An Adventure Lover's Guide to Niagara Falls
From the extensive hiking trails to the powerful tides of the gorge, Niagara Falls was practically designed to be the ideal vacation spot for an adventure traveler. Within just a few minutes drive from the Falls you can find an extensive array of activities that will keep your adrenaline pumping. Here's my list of the best places for adventure lovers in Niagara Falls.
Take the Tram at Niagara Glen Nature Reserve
For those not afraid of heights the Aero Car at Whirlpool State Park is a great way to get an unforgettable perspective of the Niagara Gorge. The tram, built in 1916, carries up to 35 riders over 250 feet in the air from one side of the gorge to the other, and back. The ride takes about 10 minutes and covers a distance of nearly 3,600 feet.
Cost: 13 years old and up is $14.25, kids six to 12 is $9.25.
Enjoy a Helicopter Tour Over the Falls
Niagara Helicopter offers tourists a stunning perspective of Niagara Falls and the surrounding gorge from a totally unique angle. The 12-minute ride takes visitors along the Niagara River, over Queen Victoria Park, over the American Falls, and finally around the curve of the Horseshoe Falls.
Cost: Adult rides cost $140 each, $272 for a couple, and $87 for children.
Learn About Past Thrill-Seekers at the Daredevil Exhibit
The sordid history of Niagara Falls is part of what makes the natural wonder so interesting and magnetic. While visitors are drawn to the spectacular vistas, they may not know the dark secrets that are hidden away. Since the Falls first started gaining attention for its sheer size, travelers have come from all corners of the globe to try and conquer it, but few have succeeded. The IMAX theatre has compiled a collection of vessels used by daredevils to go over the Falls and all are available to the public. Guests will have the opportunity to hear the crazy stories of those who've ventured over the Falls and to actually touch the crafts they used to do so.
Cost: $8 for adults, $6.50 for children
Zipline over Niagara Falls
New to the scene having opened just this past year, Wildplay's MistRider Zipline over the Niagara Gorge has quickly become a favorite for adrenaline junkies. Four parallel lines set 220 feet in the air guide riders over 2,000 feet to the observation landing. Constructed to give riders a straight view of both the American and Horseshoe Falls, the zipline is the perfect vantage point for a traveler looking for both great views and a rush.
Cost: Single ride is $50
Hike the Surrounding Parks
While Niagara Falls and the surrounding area is pretty massive you might be surprised to know that there are at least 13 parks within just a few miles of the natural wonder. While walking through Niagara Falls State Park or Queen Victoria Park will give you the spectacular views you came for other parks like Whirlpool State Park a little further up the river offer just as breathtaking views. Parks like Dufferin Islands Nature Area and Kingsbridge Park are such a short distance from the Falls but are much less crowded, allowing you to really soak up the experience without worrying about needing to elbow your way through tourists to get a beautiful view of the Niagara River.
Take a Plane Ride Over the Niagara Gorge
For a more extensive aerial perspective, Niagara Falls Air Tours takes guests for a 30-minute long flight through the entire Niagara region. From the Falls to Niagara-on-the-Lake, Fort Niagara to Lake Ontario, guests will really get to see it all and from hundreds of feet in the air.
Cost: $199 for one, $259 for two and $389 for three.
Walk Behind the Falls
Perfect for those looking to get as close as possible to the natural wonder without actually swimming in the gorge, the Cave of the Winds is the only attraction to get you close enough to actually feel the power of the Falls. Guests take an elevator to the base of the Gorge and follow a series of wooden walkways through the Falls. Due to weather conditions that can make for a dangerous trek, the tour is only open from May to November.
Cost: Adults' tickets are $17, $14 for kids six to 12, and children five and under are free.