looked in, it was stunning.
The Mermaid Nook was once the bottom of the plant. All the water used to fly out of the two holes in the back, producing power for the city.
Now, it’s become the Mermaid Nook. It’s perfectly calm: not even a ripple. Of course, if you’re in the right place at the right time, you might spot one of Niagara’s mermaids…but of course, that is another story for another time.
We climbed our way back up the gorge, and spent the rest of our day enjoying Niagara Falls. I definitely have to go back some day, and try to spot one of those elusive mermaids!