Looking for an adrenaline-filled, action-oriented adventure? Here are a few aerial adventures across Canada where the hair-raising fun is guaranteed:
Victoria & Nanaimo: WildPlay Element Park
“The great part about this park is that even though you’re in an urban setting, you get a really good feel for an authentic West Coast experience, which is to be in our beautiful forest,” says WildPlay Victoria park manager, Sarah Prowse. “The course has been designed, so there is the least amount of impact on our natural environment, but you get to have the most interaction. You’re climbing up, touching trees, playing in the canopy, zipping through the trees on a zip line, and climbing different types of ladders that are made from repurposed materials from the forest.”
Log ladders, zip lines, cargo nets, rope swings, tightropes, swinging logs, wobbly bridges – it’s all there for you to experience. It doesn’t matter if you’re super sporty or not, Prowse says. “It is a workout, but you don’t have to be overly athletic.”
Park staff are “always there within eyeshot and earshot if assistance is needed,” she adds. “We check in regularly and help coach them along.”
To do the WildPlay courses, you are outfitted with a harness that’s attached to a continuous belay system. “This means that each guest is continuously attached to the WildPlay course from the moment they enter it to the moment they disembark,” Prowse says.
There’s a kid’s course for ages five to 12. And for adults and youth, courses start at the ‘green’ level and progress through to blue, red and extreme. (You can stick with green if you prefer, it’s just as much fun!) There’s also a What’s to Fear (WTF) Jump where people can climb a 40-foot rope ladder onto a platform, and, tethered to a jump line, jump off the platform and then are gently lowered to the ground.
WildPlay’s Nanaimo location features aerial games, zip lines, WTF jump, bungee jump, and giant swing. “There is a sense of accomplishment – you conquer your fears,” says parent Jordan Ray, Tourism Victoria business ambassador and FAM (familiarisation) tour host. “When you finish a course, you feel good.”
AdrenaLINE Zipline Adventures, Sooke, Vancouver Island
According to Ray, AdenaLINE Zipline Adventures “is pretty cool” even before you start the zip line course, as you ride up to get to the first zip line. Once you’re on the course, “you’re up in the trees going from zipline to zipline, tree to tree. It’s all zip lines.”
North Vancouver: Grouse Mountain – Mountain Ropes Adventure and Kids Tree Canopy Adventure
Adventure awaits at Grouse Mountain at the Mountain Ropes Adventure and Kids Tree Canopy Adventure. Explore the forest together on a mountaintop aerial ropes journey.
The Mountain Ropes Adventure is a series of four aerial ropes courses whose challenges include suspended bridges, zip lines, ladders and nets. There’s also a Kids Tree Canopy Adventure for children ages three to eight (parents get to supervise nearby) with three double treehouses, a single treehouse, slides and ground games.
Grouse Mountain offers a wide variety of other options for family fun, including mountain ziplines, Skyride Surf Adventure, tandem paraglide, Breakfast with the Bears, The Eye of the Wind turbine tours, mountain biking and heli-tours.
Banff: Mt. Norquay
Mt. Norquay’s via ferrata (Italian for “iron road”) is an assisted climbing experience with four different routes on the cliffs at Mt. Norquay near Banff. Visitors wear a harness that is attached to a steel cable pathway on the mountain.
An Association of Canadian Mountain Guide (ACMG)-certified guide leads this adventure where you’ll climb ladders, cross a suspension bridge, and breathe in the amazing views of Banff and the Rocky Mountains.
Calgary: Canada Olympic Park
Enjoy an action-packed visit at Winsport’s Canada Olympic Park, which offers ‘North America’s Fastest Zipline,’ summer bobsleigh, mini golf, mountain biking, skyline luge and more. When you’ve caught your breath, you can visit Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.
Montreal: Voiles en Voiles
Make believe you’re a sailor in the Old Port of Montreal, where kids – and kids at heart – can climb aboard a life-size pirate ship replica, and stretch their imagination as well as their bodies. Voiles en Voiles features 100 games in 10 different aerial adventure courses ranging from one to 10 metres high. Younger kids can have fun with the inflatable games and bouncy water castles.