Difference between Niagara Falls and Horseshoe Falls

Key Difference: Niagara Falls are the waterfalls located on the Niagara River. They comprise of three waterfalls: The American Falls and Bridal Veil in the United States of America and the Canadian ‘Horseshoe’ that falls in Canada. Thus, Horseshoe Falls can be referred to as one of the Falls forming the Niagara Falls.

Niagara Falls consists of three separate waterfalls. Two of the waterfalls are situated in the United States and one is located in the Canada (American falls, Bridal Veil Falls and the Canadian Horseshoe falls). The Bridal Veil is the smallest among them. Man-made attractions of Niagara Falls include Maid of the Mist, Table Rock Scenic Tunnels, Spanish Aero Car, Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum, Marine land, Casino Niagara, IMAX Theatre, and the new Butterfly Conservatory. American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls are separated by a small piece of land called Luna Island.

Horseshoe Falls are also known as the Canadian Falls. It is one among the three falls on the Niagara River. It is considered as the jewel of Niagara as it is the largest of the three waterfalls which together make up the great Niagara Falls. Approximately 90 percent of the water that flows from the Niagara River flows over the sections of the Horseshoe Falls. An island named as the Goat Island separates the American and Bridal Veil Falls from the Canadian Horseshoe Falls.

Comparison between Niagara Falls and Horseshoe Falls:


Niagara Falls

Horseshoe Falls

Origin of the name

Iroquois Indian word “Onguiaahra” meaning “The Strait”.

These falls were named for the horseshoe-shape of the canyon and recess.


United States of America-Canada Border

Falls in Canada

Elevation (m)



Width of crest line

The American Falls and Bridal Veil have a total crest line of about 1,100 ft.

Horseshoe Falls has a crest lien of about 2,200 ft.

Number of drops



Age (approx.)

Nearly 12,000 years

Nearly 12,000 years


Melting of glaciers

Melting of glaciers

UNESCO World Heritage Site




The American Falls and Bridal Veil in the United States of America and the Canadian ‘Horseshoe’ that falls in Canada.

Horseshoe Falls is a part of Niagara falls in Ontario, Canada.

Image Courtesy: adventure.howstuffworks.com, niagarafallslive.com

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