When you think adventure destinations, you probably don’t think of Niagara Falls, Canada. But this quaint border town is the original adventure destination – as early as 1825, tourists from around the world traveled to Niagara Falls to come face-to-face with the power and majesty of the natural world, and this little town still caters to travelers who like to walk on the wild side.
Thrill-seekers will love Niagara Falls attractions such as the Hornblower Niagara Cruise, the Whirlpool Aerocar, helicopter tours, and more. From ziplining to the base of the Falls to exploring more than 300 kilometers (186 miles) of hiking and biking trails in the area, Niagara Falls has so much to offer the adventure traveler.
View the Falls from Above
Great views of the Falls are available from observation decks, Fallside hotel rooms, and the Skylon Tower Restaurant, but no view of the Falls can beat the bird’s-eye view. When it comes to Niagara Falls adventure, few things can get your blood pumping like a helicopter tour of the Falls. Experience the region’s unique blend of urban and rural landscapes with a tour from Niagara Helicopters.
Of course, that’s not the only way to get a view of the Falls from above. The Whirlpool Aerocar has been ferrying tourists across the Niagara River, above the Niagara Whirlpool, since 1916. You’ll get a stunning view of the whirlpool that forms at the end of the Niagara Rapids where the gorge turns and the racing, turbulent water is abruptly forced to change direction. The cable car is an antique, but don’t worry – it’s been upgraded multiple times since it first opened to the public.
Explore the Niagara Escarpment
The natural beauty of the Niagara Falls region isn’t limited to the Falls themselves. The entire Niagara Escarpment is a UESCO World Biosphere Reserve, and the area immediately around Niagara Falls offers 300 kilometers (186 miles) of biking and hiking trails. From a leisurely afternoon stroll along the Niagara Falls Whitewater Walk to a month-long through-hike of the Bruce Trail, and everything in between, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to explore the outdoors in Niagara Falls. Go bouldering in Niagara Glen, take a bike tour of Niagara wine country, or ride the Greater Niagara Circle Route, which forms part of the coast-to-coast Great Trail and includes a stretch alongside the Niagara Parkway.
The Hornblower Niagara Cruise is one of the most iconic attractions in Niagara Falls. This boat tour will take you right up to the base of the Falls, for an unforgettable experience that’s unlike any other. No other attraction will get you this close to the world’s largest waterfall by volume of water. Make sure to wear sneakers or hiking boots and put on your waterproof poncho.
If you’re looking to get close to the Falls, Journey Behind the Falls is popular with both regular tourists and history buffs, because it’s one of the oldest attractions in town. Journey Behind the Falls does exactly what it says on the tin – it’ll take you on a journey behind the Falls, through tunnels carved into the rock more than 130 years ago. You’ll get the chance to view the Falls up close through observation portals cut into the rock itself, and from a Lower Observation Deck at the base of the Falls.
Go Out and Play
Adventure travelers looking for a fun, unique, and exciting experience should try the WildPlay Whirlpool Adventure Course, a self-paced obstacle course perched cliff-side on the Niagara Escarpment. You’ll enjoy breathtaking views of the Niagara Gorge and Whirlpool as you negotiate ziplines as well as climbing and jumping obstacles. Try the What’s to Fear Jump, a 40-foot loose line leap for ages seven and older.
The WildPlay Whirlpool Adventure Course offers three obstacle courses – two for adults, and one for kids – but going through an obstacle course takes a lot out of you. Save some of your strength and opt for the Zipline to the Falls. The trip takes about a minute, but it’s a minute you’ll remember for the rest of your life, soaring 670 meters (2,200 feet) through the Niagara Gorge to the observation deck at the base of the American Falls.
If you’re looking for an adventure destination that’s not too far from home, Niagara Falls is calling. From adventure to long-distance hiking and biking, Niagara Falls has what adrenaline junkies crave – thrills you’ll remember for the rest of your life.
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