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Niagara Falls USA and Underground Railroad Heritage Tour

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Niagara Falls, United States
Niagara Falls USA and Underground Railroad Heritage Tour

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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon3 hours  (Approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
iconOffered in: English
Good for avoiding crowds
Instant Confirmation

Overview

Go back in time to discover the fascinating and important history of the Underground Railroad in the Niagara region on this 3.5-hour guided, small-group tour. Hear the stories from guides in period outfits. See the sites, like the suspension bridge over the Niagara River, that played a key part in shuttling tens of thousands of African-American people to freedom as they sought the best crossing points into Canada. Also included on the tour are hotel pickup and drop-off and a trip to beautiful Niagara Falls.
  • A 3.5-hour guided tour of sites related to the Underground Railroad in the Niagara region
  • Learn about the history of the Underground Railroad
  • Follow guides dressed in period costumes to help bring the tour alive
  • See Niagara Falls and learn about its connection to the Underground Railroad
  • Small group tour allows for better access to the guides and a more intimate experience
Saved to wishlist!
Guided Underground Railroad heritage tour
Guide in period dress
14-passenger van
Hotel Pick-up
Food and drinks
Gratuities
Admissions

Departure Point

Traveler pickup is offered
Air B&B's

Private Residents

The Underground Railroad was a network of secret routes and safe houses used by 19th-century African-American slaves in the United States to escape to freedom with the help of abolitionists and allies who supported their cause. This path from slavery to freedom ran right through Niagara, where tens of thousands of people crossed over into Canada in search of a better life.

This particular journey begins with convenient transport from your Niagara Falls area hotel. Prepare to go back in time to the 19th century, when the Underground Railroad shuttled slaves to freedom across the border.

The knowledgeable tour guides in period clothing emulate the “conductors” of the day — those people who transported the fugitives from station to station. Hear the stories and see the key sites in the area, like the suspension bridge over the Niagara River that led many slaves to a new life of freedom.

Finally, stop at breathtaking Niagara Falls to gain a better understanding of how the mighty falls, too, played a role in the Underground Railroad network.
Itinerary
Stop At:  
Motherland Connextions, Inc.
Travelers will have an opportunity to visit Underground Railroad Heritage sites along with general sites of interest.
Duration: 3 hours 
Admission Ticket Not Included
Stop At:  
Niagara Falls
Murphy Orchards Lockport - Erie Canal Historic Lewiston Historic Suspension Bridge Underground Railroad Interp. Ctr. Niagara Falls
Duration: 3 hours 
Admission Ticket Not Included
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Please be prepared to be picked up at the location point approximately 15 minutes prior to the tour’s departure time
  • Operates in all weather conditions, please dress appropriately
  • no minimunn required to sign-up for tour
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 14 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Motherland Connextions
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Niagara Falls USA and Underground Railroad Heritage Tour?
A:The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Face masks provided for travelers
  • Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
See all safety measures taken by Niagara Falls USA and Underground Railroad Heritage Tour.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during Niagara Falls USA and Underground Railroad Heritage Tour?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Niagara Falls USA and Underground Railroad Heritage Tour.
Q:
What is the social distancing policy during Niagara Falls USA and Underground Railroad Heritage Tour?
A:The policies on social distancing are:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
See all safety measures taken by Niagara Falls USA and Underground Railroad Heritage Tour.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Niagara Falls USA and Underground Railroad Heritage Tour?
A:The policies on staff health & safety are:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
See all safety measures taken by Niagara Falls USA and Underground Railroad Heritage Tour.

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Reviews

5.0
star-5
37 Reviews
2 stars
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1 star
0

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 37 reviews
star-5
Moving,Tactile Moments on a Superb Underground Railroad Heritage Tour
angegabb
, Oct 2021
I am of a generation that had only a cursive look at American African history via grade-school textbooks penned from Eurocentric perspectives. However, you're never too old to learn about one's history, or -- regardless of your ancestral/ethnic/national/racial backgrounds -- others' history. I learned through choked-back tears during Motherland Connexions' riveting tour that the complex history of enslaved African people in America -- wherein was developed an extreme form of institutionalized slavery called "chattel slavery" -- canNOT be extricated from American history. That most of my ancestors' brown, latte, tan and ebony bodies were traded for sugarcane (to create rum), spices, tobacco and cotton -- regardless of those ancestors' ages, from babies to adults -- makes me wince in psychic pain. That I am a biological alchemy of African-European-Indigenous ancestry (learned from oral history and proven scientifically through multiple DNA tests) long had created psychological conflicts (inner turmoil) due to love/hate of conquered/conquerors (i.e., Africans and Indigenous Americans raped, tortured and forced to labor without pay by English, Dutch, French, Spanish and Portuguese perpetrators of crimes against humanity). After decades of feeling shame, and being shamed, about my Blackness -- really, my Africanness -- I decided to confront the madness by reading all the books that my wonderful older brother had recommended and to begin taking excellent tours into American African history, such as Motherland Connexions' Underground Railroad Heritage Tour. Led by the charismatic tour guide and history-lover, Kevin C. in head-to-toe debonairness, the tour encompasses Pan-African history, economy and cultures so that we tour participants could comprehend the realities far back before the Underground Railroad concept -- which, as Kevin explained, was labeled much later, else the secret missions would have been discovered and ended. I appreciated how the tour was structured: beginning at the Underground Railroad Heritage Museum, to give us an overview via fascinating art, stereoviews, daguerrotypes, postcards, and myriad interactive films and exhibits. My mind was blown as I watched the precision dinner service at The Cataract House in Niagara Falls, N.Y. -- not only because of the sharp, militaristic movements but the clandestine coding that afforded enslaved Black persons their escape. As I would discover through tour guide Kevin's enthusiastic historical interpretations and narratives during this multilayered tour, timing was the key to one's escape. I wondered if the phrase "giving him the slip" dated back to the Underground Railroad or at sometime during the two centuries prior. After all, the year 1619 is the first so called "recorded" history of chattel slavery in the Americas. Remember and lest never forget: the Triangular Slave Trade, the Middle Passage, and all of the slave ports and slave markets -- some of which survived and which are grim tourism sites today). Whereas longtime travel host and tour guide writer Rick Steves got bubbly over the grand edifices of Dutch banks with ne'er mention of HOW the Dutch West Indies Company reaped in beaucoup dollars off the blood, sweat and branded and raped bodies and violated spirits of African and African-descended people FOR CENTURIES, tour guide Kevin C. is effervescent in delivering the truth of this crudely shrewd business of atrocity and annihilation. While, yes, abolitionists of many stripes helped bring chattel slavery in America to an end, I am most thankful to my direct yet distant ancestors who sacrificed their lives and who built this nation (the U.S. -- and other countries in the Americas) without pay but with much creativity and ingenuity, and who tried their best for decades to locate and reclaim kin from plantations far and wide ... always at risk of recapture. Two pivotal moments in this most excellent tour (date: 10/13/2021) for me were: standing riverside in Lewiston, New York, at the precise point where men manning ferryboats carried enslaved Black people across the Niagara River to Freedom. I leaned down to feel the grass and wanted to descend contemporarily built wooden steps so that I could dip my fingers in that historic river. Perhaps one day soon, in summer, I'll stay in accommodations in quaint, lovely Lewiston so that I could sail on that river. Lastly, the other very moving moment -- the pinnacle of the tour, for me -- was our non-rushed tour of the McClue Farm, which is the site of Murphy Orchard. The town: Lockport, New York. In "the boonies," as Kevin C. said beneath his dapper top hat. The McClue Farm's barn and magnificent brick farmhouse look as they did centuries ago. It was no cliche that we had stepped back in time! The orchard smelled sweetly of recently harvested fruit. Fruit trees were all around the property and in the distance was (is) a creek through which enslaved Black people waded and walked through in nightfall, risking drowning, bites by snakes and rats ... and capture by bounty hunters. As the late farmer-entrepreneur Cathy Murphy reminded us via her video documentary that she narrated not too many years ago (Ms. Murphy passed away five or six years ago): Enslaved people traveling through the creek waters couldn't even risk crying out from pain, lest attract attention and be caught. ... Seated in the antique barn's eerie ambience while I watched the poignant video of less than 20 minutes' duration, I silently wept behind my glasses and couldn't care less about the dustiness and faint smell of the original chestnut wood beams in the dampness of recent rain. Before and aft' the video, Kevin C. carefully escorted us 'round the barn's interior, and I could feel the souls of enslaved people who were hidden by the McClues more than 12 feet beneath a patch of barn floor that would have been covered with hay. Down there in a stone-walled "room," the transient "visitors" received subsistence, blankets and lifesaving shelter on this "stop" along the Underground Railroad -- itself an intricate system of paths from Up South to the North Country (Eastern Canada, especially the province of Ontario). I bent down to touch the stone around the escape hatch, and then I stood back up to feel the barn's chestnut wood columns. That definitely gave me a tactile experience of a historical space where, at least overnight, runaway enslaved Black people lived. (After all, they had to press on until they could be ferried across to Canada or driven across the bridge after being hidden beneath coverings on a horse-led coach.) Both sadly and rejoicedly, I contemplated my ancestors' varied fates. Musing about my own DNA test results and the population tracking that shows settlement of certain groups of ancestors in and around London, Ontario; and in larger numbers in the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island; and Nova Scotia, I was deeply moved. Kevin C. is generous in answering tour participants' questions. So, when I informed him of my part-Gullah and Geechee heritage (I was raised eating and cooking Lowcountry cuisine for years before my maternal grandmother surrendered to my litany of questions, especially about where our obsession about Red Rice, wild rice -- all rice -- came about), he educated me and all of us as follows: Gullah-Geechee people of the South Carolina Sea Islands and the Georgia Sea Islands were brought by British Loyalists. What an amazing, multifaceted tour experience! What a fantastic, and quite bubbly tour maestro! Merci beaucoup, Monsieur Kevin C., et laissez le bon temps rouler!!!
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
Go back in time, this tour takes you there!
james_e
, Oct 2021
What a great experience! Our tour Guide, Kevin, was a walking encyclopedia on the Underground Railroad in the Niagara region and well beyond. Two thumbs up 👍🏾 👍🏾!
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
We thoroughly enjoyed...
David_S
, Oct 2021
We thoroughly enjoyed this tour and I can say that I learned a lot. Our guide, Kevin, was excellent and had a wealth of knowledge. He was very easy to talk to and answered all my questions. After going on this tour and talking with Kevin I have a need to find out more about the UGR.
2 travelers found this review helpful
star-5
Fun and very informative
Erik_W
, Sep 2021
Kevin did an extremely thorough job explaining the history of the local area, and the national influences the Niagra region has had. I will be booking again with kevin once we stay on the Canada side!
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
Walk 10,000 miles to be free
Valerie_B
, Sep 2021
Seeing the narrowest part of the river where the slaves crossed. It was very emotional to also see the barn where they had to go down into the hole under a false floor and wait for someone to guide them to the boat. It is very hard not to feel the desperation they must have felt until they crossed the river.
2 travelers found this review helpful
star-5
Awesome knowledge of the Underground Railroad.
Eva_G
, Aug 2021
I enjoyed the Lewiston stop on the Underground Railroad. The monument was fantastic. The Cataract Hotel was an inspiration and a look at the strength of those who worked there and those they helped to escape.
star-5
Perfect for History lovers
Tana_G
, Aug 2021
Terrific! Kevin is knowledgeable and passionate about the Underground Railroad. The McClew farm is amazing and the video is so informative. I highly recommend this experience!
star-5
Very good tour experience
Kimberly_D
, Aug 2021
I love this tour anymore that’s looking to no more about black slavery please booked with this company he was excellent he really explained a lot about are black history that I didn’t no about an he explained everything I ask him didn’t leave no unanswered questions if I come back Nigeria falls I will definitely book with him 😊
star-5
Moving experiences with a Griot!
Bernice_D
, Aug 2021
Excellent educational tour on the part that New York played in the Underground Railroad experiences. Kevin Cottrell is very knowledgeable about this area and knew exactly where to bring us to have a connection with our ancestors! It was a very moving experience and one that we'll never forget! Thanks Motherland Connextions
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
Excellent
Dee
, Jul 2021
Kevin’s tour was outstanding. He picked us up on time, was knowledgeable of the Underground Railroad and shared a lot of history we were not aware of. We enjoyed visiting the McClew farm and hope it’s still around when we return to visit the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. The price we paid for this tour was well worth it. Thanks

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