Tonawanda News


May 12, 2013

Walking tours throughout region dabble in history, geology, ghosts

Tonawanda News — As the weather warms up and the sun comes out, people across Western New York are pulling out the walking shoes, and not just to participate in the latest 5K or to take in a hiking trail.

It’s walking tour season and in an area known for its breathtaking natural wonder, rich history and architectural treasures, there are plenty options for your feet and eyes to take in.

Whether you’re looking for a way to entertain your out-of-town guests, or you want to see and learn a little more about your own community’s history, there are plenty of options for historical, architectural and even scary tours of Western New York.

To narrow your choices, we’ve profiled a few unique tour offerings specifically in Niagara County and the Tonawandas regions.

Gussied up

The founders of the Encounter Niagara tours feel that to really reach their audience, they need to dress the part.

Kenmore resident Peter Green helped his wife Danielle Green found the tour company in 2009 in an effort to provide a “richer blend of tourism,” Peter. 

After three years of success with Encounter Niagara, Peter recently joined Horizon Club Tours of AAA of Western New York as a sales executive, providing marketing support for the company, now run entirely by Danielle.

Prior to joining AAA, Peter was a mainstay guide, performing Gov. Dewitt Clinton (of ditch fame) and Augustus Porter (who owned much of the land around Niagara Falls in the early 19th century). Now most of his work is in promoting Encounter Niagara and other tours in the area.

Explaining the impetus behind formering Encounter Niagara, Peter explained “in terms of focus there was not a lot explaining the history, heritage” of the Niagara region.

He and the other guides — performing characters like Nikola Tesla and Celinda Eliza Whitney (after whom one of the Three Sisters Islands is named after) — give first-person narratives of the history of the Niagara region, mostly around the falls, but also including areas like Love Canal, the Tonawandas during a tour of Erie Canal, and a War of 1812 tour going from Buffalo to Niagara Falls.

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