Niagara Falls Daredevils have become as much a fabric of the Falls as the Maid of the Mist, Rainbow Bridge and Cave of the Winds. In other words one cannot visit Niagara Falls without hearing of the exploits of the Niagara Falls Daredevils who braved the mighty cataracts have challenged Niagara.
What is so fascinating about the Niagara Falls Daredevils ? Maybe it’s the the thrill that comes from watching these individuals risk their lives to prove they can conquer the Falls. Or perhaps it’s just the sheer curiosity that comes from wondering what type of device or contraption they will use to ride over the brink of the Falls and slam into the Niagara river.
The fact is Niagara Falls has attracted these colorful daredevils like a magnet attracts raw iron. Since the 1800’s several men and one woman have challenged Niagara Falls. Some Niagara Falls Daredevils have achieved success and fame while others have faded away or suffered a horrifying and grisly death.
Niagara Falls Up Close offers some insight and history on a few of the better known Niagara Falls Daredevils who took the plunge in a barrel or in two cases, walked the wire. Some of the information is common knowledge while some may offer an insight to these would be heroes.
Today it is illegal to challenge Niagara Falls unless permission is granted first, which almost never happens. The significant recent exception was Nik Wallenda, who received permission from both American and Canadian governments before walking across the Horseshoe Falls in 2012.
Some of the more famous Niagara Falls Daredevils who are profiled here at Niagara Falls Up Close are Nik Wallenda, Annie Taylor, Charles Blondin and Nathan Boya. Soon, others like Steve Trotter, Karl Soucek, Red Hill, Bobby Leach and “Smilin Jean” Lussier will be added to the list.