If you’re interested in birding, the Niagara River corridor is the place to do it. The entire corridor has been declared by the Audubon Society to be an “Important Bird Area,” as well as a Ramsar site. The Niagara River is the site of various types of wetlands, including marshes and swamps. These are very inviting for migratory birds, such as gulls and waterfowl and songbirds.
The Niagara River wasn’t always such a welcoming place for migratory birds. In the past, it was highly polluted, which was devastating for birds and, most especially, for fish. Highly sensitive, fish stuggled to survive in the polluted waters. Now, however, much effort has been undertaken to restore the waters and the wetlands and the smaller islands in the Niagara River, such as Motor Island and Strawberry Island. There is now great potential for ecotourism along the Niagara River Corridor.
If you’re interesting in hiking along the Niagara River Corridor, I would suggest the Riverwalk from the marina in downtown Buffalo to Gateway Park, which separates the City of Tonawanda from North Tonawanda. As that entire route is about eighteen miles, you might want to break it up, and complete the walk over the course of several days.
On Grand Island, there are a number of good places to hike that offer you a view of the river.
They include Beaver Island State Park with a bunch of trails that take you near the river or along the beach; Buckhorn Island State Park, which is a restored wetland and bird sanctuary; and the West River multiuse trail, which is an especially wonderful place to view the sunset.
If you want to walk in Lewiston, I’d suggest starting your walk in the village of Lewiston and then head out toward the riverwalk. From there, you get a spectacular view of the Lower Niagara River.
After walking for about three to four miles, you will reach the Stella Niagara Preserve, which is a large plot of land that was formerly part of the Stella Niagara Educational Park. It is now owned by the Western New York Land Conservancy, and it will be maintained in its natural state for perpetuity.