Melissa wearing a blue poncho, standing on the Maid of the Mist boat. Maid of the Mist is a boat tour company that takes people around the Niagara river. Behind Melissa, you can see the Horseshoe Falls with mist sprouting out higher than the falls! There are rock formations next to the falls, and this is taken on a sunny day
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11 Adventurous Things to Do in Niagara Falls (US & Canada)

While many people come to Niagara Falls for the iconic views, there is so much more to do here than simply admire the scenery.

I lived in Niagara Falls for a decade and still live nearby. So I know first-hand the fun adventures in Niagara that await those willing to explore this beautiful area.

From boat tours down the Niagara River to ziplining in front of the falls, there are plenty of amazing activities ranging from relaxing to heart-pumping. My favourite part is getting splashed by the Falls’ mist!

Let’s get right into the best adventurous things to do in Niagara Falls on both sides of the border!

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11 Adventurous Things to Do in Niagara Falls

Melissa smiling at the camera wearing a blue poncho to avoid getting wet in Niagara Falls. She is riding Maid of the Mist, one of the original boat tour companies in Niagara Falls, which takes you around both the US and Canada sides. It's a sunny day with some clouds, and the falls can be seen at a distance

1. Niagara Boat Cruise (US & Canada)

A Niagara boat cruise is a classic adventure activity in Niagara Falls that is perfect for all ages and types of adventurers.

Experience the thunderous roar and incredible power of one of nature’s most stunning wonders with a Niagara boat cruise.

Take in breathtaking views of the American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls. Get up close to the famous Horseshoe Falls on either side of the Niagara River.

Enjoy this adventure with Maid of Mist on the US side or Niagara City Cruises in Canada.

Stand at the front of the boat for the best views and to get the most mist! It’s my favourite spot to stand! You’ll get soaked but it’s so much fun!

And for an extra special treat, take a fireworks cruise and watch the night sky light up from the boat. Thankfully this one’s a light mist experience as I went in fall. It was so cool to see the fireworks from an angle you wouldn’t otherwise see!

Melissa looking away at the camera wearing a yellow poncho in order to avoid getting wet as she visits Cave of the Winds, in the Niagara Falls beside the Bridal Veil Falls on the New York side. There are rocks everywhere, and the mist from the waterfalls are strong. At a distance, there's a bridge and it's a slightly cloudy day. This is one of the most thrilling and adventurous things to do in Niagara Falls

2. Cave of the Winds (US)

Cave of the Winds is an exhilarating experience in Niagara Falls, NY that brings visitors close to the Bridal Veil Falls. 

Descend almost 200 ft into the Niagara Gorge and walk along a series of wooden walkways that take you to the base of the falls. 

Feel the mist as you stand only feet away from one of the world’s most visited natural wonders.

And if you are feeling extra adventurous, visit the Hurricane Deck where you will feel winds up to 68 miles per hour and get soaked by the falls. It’s the best part and well worth me getting drenched!

If you want water activities in Niagara Falls but want to choose how wet you get, this one is for you! You choose how close you get to the Falls.

The walkways and Hurricane Deck are removed every winter for safety, but Cave of the Winds is a must-do adventure in Niagara Falls year-round.

It was so exciting, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t gone sooner and can’t wait to go back!

Melissa and her partner looking away from the camera, leaned on a fenced area on the Niagara White Water lookout platform. They are look at the strong currents from the Niagara Rapids, with ripples of waves going in every direction. At a distance, there is a large rock formation known as the Niagara Gorge with trees on top, on a sunny day. This boardwalk trail is one of the easiest adventurous things to do in Niagara.

3. White Water Walk (Canada)

White Water Walk is one of the best easy adventures in Niagara Falls, Canada.

This relaxing and exciting experience will take you deep into Niagara Gorge, away from the Falls, and give you a close view of the mighty Niagara Rapids.

The elevator and 0.4 km (0.25 m) boardwalk trail are accessibility-friendly. Branching off the trail are stairs that bring you even closer to the rapids and where you can get an even better view. You could even call it a Whirlpool Rapids adventure hike.

I was in awe the entire time I was at the White Water Walk. I thought it might not live up to the social media hype, but I wanted even more boardwalk and wanted to stay long just to admire the Class VI Rapids.

And if you like fall foliage, the trail looks better with the surrounding trees in shades of yellow, orange, and red.

A group of people on a tour wearing yellow ponchos to avoid getting wet as they take a tour to Niagara Falls's Journey Behind the Falls. The Horseshoe falls are in front of them at a distance, taking up the majority of the photo. Above the falls is a sunny day with minimal clouds
Unsplash photo by Samantha Hartman

4. Journey Behind the Falls (Canada)

Journey Behind the Falls is an adventurous way to experience the Canadian side of Niagara Falls up close.

While you don’t get to go behind the Falls as its name implies, you do get to be beside the Horseshoe Falls. 

Visitors will take an elevator down 125 feet into the bedrock. From there, you will walk through the historic tunnels, peeking out from cave-like portals along the way to get an incredible view of the water cascading down. 

While on one of two observation decks, you will feel the mist and hear the roar of the Falls. Its got the best view of the Horseshoe Falls.

This was the first Niagara Falls attraction I ever did once I became a local and while it’s got a great view, I rate it slightly lower than Cave of the Winds because I preferred the level of interaction with the Falls more.

3 people going ziplining over the Niagara Gorge on the Canadian side on a partly cloudy day with clear blue water. A view of the Niagara Falls can be seen on the left side. There are large mists of water spraying from the falls. There is a tree on the foreground of the photo and trees behind the falls and rock formations. Ziplining is one of the most fun adventure activities in Niagara Falls on the Canadian side
Unsplash photo by Alexander Ross

5. Zipline with Incredible Views of the Falls (Canada)

Ziplining is a fun and unique way to experience Niagara Falls day or night. This breathtaking ride will take you on a thrilling journey into the Niagara Gorge toward the base of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls. 

Glide down 2,200 ft (670 m) and soar past the American Falls, before landing atop the falls observation deck towards the base of the Horseshoe Falls. 

During winter in Niagara, admire the beauty of the snow and ice encasing the Falls as you zip line at speeds of 70+ kph (40+ mph) along the edge of the Niagara Gorge.

Don’t miss out on this unforgettable adventurous thing to do in Niagara Falls. It’s on my bucket list!

Views of Niagara Falls from the Skylon Tower at night. The Skylon Tower is the tallest tower on the Canadian side with two observation decks. The sky is a a deep blue with navy blue clouds. The Niagara Falls has rainbow-lit colours from the lights from other buildings and skyscrapers in the city.

6. Skylon Tower (Canada)

For one of the more relaxed Niagara Falls adventures, visit the Skylon Tower. 

The Skylon Tower is the tallest tower in the city and features a restaurant and two observation decks at 764 ft (233 m).

Its revolving restaurant provides a unique dining experience to enjoy an incredible view of the Falls and all of Niagara Falls without having to leave your seat. 

Ride a glass-enclosed elevator to the top and enjoy a meal in the sky or take in the views from the indoor and outdoor observation decks. My favourite way to visit the Skylon Tower is with the early dinner special. I enjoy it so much, I keep going back.

On a clear day, the outdoor observation deck offers views of the Niagara Gorge, Buffalo, and Toronto. If you go outside, just be prepared for the wind! My hair was a mess from the wind, so I recommend tying your hair up.

If you want an easy and accessible adventure in Niagara, this is for you. Open year-round (even in winter), this is the highest view of the Falls without being in a helicopter.

View of the Tailrace Tunnel on the Canadian side of the Niagara Falls. The water is muted blue from a cloudy day, and mist is spraying everywhere from the falls. The tunnel is located under the Niagara Parks Power Station. The rock formation with the entrance to the tunnel is surrounded by green trees and moss. Since this was previously not open to tourists, it give them a chance to other angles of the area underground, making it one of the best outdoor things to do in Niagara Falls for adventure

7. Tailrace Tunnel (Canada)

The Tailrace Tunnel is the newest adventure activity in Niagara Falls, Canada.

Located 180 feet beneath the historic Niagara Parks Power Station, this 2,200-foot-long tunnel offers a unique and exciting experience that allows visitors to explore an underground world not previously seen by tourists.

Ride a glass-enclosed elevator and enjoy panoramic views from its viewing platform at the edge of the Niagara River.

Once you reach the observation deck, prepare to get wet! Don’t forget to ask for a poncho and bring a waterproof case for your phone. You don’t want your phone to drown!

Visits are included with entrance to the Niagara Parks Power Station where you can learn about the history of collecting power from Niagara Falls.

Photo of Niagara Gorge on the Canadian side during fall, with green, gold, and red trees on the foreground. The water is a light blue-green colour. The rock formations and green trees are on the other side. It's a cloudy day with minimal blue skies peeking.

8. Hike in the Niagara Gorge (Canada)

Explore the beauty of Niagara Falls away from the Falls by hiking in the Niagara Gorge.

Located deep in the Gorge is a 4 km (2.5 miles) stretch of rugged hiking paths that will take you past prehistoric geological formations, wild flora and fauna, and breathtaking views of the rapid waters of the Niagara River.

Not only is it one of Canada’s most beautiful natural wonders, but also home to some of its oldest trees and other unique features like the Whirlpool Rapids.

Most of the trails are considered moderate in difficulty, so hike them at your own risk and please be careful. Trails are open from sunrise to sunset and there is limited parking.

My favourite spot to hike in the Niagara Gorge is by the helicopter tour take-off point. But be ready for a lot of stairs if you take this one!

Whirlpool Aero Car filled with tourists overlooking the Niagara Gorge on a sunny day with some clouds. The Whirlpool Aero Car is a semi-open red and yellow cable car where visitors can see the swirling Niagara whirlpool, which can be seen below the Whirlpool Aero Car. On the foreground, there is a staircase where you can view the gorge and whirlpool, and some trees At a distance, there are even more trees covering the sky. The Whirpool Aero Car takes you to the border between Canada and the US four times

9. Whirlpool Aero Car (Canada)

Experience an exciting ride on the Whirlpool Aero Car over the waters of the Niagara River

You’ll travel in a historic cable car 3500 feet above Class VI rapids and a swirling whirlpool. All while crossing the border between Canada and the US four times due to the way the river bends.

Marvel at the natural wonder of the Niagara Whirlpool, which has been a popular tourist attraction since the late 1800s. The only cable car of its era left in the world. 

It’s a unique and memorable adventure activity that you won’t forget.

What’s neat is that they get you to rotate where you are standing so you get to see the view on both sides of the cable car. I like that they did this so everyone enjoys the view.

Aerial view of the Niagara River swirling in different directions in the foreground. At a distance, there are people riding a pink jetboat along the Niagara River rapids. Green trees and rock formations surround the river, with blue skies and clouds above, and a piece of a tree on the top left corner of the photo

10. Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours (Canada & US)

Take your love of adventure to a whole other level on a Whirlpool Jet Boat tour.

This thrilling jet boat tour takes you down the rapids of the Niagara River, giving you a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It’s like if you took the Maid-of-the-Mist boat, turned it into a speed boat, and made it go whitewater-rafting.

It’s the perfect choice if you want exciting things to do in Niagara Falls for thrill seekers.

You’ll get close to the water on a wet jet deck or a dry boat tour option while you zoom along Class V Rapids at Devil’s Hole in the Niagara Gorge.

Enjoy this seasonal open jet boat ride that departs from both Niagara Falls, Canada, and Lewiston, US!

If you choose the wet jet deck, pack a spare set of clothes in the car, and you can change at the on-site change rooms after your tour.

Aerial view of Niagara Falls from a helicopter, crossing the US and Canadian sides. You can see the gorge with white waves swirling strongly. The water is a deep blue, and you can see trees, some parking lots, highways, and buildings. If you want an adventure in Niagara without being in water, this one is for you.
Unsplash photo by Vishwish Jirgale

11. Helicopter Tour Above the Falls (US & Canada)

Going on a helicopter tour above the Falls is one of the most adventurous things to do in Niagara Falls – Canada or the US. 

Visitors will get a bird’s-eye view of Niagara Falls as they soar over the Canadian Horseshoe Falls and American Falls.

This exciting sightseeing experience showcases the power and beauty of the Falls. And provides a unique and unforgettable perspective that you won’t want to miss during your trip to Niagara.

Niagara helicopter tours are available from 9 am to sunset year-round. They are weather-dependent, so your tour will be cancelled due to bad weather to keep you safe.

Grab your camera, and get ready to capture breathtaking photos of the Falls from above!

More Outdoor Things to Do in Niagara Falls

  • Dufferin Island – quiet 10 acres with multiple islands and small footbridges perfect for a picnic
  • Niagara Speedway – go-karts on an elevated coaster-style track
  • Dinosaur Adventure Golf – miniature golf course featuring two 18-hole courses and large dinosaur statues

Where to Stay in Niagara Falls

Plan to stay near the Falls themselves to be close to most of the attractions and restaurants. Here are the best places to stay in Niagara Falls: 

Mariott Niagara Falls Fallsview Hotel a 4-star hotel overlooking the falls with a spa (I stayed here)

Sheraton Fallsview Hotel – a 4-star hotel overlooking the falls with a spa and pool

Embassy Suites by Hilton Fallsview – a 4-star hotel with free breakfast (I stayed here)

Getting Around Niagara Falls

To get around Niagara Falls you can drive, bus, taxi, bicycle, or walk.

The WEGO Bus is a great option to get around and stops at most tourist destinations. You buy a day pass starting at $13 CAD per adult to hop on and hop off as you like.

Here is a map of the WEGO bus routes.

Walking is my favourite way to get around Niagara Falls. I park my car at a parking lot near the Falls then walk everywhere.

FAQs about Adventures in Niagara Falls

What Adventure Activities Do People Do At Niagara Falls?

People can experience a range of adventurous activities in Niagara Falls, including riding whitewater rapids in jet boats, mastering obstacle courses above the whirlpool rapids, and riding a helicopter above the Falls. These activities offer visitors an amazing view of the swirling waters of Niagara Gorge from high above or close to the water below.

What is the Most Adventurous Thing to Do in Niagara Falls?

The most adventurous thing to do in Niagara Falls is a tie between taking a helicopter ride above the falls and riding a jet boat down the whirlpool rapids. Both offer the most exciting way to experience Niagara.

What is the Best Season to Visit Niagara Falls for Outdoor Adventures?

The best season to visit Niagara Falls for outdoor adventures is summer when the weather is warm and sunny.

Most of Niagara’s outdoor activities are seasonal due to icy winters, so most only operate between May and November. If visiting Niagara in winter, the Skylon Tower, helicopter tours, and Cave of the Winds still operate.

Final Thoughts on the Best Outdoor Activities in Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls has some of the most thrilling and adventurous activities that you can do outdoors.

From exploring the stunning landscape at Niagara Gorge to experiencing a unique ride on the Whirlpool Aero Car, there’s something for every type of adventure seeker.

These outdoor activities are perfect for summer and beyond. So make sure to add them to your Niagara Falls itinerary – they’re definitely worth it!

If you choose just one activity, make it a boat tour!

Travelling to the USA? Read more:

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