The world has been beating a path to the Buffalo-Niagara region since shortly after Father Louis Hennepin became the first European to describe the “prodigious cadence of water” that is the mighty Falls in 1678. That early trickle of tourists became a steady stream after the completion of the Erie Canal in 1825, and a torrent when the railroad linked western New York State with points east. Today, millions of tourists from around the world continue to come by plane, train and automobile to experience the majesty of Niagara Falls. Increasing numbers of visitors are making the short 20-minute drive to nearby Buffalo, attracted by its reputation as a home to great art, architecture and cultural attractions.
Buffalo lies at the western edge of upstate New York, on Lake Erie, at the start of the Niagara River. The river, which separates the U.S. from Canada, flows over Niagara Falls before emptying into Lake Ontario.
Buffalo was a terminus of the Underground Railroad, an informal series of safe houses for runaway slaves from the American south. After hiding at the Michigan Avenue Baptist Church, the slaves would take a ferry to Fort Erie, on the Canadian side, and to their freedom. To share in this historic experience, a trip to Motherland Connextions in Niagara Falls should be included in your plans. Understand the Underground Railroad by following the footsteps of those brave and hearty souls who took the secret passageways north to Canada.