You might not think of Niagara Falls, Canada, as an adventure destination, but there’s plenty of exhilarating fun to be had in and around the falls. These spectacular falls straddle the Canada/U.S. border, with the Bridal Veil and American Falls on the U.S. side, and the Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side. The best way to appreciate all that Niagara Falls has to offer is to cross over to the Canadian side, where you can experience some of these exciting attractions.
Fun Things to do in Niagra Falls
Take a Hornblower Niagara Cruise
The Hornblower Niagara Cruises are the Canadian counterpart to the American Maid of the Mist cruises. Both cruise lines take passengers right up to the base of the Falls, to see, feel, and hear 600,000 gallons of water crashing over some of North America’s largest, most powerful waterfalls. You’ll get wet, so make sure to put on your souvenir waterproof ponchos, and stow your electronics where they’ll be safe from the mist. It’s also a good idea to bring a dry pair of shoes and socks to change into afterward.
Daytime cruises are a great way to get up-close views of the falls. At night, enjoy an extended Falls Illumination Cruise or Falls Fireworks Cruise. Voyages set sail every 15 minutes from April 1 to November 30.
Zipline Over the Falls
Wildplay’s MistRider Zipline to the Falls allows riders to glide through the sky over the Falls on one of four parallel zip lines. You’ll get a 220-foot (67 meters) vantage point on the American and Horseshoe Falls as you fly through the air at speeds above 40 mph (70 kph). The 2,200-foot (670 meters) zip line offers riders amazing panoramic views of the Niagara River Gorge.
But that’s not all Wildplay offers in the way of adventure. Experience Wildplay’s Whirlpool Adventure Course, where you’ll climb, jump, swing, and zip line through a suspended obstacle course above the Niagara gorge and whirlpool. When you’ve finished that, get your heart pounding at the What’s to Fear Jump, a loose-line jump from a height of 40 feet (12.2 meters).
Explore the Niagara Glen Nature Reserve
You may be surprised to learn that a beautiful, unspoiled nature preserve exists within walking distance of some of the best hotels in Niagara Falls, Canada, but it’s true. Niagara Glen Nature Reserve is among the most well-preserved segments of southern Ontario’s Carolinian forests. The park extends along the banks of the Niagara River gorge, offering views of the Niagara whirlpool and the Niagara River gorge, as well as extensive hiking trails through an unspoiled section of the Niagara Escarpment. Two-and-a-half miles (4 km) of rugged, rocky hiking trails wind past rock formations perfect for bouldering, and you can learn more about the flora, fauna, and geological history of the region on one of the guided hiking tours that leave each day at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. throughout the summer months. Stop in at the Niagara Glen Nature Centre or the Butterfly Conservatory to get your bouldering permit.
Experience the Power of the Falls From Within
No other experience in Niagara Falls allows you to experience the fury and majesty of the falls like Journey Behind the Falls. You’ll climb down 125 feet (38.1 meters) of stairs to access tunnels cut through the bedrock behind the falls 130 years ago. You’ll begin to feel the thunderous power of the waterfalls long before you reach the observation deck at the end of the journey. Don’t miss the observation panels cut through the rock, which allows you to peek directly at the falls from behind. You’ll never again have the chance to see this much water crashing to Earth right before your eyes. Don’t forget to don your souvenir yellow poncho and stash your electronics away from the moisture that will permeate the air as you stare up at the falls from the Lower Observation Deck. Bring a dry pair of shoes and socks to change into after your visit.
If you’re skeptical about the adventure potential of Niagara Falls, Canada, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. From getting up-close-and-personal with the mighty falls themselves, to exploring the hiking trails that flank the Niagara River gorge, you’ll find plenty to get excited about in Niagara Falls.