Cruising the River with Niagara Jet Adventures

Jet boat: a boat propelled by a jet of water ejected from the back of the craft. Unlike a powerboat or a motorboat that uses a propeller in the water below or behind the boat, a jet boat draws the water from under the boat into a pump inside the boat, then expels it through a nozzle at the stern.

Historic Youngstown, New York (15 minutes north of Niagara Falls, NY) is a charming, award-winning Village located right at the mouth of the Niagara River and directly across from Niagara-on-the-Lake. On the north end of the Village sits Old Fort Niagara, an amazing piece of the past that allows visitors the opportunity to tour and learn about the original 18th century buildings (their French Castle is the oldest stone building on the Great Lakes) and the many empires that struggled for control of the North American continent going west and south through the gateway of the Niagara River. Just down from the Fort, is the main street of Youngstown, which offers quaint shopping and dining experiences. Come this summer though, the operators of Niagara Jet Adventures are making Youngstown even more of an awesome tourist destination, by bringing many fresh faces in to discover this underappreciated historical and naturally beautiful gem.

Starting in May of 2014, Youngstown will be the launching port of Niagara Jet Adventures, a company offering a whole new and different way to experience the wilds of the Niagara River.

The boats (three of them, named Gonago:Go:h, I, II, and III which is Seneca for “in the rapids”) are Niagara Class jet boats that were built specifically for the rough waters of the Niagara River, by one of the best jet boat makers in the world, Chris Bohnenkamp, of Bohnenkamp’s Whitewater Customs in Idaho. According to outdoorsman, and business man Michael Fox, who co-owns the company with Bohnenkamp, “these boats not only have low exhaust emissions, but low sound emissions as well. They were made to have the least amount of impact on the environment as possible, and were developed to make sure that the amazing asset that allows the tours to take place, the Niagara River, is being respected at all times.”

The 1700 horsepower boats take guests through the Class 5 whitewater rapids leading to and in Niagara River’s famed Whirlpool Rapids; they can get up under the waves, allowing passengers the full experience of the river, but without getting soaking wet. “It’s perfect, because guests can go on a jet boat ride, and then check out the rest of Youngstown, without needing to factor in a change of clothing, and a reapplying of makeup, redoing hair, etc.,” said Fox. And while the rides are fast and fun, they are also informative, with tour guides (or navigators) providing background on geological and historical landmarks on both the U.S. and Canadian sides that you can only see from the river.

The boats have enclosed cabins for guests that are climate-controlled allowing them to run during all seasons unless there is ice in the river. The interior seats all have a good view of the elements and are also spring-assisted for added guest comfort. If guests do want to get wet, Niagara Jet Adventures can accommodate that as well as each whitewater tour boat has a ‘wet deck’ on back of the boats for those more adventurous souls. Seats are limited on the ‘wet deck’ so it is first come-first served. And, if you really want to get wet and have some excitement Niagara Jet Adventures can accommodate you with their new New Zealand style ‘Spin Boats’ which have been equated to a 20 passenger Jet Ski on steroids.

The core group of captains navigating the boats cumulatively have decades of white water jet boating experience, and know the Niagara River inside and out. It is a river that changes daily, depending on weather and the control of water flow. Paul Grainger, the head captain for Niagara Jet Adventures, notes that when he is piloting a boat, he treats it exactly as if he is an airline pilot, the safety of passengers being his main concern at all times.

Niagara Jet Adventures will be offering wild rides through the Niagara River, as well as the chance to rent out their boat for parties, weddings, even sunset tours (Youngstown is known as the Key West of the North due to the spectacular sunsets that can be seen there).

The combination of a thrilling ride, spectacular setting and an intriguing narration makes Niagara Jet Adventures not your average jet boat ride, but a journey worth taking.

To find out more info on booking yourself a spot on a Niagara Jet Adventure, check out and, or follow them on

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