There are no boundaries or borders when it comes to outdoor adventure in Western New York, especially as it relates to the counties of Niagara Falls USA and Orleans in the Great Lakes. There are so many similarities between these two areas that many people consider them one in the same. And if you are fishing, hiking, biking or boating, the borders mean nothing. 

From a fishing standpoint, both offer outstanding lake fishing out of the ports of Youngstown, Wilson, Olcott and Point Breeze. For the latter, anglers simply refer to it as “The Oak,” where the Oak Orchard River spills its bounty into the lake. We also have to mention the famed Niagara Bar at the mouth of the mighty Niagara River. Whether it’s for recreational angling, charter fishing or competition fishing, these waters possess some of the best salmon and trout fishing on the Great Lakes.

It’s no coincidence that the World Fishing Network named Olcott Beach in Niagara Falls USA the Ultimate Fishing Town in 2012. And in 2013, that distinction went to Point Breeze and the Oak. Not only does the area offer both quality and quantity, one glorious aspect of these productive fisheries is that it’s year-round.

Some of the top spring trout tributaries off Lake Ontario include Oak Orchard River, Johnson Creek, 18 Mile Creek and Burt Dam, and 12 Mile Creek. In the fall, these same waters are known for good salmon fishing, and trophy brown trout that quite often exceed double digits for weight. 

Let’s not forget the Niagara River both above and below Niagara Falls. The lower stretch of river is an incredible fishery. The best thing about the lower river is that you never know what you are going to catch. It could be a muskellunge or a sturgeon, a bass or a lake trout – that’s part of the mystique of these waters. Knowledgeable charter captains are available too, providing the boat, gear, and lures or bait. The exhilarating part of reeling in one of these tackle-busting fish is up to you. 

Starting at the Niagara River and running east through Niagara Falls and Orleans, the historic Erie Canal is ideal for boating, canoeing, kayaking, hydro-cycling and fishing. Hike and bike the tow path nearby or enjoy a leisurely cruise aboard the Lockport Locks & Erie Canal Cruisethrough the only set of double locks. During the month of July, don’t miss the Erie Canal Fishing Derby and the annual “Cycle the Canal” event–with over 700 cyclists traveling the 400 mile pedal tour from Albany to Buffalo.

The Niagara River Corridor is globally recognized as an Important Bird Area. And in Orleans County, the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge offers 10,000 acres of prime bird habitat, along with another 10,000 acres at the Oak Orchard and Tonawanda State Wildlife Management Areas nearby.

Niagara and Orleans offer wineries that form the Niagara Wine Trail, USA. The rich soil found below the Niagara Escarpment allows for vibrant fruit and vegetable growing. The Medina Railroad Museumhas a huge impressive toy train display, as well as a working train that runs from Medina to Lockport with themed excursions including Thomas the Train and the Polar Express.

There are four seasons of adventure when it comes to this prime piece of outdoor real estate. Discover more at

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