With its easy access to outdoor spaces within the city and in the nearby countryside, the Ottawa area is the perfect place for exciting land, air and water experiences. Whether you want to feel the wind in your hair, your heart in your throat or water down your back, consider these adventurous activities in and around Canada’s capital that are sure to get your adrenaline pumping!
The Rock at Great Canadian Bungee
Located just 20 minutes north of downtown Ottawa, Great Canadian Bungee is home to a 61-metre or 200-foot jump site known as The Rock. This jumping site is the only place in North America where you can experience a 200-foot drop into a spring-fed lagoon. The 160-foot rebound itself is higher than the entire bungee height of any other site in the United States and Canada! Strap in and enjoy this scenic freefall down into an amphitheatre of solid limestone.
Parachute GO Skydive
Located just across the Ottawa River in Gatineau, Quebec, GO Skydive offers “First Jump” tandem and experienced jumper programs. If you’ve never jumped before, follow a 15-minute training session and then experience a 200-kilometre per hour (124-mile per hour) freefall! Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced jumper, once the parachute opens, you can take in beautiful, scenic views of the Ottawa-Gatineau region and the Ottawa River as you float down.
Ottawa Biplane Adventures
If you’re not into freefalling, why not fly instead? Operating out of the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, Ottawa Biplane Adventures offers exciting flights in an authentic WWII-era WACO UPF-7 biplane circa 1939. Put on some vintage goggles – a perfect selfie opportunity – step into the open-cockpit aircraft, and get ready for a blast from the past. As the pilot flies the plane and the wind blows through your hair, you can enjoy beautiful views of the Ottawa River, downtown Ottawa as well as the iconic Parliament Hill. The biplane can take two passengers per flight.
Did you know that the Ottawa region has some of the best whitewater activities in the entire world from May to September? West of Ottawa’s downtown core, you’ll find the area of Beachburg, Ontario, which is home to several rafting companies that offer a variety of full-day and multi-day experiences ranging from mild to high adrenaline, expert level adventure (including level V rapids). Some of the companies also offer sunset boat cruises, hot tubs, beach volleyball and even bungee jumping. Destination Canada has designated rafting as a Canadian Signature Experience, meaning that it responds to a traveller’s desire to venture beyond the beaten tourist path.
The Ottawa region’s turbulent rivers are also perfect for whitewater kayaking. Wilderness Tours in Beachburg, Ontario runs the Ottawa Kayak School – one of the largest of its kind in the world – where everyone from beginners to experts can take one-day clinics or even week-long programs. If you prefer an urban experience, join the Downtown Ottawa Instruction program run by Owl Rafting’s Madawaska Kanu Centre. Lessons take place at a location known as The Pumphouse on the Ottawa River near the Canadian War Museum – just a five minutes’ drive from Parliament Hill!
Camp Fortune’s Explorer Park:
Just a 15-minute drive north of Ottawa’s downtown core is a wilderness playground: Camp Fortune’s Explorer Park. This nearly three-hour adventure takes you zip lining through the treetops of the scenic, luscious and expansive Gatineau Park. Conquer other obstacles like ladders, zigzag bridges and crawling challenges. After this exhilarating half day experience, you can reminisce about your exploits on the licensed patio on site!
These are only a few suggestions to get your adrenaline-filled getaway to Ottawa started. If rambling is more your style, check out our suggestions for Hiking in Ottawa.