Niagara Falls is a proven magnet for those seeking a thrill (just leave the barrels at home). We’ve rounded up the top activities for adventure lovers.
Soak It Up
Any Niagara Falls adventure starts at the Falls themselves. Make your way through Niagara Falls State Park to the Cave of the Winds. After changing into your yellow poncho and descending 175 feet in the elevator, you’ll start working your way through a series of wooden platforms and walkways that put you as close to the Bridal Veils Fall as possible — brace for tropical storm-like conditions on the Hurricane Deck. If you aren’t soaked (or thrilled) enough, it’s time to take a jet boat ride you’ll never forget, skimming over the turbulent waters of the lower Niagara River. You can choose from inside dry decks to the wet-and-wild upper deck.
Hit the Trails
Hiking abounds in Niagara Falls USA. Whirlpool State Park is 2 miles north of the Falls and offers spectacular views of the river and the rapids from the Niagara Gorge Rim Trail. Daredevils will descend the stairs to get as close as possible to the river’s raging waters on the Whirlpool Rapids Trail (rated difficult). Nearby Devil’s Hole State Park’s rail-to-trail hike leads you down to a stunning view of the Devil’s Hole Rapids. Reward your efforts with a cold local brew and a wood-fired pizza at Brickyard Pub & BBQ in nearby Lewiston.
Take to the Skies
Heart still not racing fast enough? Fly above the Falls with Rainbow Air, Inc., a helicopter tour that has the distinction of flying the lowest and closest to the Falls of any operator. Or go for the ultimate adrenaline rush: skydiving! First-time jumpers can do a tandem skydive while more experienced licensed skydivers can plunge on their own from 12,000 feet. Keep pushing the edge with some authentic Buffalo wings made as spicy as you can handle (and maybe a little bit spicier than that) at Anchor Bar, an offshoot of the Buffalo original that’s famous for wings.
Feel the Rush
If you haven’t gotten heights out of your system yet, head to Lockport for the Niagara Zipper, an 800-foot zipline over the Erie Canal Basin Gorge. Traveling at speeds up to 40 mph, you’ll be awed at the views as you flash by. And if you really want to live on the edge, head to the Seneca Niagara Casino to test your luck (and your bank account). The massive casino floor is the size of almost three football fields with 90 gaming tables and 3,600 slot machines. If winning the jackpot isn’t an adrenaline rush, what is?
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