551 South Transit Street
Lockport, NY 14094
Phone: (716) 434-4411
Fax: (716) 434-9649
Located along the Lockport section of the Erie Canal, this amazing underground boat ride is unique. Using a custom-built flat-bottom boat, visitors go on a half-mile trip through a man-made hydraulic raceway cut out of solid rock, the work of 19th century genius Birdsill Holly— the man who gave the world the fire hydrant and zoned steam heat. Accompanied by a guide and trained operators, the 1 1/4-hour ride is thrilling and perfectly safe. Check website for exact departure times and calendar.
This AAA Gem Attraction is a veritable journey through history, so much so that it was even featured on the History Channel. Starting in Lockport, passengers will sail through many worthy sights including the historical "Flight of Five", though the main attraction is when the vessel is actually raised 50 feet through Erie's only double set of locks. The ship passes beneath bridges and along the canal's cut-rock walls—accompanied by a narrated description of historical sites and Erie Canal folklore. Afterwards, you can enjoy a tour of the Canalside Emporium, with its Canal Interpretive Center and gift shop.
Located in Lockport northeast of Buffalo, this 18-hole private course features plenty of mature trees and shrubs as well as the ultimate water hazard—the Erie Canal. Not long at 5925 yards and par 71, this is one of the oldest courses in Western NY, going back to 1895. Facilities include a pro shop, teaching pro, putting green, a full-service bar and restaurant.
Step back in time and see what life was like in Amherst in the 19th century. This 35-acre historical park features twelve restored buildings, open for tours from April to mid-October. A large modern exhibit building has year-round displays on local history, along with antique radios, decorative arts and changing exhibits. The children's discovery room has hands-on exhibits, including a replica Erie Canal packet boat. The museum offers educational programs for youth, along with craft guilds, such as lace-making and Victorian dancing for adults. Annual festivals and events include a harvest festival, Scottish festival and a Victorian Christmas. -Christine Smyczynski
The faint-hearted need not apply, but if you like your thrills a mile high, then this skydiving club is for you. Located about 15 minutes northeast of the Falls and operating out of the Hollands International Field, the club uses two planes that hold up to 18 jumpers. Skydiving classes are also offered to help prepare you for that first jump. Most equipment is provided; all you have to bring are comfortable clothes and lots of courage. You must be over 18 and under 230 pounds to participate. See their website for more information.
This path, which is located in suburban Buffalo behind the Amherst Police department, has recreational trails for hiking, walking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. The 2.3-mile trail winds through the woods and along the shores of Walton Pond and Audubon Lake, which are home to native waterfowl. The woods that surround the lake comprise an old growth forest, which includes some 150-year-old trees. The trails are flat, making them perfect for novice cross-country skiers and snowshoers in the winter, and hikers and bikers in the summer. The library and town senior citizens center are also located adjacent to the park. - Christine A. Smyczynski
Built in 1993, UB Stadium at the University of Buffalo is an approximately 30,000 seater home ground for the football bulls. Though, primarily used for hosting football matches it also has A 400-meter racing track and other facilities such as press box, high-tech training facilities, meeting rooms and even luxury suites, thus making this stadium an A-list venue, and very deservingly so.
Parkside Lanes Inc., more popularly known as Game Zone Parkside Lanes makes bowling a pleasurable experience. Several bowling lanes and special bowling events are the best attractions at this center. There is both open and league bowling available for amateurs and pros. Parkside Lanes is also used occasionally as a venue for live music performances by rock bands. Its space has also been used for community events like a fund-raiser for a non-profit organization.
The Amherst Pepsi Center, a 182,000 square foot, two-story facility, is one of the largest recreational ice complexes in the country. The facility has four ice surfaces, which are used for recreational open skating, youth, adult and USA hockey, figure skating, and inline roller hockey. Located within the center is Performance Sports Training, an 8,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility, the premier sports training company in western New York. The center also has a pro shop, Front Row Sports, the largest supplier of sports equipment in the Niagara region. The center is surrounded with 20 acres of green space with 5 softball, 2 baseball, three soccer and a junior football field. Hours vary daily, call for skate times. – Christine A. Smyczynski
Beautiful views of the river and the strong winds gusting off it make Gratwick Waterfront Park a popular tourist destination almost anytime of the year. The park attracts families who love hosting picnics and get together events at the park. Besides this, one can also find kids playing football and other team games on the dedicated play field. Every year, the residents of North Tonawanda gear up for the Niagara River Rocks Concert Series which is held at the Gratwick Waterfront Park. Scintillating live music performances by artists and bands from across the country feature in its calender or events.
Situated in a National Historic Site building in North Tonawanda, this center offers a series of rotating monthly exhibits in its three galleries. The center also features performance arts, lectures, video and film and instructional workshops for children and adults. A non-profit organization, the center tries to concentrate on the promotion of local artists and artisans. There is also a gift shop where you can purchase artwork and hand-crafted pieces. Admission is free but donations are gratefully accepted to help with day-to-day costs.
Sports Performance Park is a unique state-of-the-art training venue for baseball and softball players. Staffed by trained professionals, it has 65,000 square feet of training area, including eight batting cages, two baseball simulator cages, pitching machines, eight pitching stations, a 13,000-square-foot training field with dugouts, and lots more. The facilities can be used by individuals or rented out by teams for a practice session. Patrons have the option to join as members to get special discounts and other perks. The facility is also available for birthday parties. Special clinics are held during school breaks and during the summer. Rentals start from USD25 per hour for the pitching mound. -Christine A. Smyczynski