This summer, whether you are a resident or a visitor, Niagara offers a plethora of experiences that will make you fall deeper in love with the region. Aside from the must-see parks in Niagara, there is everything an outdoor lover could dream of, from serene hikes through ancient forests to exhilarating ziplines across the gorge. So let’s get started! Here are five must-try outdoor adventures in Niagara that will make your summer unforgettable.

1. Hiking the Niagara Glen

The Niagara Glen is a treasure trove for nature enthusiasts looking to be immersed in the rugged beauty of Niagara Region and offers some of the best walking trails in Niagara or anywhere else. Nestled deep in the Niagara Gorge, the Glen consists of a series of well-maintained trails that wind through a pristine Carolinian forest, past ancient geological formations, and down to the whirlpool rapids of the Niagara River.

Visitors have a variety of trails to explore, each offering its own unique view and difficulty level, making it suitable for hikers of all abilities. For those interested, guided tours are available that provide fascinating insights into the ecological and historical significance of the area. These tours are especially popular in the summer months, providing a cooler, shaded escape with education that provides a deeper appreciation of the region’s natural landscape.

Before setting out, hikers are advised to stop by the Niagara Glen Nature Centre, where you can pick up a trail map, check the condition of the trails, and gather important safety information. The Centre also offers educational displays and a gift shop.

2. Cycling Along the Niagara Parkway

The Niagara Parkway offers one of the most scenic cycling routes in Ontario, stretching from Fort Erie to Niagara-on-the-Lake. This pathway is renowned for its breathtaking views along the Niagara River, providing cyclists with a peaceful ride under the canopy of lush trees and occasional glimpses of the river’s sparkling waters.

The route is well-paved and relatively flat, making it suitable for families looking for a leisurely ride, as well as more serious cyclists aiming to cover long distances. Along the way, there are numerous picnic spots, historical sites, and lookouts where riders can pause, take in the scenic views and snap a few photos.

For those who do not own a bike or prefer not to bring their own, several bike rental facilities are available at strategic points along the Parkway. These shops often offer a variety of rental options, including e-bikes, which can make the journey easier and more enjoyable, especially on warmer days.

The Parkway is also host to several cycling events throughout the summer, which range from casual community rides to competitive races. Participating in these events can be a great way to experience the camaraderie of the cycling community in Niagara.

Cycling the Niagara Parkway is not just a physical activity but a way to intimately connect with the natural and historical beauty of the region. It provides a unique alternative to the crowded tourist spots and an intimate view of Niagara’s captivating landscape.

3. Kayaking or Canoeing on the Niagara River

Being on the water is one of the most fun ways to spend your summer. Kayaking or canoeing on the Niagara River offers an unparalleled experience of the serene waters and the rich natural surroundings of the region. Whether you’re paddling through calm waters or navigating slight currents, the river provides a suitable challenge for both novice and experienced paddlers.

There are several launch points along the river, with two of the most popular being at Queenston and Chippawa. These locations offer ample parking and easy access to the water. Rental facilities are conveniently located near these areas for those who do not own a kayak or canoe, providing all the necessary equipment, including safety gear. Local operators also offer guided tours, which can enhance your experience with expert navigation tips and insights into the area’s ecology and history.

Most rental facilities and tour operators provide brief safety orientations and can advise on the safest routes for the day’s conditions. Currents and water levels can vary, so it’s important to check local conditions before heading out.

Exploring the Niagara River by kayak or canoe is an invigorating way to connect with nature and experience the quieter, more picturesque side of Niagara that is often overshadowed by the famous falls.

4. Ziplining Near Niagara Falls

Ziplining near Niagara Falls offers an adrenaline-pumping experience that combines spectacular views with the feeling of flying. Situated close to the falls, the zipline course allows participants to soar over the Niagara Gorge, providing an unparalleled view of the cascading waters and the surrounding landscape.

Participants are securely harnessed and given a brief orientation by trained professionals to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. The actual ride takes you down a cable stretching several hundred meters, offering a unique perspective of the falls that is not possible from any other vantage point.

For those concerned about safety, the zipline uses the latest equipment and enforces strict safety standards. The staff is experienced and focused on providing a secure environment for all guests, making this an exciting yet safe adventure for families, couples, and solo travellers alike.

Booking a session in advance is recommended, especially during the busy summer months, as spots fill up quickly. This can typically be done through the operator’s website, where you can also check for any age or weight restrictions that may apply.

Ziplining near Niagara Falls is more than just an activity; it’s an unforgettable experience that highlights the majestic power of one of the world’s most famous natural wonders, all from an exhilarating aerial view.

Two women riding horseback on a trail

5. Exploring the Vineyards by Horseback

Exploring Niagara’s vineyards by horseback is a novel way to experience the region’s famed wine country. This activity offers a leisurely pace that is perfect for soaking in the picturesque landscapes of rolling vineyards and lush greenery.

Several local stables offer horseback tours through the vineyards. These tours typically last from one to two hours, providing ample time to enjoy the tranquil environment and learn about the local wine-making process. Guides often share insights about the types of grapes grown in the area and the various stages of wine production, making this a truly educational experience.

Horseback riding through the vineyards is suitable for riders of all experience levels, including beginners. Most tour operators provide a brief riding lesson before setting out, ensuring that everyone is comfortable and secure on their horse. The tours are designed to be gentle and are conducted at a pace that allows everyone to enjoy the scenery without feeling rushed.

This unique activity not only offers a chance to connect with nature but also includes opportunities to sample wines at local wineries along the route. Some tours even include a stop for a picnic lunch or a tasting session, where you can savour wines that are as exquisite as the views.

In Conclusion

As the summer unfolds, each of these outdoor adventures invites you to explore the vibrant and dynamic natural wonders of Niagara Region. Embracing these experiences not only enriches your understanding of this beautiful region but also connects you with the community that Blythwood Homes is proud to be a part of. Discover the joys of living in a place where every day can be an adventure.

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