Two high-adrenaline attractions are being added to Niagara’s diverse portfolio of eco-adventure tours this Spring. The world class Zip Line experience and Aerial Adventure Courses will captivate both the young and young at heart when visiting Niagara’s entertainment district.

Brought to life by WildPlay Niagara Falls in partnership with the Niagara Parks Commission, both aerial attractions promise a hybrid adventure and educational experience for groups wishing to explore and learn about the Niagara Parks in a hands-on fashion. Both human-powered eco-attractions will feature guided historical tours and an education on the surrounding eco-systems along with a new and thrilling visual perspective of Niagara Falls.

Light on intensity but overflowing with excitement, Wildplay’s Mist Rider Zip Line to the Falls is fun for guests of all ages who wish to glide through never before seen perspectives and breathtaking views of the Canadian and American Falls, the Niagara Whirlpool, Gorge and Niagara Parkway all in one fell swoop. This sky-high attraction guarantees an experience that will have visitors appreciating the power of Niagara’s waters unlike ever before.

The four side-by-side high-speed zip lines will descend from the base of Clifton Hill at the Niagara Parks Commission’s Grand View Marketplace into the Niagara Gorge below at the decommissioned Ontario Power Generating Plant – looking up to the Horseshoe Falls above. Zip liners will be able to travel down one at a time or race their family and friends to the bottom.

“[The Zip Line] is another way to experience and appreciate Niagara Falls,” said Lindsay DiCosimo, Marketing Manager for WildPlay
Niagara. “The zip line is right front and centre to Niagara Falls; you can’t get this view from anywhere else in Niagara. It is completely new and a fully guided adventure. If you want to get up close and personal, there is no other way in the city for you to do this.”

Individuals who don’t wish to participate in the zip line can enjoy the sights and watch their friends and family take-off from the viewing area at the top by the launch platform.

The first of its kind in Niagara, Wildplay’s Whirlpool Aerial Adventure Course is scheduled to open on the north side of the Whirlpool at Thompson Point along the picturesque Niagara Parkway. This recreational activity is said to improve physical skills and strengthen mental courage, all while providing awe-inspiring vistas of the Niagara gorge.

“It is going to feature a little bit of everything; wobbly bridges, mini zip lines, rope swings, cargo nets,” said DiCosimo. “The obstacles that are hanging from the trees will increase in difficulty as you go through the course. So everyone starts off at the same level and as you go through things get a little more challenging. You’re facing your fears and overcoming your self-perceived inhibitions as you build your confidence as you get through the course.”

Open to all ages, the fully guided nature-based course is self-paced and will feature three separate courses that will range in level of intensity, difficulty and height. The Family, Classic and Extreme courses will take approximately two hours to complete and take participants upwards to 60 feet into the air.

The Family Course, targeted towards children ages 5-12 years-old, will be lower to the ground and feature smaller scale course obstacles, creating a perfect attraction for birthday parties, after school groups and field trips.

“It is easily manageable for the younger
demographic,” said DiCosimo. “For parents that maybe don’t want to do the full course themselves, this kid’s course is specifically designed for them.”

But the aerial course is not only attracting young audiences. DiCosimo says this unique attraction is ideal for families, couples and all groups in-between because it strengthens and builds trust while
encouraging team work and mutual support – all while getting everyone outside and working up a sweat in the fresh air.

“You’re in a group setting, you are doing challenges that you might not think you can overcome but with group encouragement and by working together you can figure out the best way to approach the
different challenges,” said DiCosimo.

“…by getting outside and completing a course like this people can shine in a different light,” said DiCosimo. “You can play off of different people’s strengths and bond as a group.”

Guides are also in place every step of the way to lend support and encouragement to anyone who is struggling and wishes to bypass an obstacle. They will also provide historical anecdotes as you enjoy the attractions, with a focus on the surrounding landmarks including: the formation of the Niagara Falls, the previously active power generators, wildlife and plant life in the area and the early explorers who settled in and helped develop the region.

The grounds surrounding the aerial course will continue to remain open to the public and feature picnic tables and lots of greenery to enjoy even when you do not feel like participating in the course.

“The aerial course will help get people to explore the parkway a little bit more and get out of that downtown core area,” said DiCosimo. “It will keep them in the area a little longer than a quick trip into Niagara Falls will.”

Aerial course prices will range between 40-50 dollars per course with additional add-ons of 10 dollars available for extended courses. Waivers are required by all participants and are available electronically online or by email and fax.

The zip line will run approximately 60 dollars per person.

Prices for both attractions are still under consideration, but DiCosimo said both will be kept family friendly and reasonably priced while remaining comparable to similar adventure courses in the area. Group packages are in the works and will be available for those who wish to visit with a large group or bundle both Wildplay’s Mist Rider Zip Line and Whirlpool Aerial Adventure Course together. Discounts will also be available through Niagara Parks’ Adventure Passes.

Tickets will be available to purchase in advance online and on location depending on availability

By Gabrielle Tieman