River tours give riders front-row seat to history


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — With a simple glance around Buffalo’s waterfront, it is easy to spot the megalithic structures that serve as a reminder of the city’s strong industrial past. Buffalo River History Tours allow riders to see these landmarks up close and learn more about a waterway system that made the Queen City one of the biggest cities in the country at the turn of the last century.

Captain Rich Hilliman helps command three tour boats. The tours give people an opportunity to learn about Buffalo from an angle that they’ve likely never seen before.

“Even ven people from here learn a lot about why Buffalo is what it is today, especially here in this historic place, the Commercial Slip, where a lot of transactions happened in the early 1800s,” Hilliman said.

Buffalo River History Tours offers three 90-minute trips a day, and a daily two-hour trip that docks by Silo City. The longer tour allows visitors to get off the boat and explore old grain mills.

The guided history lessons are open to people of all ages.

“We’ve got a little something for everyone,” Hilliman said. “The history tours is a real nice refresher for the people who live here. And to go by those grain elevators and see how substantial those structures are is pretty amazing and the role they played in Buffalo’s history is just unbelievable.”

Tours take place daily at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. with boarding at the Commercial Slip at Canalside.

Tickets are $17 for adults and $12 for children.

For more information, call (716) 796-4556 or visit buffaloriverhistorytours.com.

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