Located on the Upper Niagara River in LaSalle, Griffon Park commemorates the general location where French explorer Rene-Robert Cavalier, Sieur de La Salle, launched the first sailing ship, the Griffon, to ply the upper Great Lakes. La Salle, seeking the Northwest Passage to China and Japan, sailed the Griffon across Lake Erie, Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. The Griffon sailed through waters to the interior of North American where previously only canoes had ventured. Filled with furs, La Salle disembarked and sent the ship back to Niagara. The Griffon disappeared along the way; never returning to Niagara and never being found. At Griffon Park, a commemorative rock details the history.
The Niagara River, as is the entire Great Lakes Basin of which the river is an integral part, is a legacy of the last Ice Age. 18,000 years ago southern Ontario was covered by ice sheets 2-3 kilometers thick.
NYS Parks / Trails