Niagara Falls Wild Play AttractionApril 16, 2018
The Niagara Falls tourism scene never stops evolving.
The thrills of yesterday will still amaze you, but each new attraction that gets built raises the excitement level bar just a little more.
In the 19th and early 20th century, merely standing at the edge of the Horseshoe Falls did it for people - it was breathtaking, and still is.
Then they added the Maid of the Mist (now Hornblower Cruises) that put visitors in a boat and let them toss and bounce their way to the base of the falls towering overhead. It was a misty, wet adventure and is still impressive.
Eventually, tourists were able to shoot the rapids in specially equipped boats via private tours.
There are a million ways to live dangerously in Niagara Falls.
The newest thrill on the menu is WildPlay Element Parks, which is actually two parks combined in one attraction. It's at 3500 Niagara Parkway, at Thompson Point just across from the Niagara Whirlpool Golf Course.
First, there is the WildPlay MistRider Zipline to the Falls - from a 67-metre (220 foot) peak, riders can travel down one of four zip lines that face the Horseshoe and American falls.
It's a 670 metre (2,200 foot) trip downward at speeds estimated at more than 70 kilometres per hour (40 miles per hour) along the edge of the Niagara Gorge, ending at the Falls observation landing.
Then you have the WildPlay Whirlpool Adventure Course, described as "a fun and thrilling experience of suspended obstacles and zip lines high above the world-famous whirlpool and Niagara Gorge."
In all, there are three courses that have visitors swinging, climbing, zipping and jumping to the end.
There is also the 'What's To Fear Jump,' a loose line leap from 40 feet, that can be done on its own or as part of the adventure course visit.
There are rules - visitors must be in good health, long hair has to be tied back, no flip-flops or crocs allowed and kids 13 and younger must be chaperoned by an adult. That's all for safety reasons, obviously.
Similar parks have also been set up across Canada, in places like Maple Ridge and Kelowna, B.C.
In Niagara Falls, some public parking is available nearby but the better way to arrive might be via the WeGo transit system, on the blue, green, red or purple lines.