Loren Christie: Top-five Canadian outdoor adventures
Loren Christie, Canada AM travel expert
Published Monday, July 12, 2010 12:29PM EDT
If you love the idea of spending your summer holiday under the open skies, it's hard to think about going anywhere but here. There are so many options in Canada for a great outdoor adventure I found it hard to limit my choices to five. My suggestions are geared to different levels of fitness and require varied time commitments. Let me know what you think….
Go House Boating – If you have never been on a houseboat, now is the time. It is a wonderful way to travel. I found it easy, fun and comfortable. I tried out Egan's house boat rentals in Ontario's Kawartha Lakes region. The boats were in great shape and after a mandatory safety lesson, you are good to go.
The costs vary depending on where you are in the season. July and August are the busiest but you can save considerably if you go in September. For a week, expect to pay approximately $1200, although certain weeks may be more expensive.
If you don't have a full week to spend on the open water, think about booking a three or four day trip.
There are numerous places across the country to do it from the St. John River in New Brunswick to the interior of British Columbia.
- Check out Egan's….www.houseboat.on.ca
Ride the Bike Train - This green-friendly initiative has placed bike racks onboard select passenger rail trains to destinations across Ontario, making cycling holidays around the province easy and accessible. The Bike Train uses various partners including VIA Rail, Ontario Northland and GO Transit.
Getting to the destination is easy as you travel in comfort while your bicycles are safely secured in the baggage car with bike racks. Check the train companies directly for fares.
It is currently available on select trains to Niagara, Windsor and North Bay but is expanding on a daily basis. New routes to Muskoka have just been announced and in a few weeks, VIA Rail will have them in all trains along the Windsor – Quebec corridor.
- Check out the website: www.biketrain.ca
Learn to Kite Board - Lameque Island near Shippagan is part of New-Brunswick's Acadian Islands. This destination is recognized as the best place to learn and practice kite boarding in Canada. The constant daily winds, the shallow water lagoons and the warm water of the Baie des Chaleurs make it ideal for beginners.
The Club Wind & Kite offers lessons and is one of only two Canadian-based International Kite boarding Organization (IKO) affiliates that teach how to safely ride the waves powered by an overhead kite.
Packages start at $89 for training and equipment for an hour.
Tidal Bore Rafting -The Shubenacadie River is fed by the Bay of Fundy, home of the highest tides in the world. When the rising tide forces the water to rush up the River, you can experience the thrill of rafting against that rush. Situated amid 200-foot-high gypsum cliffs, it starts out as a relaxing paddle past mudflats and sandbars until you reach the mouth of the river, where the tides come crashing in. Suddenly, you're white-water rafting on the world's highest tides, which travel inland at roughly 50 km an hour and stir up sixteen-foot waves. The water rushes over sand bars creating standing waves (waves that don't move) allowing you to hit them over and over. The guide can either hit the waves fast or slow depending on who is in the boat.
Tours can be two or four hours. Prices can vary depending on whether you are going during regular tides, high tides or extreme tides. Check the tide schedule in advance to help with your planning.
Historic Mail Flight - Join the seasoned crew of Corilair and help them as they go about their daily business of delivering supplies and mail to the remote communities of coastal British Columbia in a float plane. There is breathtaking scenery and local wildlife viewed as you travel from outpost to outpost. You can either board the plane in Campbell River, which is a three and a half hour drive from Victoria or you can connect through Vancouver during the summer. It's $185 per tour.
- Visit the website here: www.corilair.com
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