Devil’s Hole State Park, Niagara Falls, New York

The view from the observation deck

Located off the Robert Moses Parkway and down river from the Whirlpool State Park, Devil’s Hole State Park is open all year round and offers picturesque scenery, fishing, and hiking down a 410 step winding stone stairway. Restrooms are located on the northern end, above the stairway system. Finally, two cave systems and a recreational area offer places for gatherings.


Devil's Hole State Park can be accessed by driving north on the Robert Moses Parkway. The park will be located on the right. Two parking lots are accessible on the left of the Parkway. A pedestrian path and bridge over the Parkway are available in the first parking lot. According to both parking lots can accommodate eighty cars. The gorge itself is not open to vehicles. However, the entrance to the stone stairway, located near the restrooms, offers anyone willing to make the trip on foot access to the gorge.



According to, a large waterfall that formed over ten thousand years ago created the Devil’s Hole gorge. The melt water from the end of the ice age, which also formed Glacial Lake Tonawanda, created a large waterfall that carved the notch of Devil’s Hole. The slowly receding Niagara Falls also contributed to the creation of the gorge by carving the beautiful cliff side of the Niagara River. The once great river that originally cut the gorge into the cliff side would one day shrink into the “Bloody Run Creek.” This creek is now only visible as a tiny trickle after a heavy rain. The path of the former waterfall created the 300 foot deep Devil’s Hole Gorge and two cave systems the park is now known for. According to the park was officially established in 1927 although in recent years the park has lost more land to the Robert Moses Power Plant and Parkway.

Devil’s Hole Massacre:

According to, Devil’s Hole obtains its namesake from the September 14th 1763 attack on a convoy by Seneca Indians. Only three settlers survived this attack one of them being, John Stedman, who alerted a British rescue party at Fort Gray. When the party returned to Devil’s Hole they were again attacked this time leaving no survivors. According to troops returning days later found eighty dead bodies thrown over the cliff side. The water flowing through the small creek was so saturated with blood the creek was re-named “Bloody Run Creek”.



Rockslides can happen so please be careful

Devil’s Hole is listed on the “difficult” level for hiking ability on Although the pathways and stone staircase are very visible time and weather conditions have led to deterioration. Many stairs are uneven or damaged creating uneven and somewhat dangerous passes. During winter months the threat of falling rocks pose an added danger to hikers.

During the summer, spring and fall Devil’s Hole offers a long trail that stretches down the Niagara River and meets with the Whirlpool State Park. Inexperienced hikers should be warned that the pathway to Whirlpool State Park narrows out in several places and will be extremely difficult to navigate in winter.

Hiking off the pathway offers a unique perspective for experienced hikers. Just off the stairway are several dirt trails that follow the path of the small waterfall that once ran down the gorge.

The Cave of the Evil Spirit

Located on the northern side of the park is a cave known as “The Cave of the Evil Spirit.” The cave is a mere four-feet tall and only thirty feet deep but it is a local hangout especially for Niagara University students. Danger can be posed to cave explorers as rocks slides and cave-ins are somewhat frequent. It is also worth noting that the area around the cave is especially slippery and unstable following a rainstorm and should be avoided during winter.

The trail leading to Whirlpool State Park also passes a wide cave carved into the gorge that is easy to explore. On the top of the cliff side, and above the larger cave there is another smaller cave. Although extremely hard to reach the view from this cave offers a breath-taking view of the gorge. During and after a rain storm a small waterfall appears in these caves. The waterfall shown in the larger of the caves is the most easily accessible. Explorers can literally walk up to the waterfall or stand underneath it. There is also a fire-pit located in the larger cave.


The fast moving waters just below Devil’s Cave have been known to produce excellent fishing for Salmon, Trout and Steel-heads. In fact according to, “major fishing journals and television shows have called this one of the premiere freshwater fishing locations in the country.” The oxygen rich water also contributes to a high fish population especially during salmon season.

However, fishermen should still be warned that the fast moving water in close proximity to the Robert Moses Power Plant could still pose a danger to anyone close to the water. It is worth noting that signs posted around the park discourage swimming of any kind, thus contact with the water should be kept at a minimal. It is also discouraged for fisherman to stand on the rock formations in the river that are accessible from the shore by a rock beach. Although the rock formations are easy to get to, because of the Robert Moses Power Plant the tide can change unexpectedly and strand fishermen out in the water.

Paranormal Activity:

According to local legends the lime stone cave located in Devil’s Hole is cursed. The cave, known as “The Cave of the Evil Spirit” is said according to and Buffalo Paranormal Travel Examiner, John Crocitto, to bring misfortune on anyone who enters the cave. An urban legend documented on tells the story of a man named, LaSalle, who heard a strange voice coming from the cave that predicted his death and misfortunes.