Top 10 Great Canadian Aerial Adventures
Seeking a bird’s eye view on some of the country’s most scenic spots? Follow this primer to discover 10 amazing experiences where the sky is not the limit! From coast-to-coast, Canada has an abundance of high-flying adventures and activities in treetops and mountains, over wondrous waters and natural eco-attractions, and even above urban city centres. So, let’s take it from the top!
Take your vacation to new heights with these breathtaking, high-flying aerial adventures!
1. Hot Air Balloon Rides
Up, up and away! Quebec’s annual International Balloon Festival of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu (August 14 to 22) and the 23rd edition of the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival (September 3 to 6) feature hundreds of creative montgolfières-the French name for hot air balloons named after the brothers who invented them. Become one with horizon at sunrise or sunset and enjoy entertainment galore on the ground. Sundance Balloons also offers rides throughout Canada.
2. Treetop and Zip-Line Adventures
Discover your inner Tarzan (or Jane) in treetop treks and zip-line tours through towering forests. Quebec and British Columbia boast the most courses, but almost every province has one. (See listings by region). Some zips can reach speeds of up to 100 miles an hour! And some operators even have adventures in the dark. Jungle yells encouraged!
3. Helicopter Tours
There’s nothing like hovering high above skyscrapers and most major Canadian cities do offer wonderful whirlybird tours. But some of Canada’s most unforgettable helicopter experiences are over natural attractions like Niagara Falls to the Columbia Icefields or throughout the majestic Rockies. Or you can go polar bear spotting from above in Manitoba over Hudson Bay.
4. Paragliding and Hang Gliding
Few aerial adventures are as close to flying like a bird with nothing but the sound of the wind in your ears as paragliding and hang gliding. Take some lessons and then take off from a high peak with or without an instructor on-board to soar like an eagle over amazing vistas. Some places worth checking out:
5. Kiteboarding and Kite Skiing
Taking to the waves attached to a massive kite is all the rage in New Brunswick now, and Club Wind and Kite-an International Kiteboarding Organization affiliate-provides expert instruction. And this being Canada, a little snow never stops anyone! Kite skiing is also becoming popular there, as well as in Alberta and British Columbia.
6. Bungee Jumps
If you’re seeking heart-stopping thrills from above, The Great Canadian Bungee has “The Goliath” in Wakefield, Quebec, a daring 200 ft. drop over water. It’s the biggest bungee jump in Canada! Their partner site at Whistler has a drop from a bridge at 160 ft. over the glacial-fed Cheakamus River. Night jumps are also available. Screaming allowed and expected!
7. Small Planes and Tandem Skydiving
Most of the lovely lakes in Saskatchewan and Manitoba are accessible only by small float planes, and the journey is extraordinary. In Prince Edward Island, sightseeing tours from the air also garner spectacular sights. If you’d rather jump right into the scenery below from a small plane (strapped to an instructor), tandem skydive operators can make it happen. For more info, check out:
8. Suspension Bridges
Looking for a fun eco-activity? Eagle Canyon Adventures near Thunder Bay, Ontario, offers you the opportunity to cross a suspension bridge. At 600 feet across and 125 feet above ground, this is Canada’s longest foot suspension bridge. There’s also a 420 ft. suspension bridge at the highest point of the Niagara escarpment at Scenic Caves. Atlantic Canada also has many suspension bridge adventures, as does British Columbia.
9. Aerial Trams and Gondolas
British Columbia is now home to a new world record-breaking “PEAK 2 PEAK” Gondola-a breathtaking 4.4-kilometre journey connecting Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains with an unsupported span of 3.024 kilometres. Other aerial trams and gondolas include Jasper’s Tramway, Banff’s Gondola, Niagara Fall’s Whirlpool Aero Car, and the cable car at Quebec’s Montmorency Falls.
10. Dinner in the Sky
How about enjoying five-star culinary fare in the clouds without a plane? After successful debuts around the world, Dinner in the Sky is a fabulous concept now available in Canadian cities. A colossal crane hoists a portable restaurant up 100 to 150 feet over the cityscape where diners enjoy “haute cuisine” while their feet dangle above the incredible view. Bon appétit!