Today was a good day to visit Bird Island Pier at Broderick Park. I say that because of all of the rain last night. After a good downfall, the overflow waters from the Black Rock Channel empty into the Niagara River, which always makes for fun viewing.
There are a lot of reasons to visit this waterfront destination. Historically, it’s known as a crossing point for runaway slaves who were trying to make their way to freedom on the Canadian side of the river (learn more). Today was the first time that I came across the indoor interpretive center that spells out many of the horrific hardships that the slaves encountered, from being shipped to America, the impossibly hard lives that they endured working for their masters, and their dreams of freedom. For the lucky few, this dream would become a reality thanks to the Underground Railroad.
Then there are the incredible views, which should be greatly appreciated considering that so much of the Niagara River is bounded by the 190. It still amazes me how many Buffalonians don’t know how to get to Broderick Park, at the foot of Ferry. The park has been transformed in recent years, into a place that is now fairly clean, with lots of park amenities.
The park features include grilling stations, picnic tables, an amphitheater (great for communal seating, or eating lunch), and the pier itself – one of the best walking ventures in all of WNY. Unfortunately, our walk along the pier was cut short, as the break wall has been compromised. But that was towards the tail end of the pier – there’s still plenty that is intact, so don’t let this deter you from paying a visit.
Another solid reason to visit is the Broderick Park Station. The concession stand serves up hamburgers and hotdogs, steak sandwiches, chicken fingers, a BBQ pulled pork sandwich, fries, and ice cream cones. This is the perfect family eatery that takes care of everyone’s hunger and thirst needs.
After all, this waterfront destination is considered a family friendly outing that is historically informative, satiating, and a great way to get some exercise. Nature lovers will also love all of the waterfowl, including varieties of ducks, geese, gulls, and cormorants. Personally, I love watching the cormorants in action – they are such amusing birds, both in and out of water.
I don’t make it to Bird Island Pier nearly enough during the summertime. Over the last couple of months, I’ve been trying to get out to the outskirts of town more often, to visit county parks that are unfamiliar to me. Broderick Park happens to be just a few short minutes from my house, which makes it the perfect spur-of-the-moment outing with the pups. This is a wonderful waterfront asset that should be frequented and utilized more than it currently is. Look no further than the foot of Ferry, across the lift bridge.