I want to make something clear. My son loves helicopters. Really loves helicopters. He’s obsessed with helicopters. So when I wanted my family to see a once-in-a-lifetime view of Niagara Falls, I reckoned it was great opportunity to give him his very first helicopter flight – one that he’ll never forget.
We booked the Niagara Falls Grand Helicopter tour and arrived at the Niagara-on-the-Lake airport. Within minutes Akira, my helicopter-loving son, had a couple new best friends (the pilots) and commenced to tell them all about their fleet of aircraft. They were delighted a 10-year-old boy knew all about their favourite toys. They landed our chopper right out front and we got to feel the blast as we took some photos and climbed on board. Luckily for the little guy he got to co-pilot while we shared the cabin with a lovely couple from Texas.
Once off the ground we could see from Toronto to Hamilton in one direction, the Welland Canal with a couple ships en route, glimpses of Lake Erie, Buffalo, Youngstown, Lewiston, green farms, vineyards and the Niagara River in the other. The size of the hydro-electric dams can only be appreciated from the air with huge reservoirs on both sides of the border, massive concrete structures, whirlpools and high-tension wire ‘forests’.
We flew up the river canyon when suddenly around the bend appeared the American Falls – what a view! I’ve seen them dozens of times from the ground but they’ve never looked this good. We could see the Maid of the Mist charging up river towards the white tower of mist rising from Horseshoe Falls.
The flight passes right next to the falls, and when the pilot banks around so you can absorb the scale from above. Amazing. The kids were speechless. We passed right over the Canadian falls and had a view straight over the edge. No barrel for me. I was alternately madly taking photos and breaking to enjoy the non-viewfinder (3D!) view.
After the falls we cruised back to the NOTL airport via the city of Niagara Falls glitz (mini Las Vagas anyone?), the Brock Monument with final views of the mouth of the Niagara River on one side and the still visible mist tower on the other horizon.
The flight was absolutely smooth and our pilot informed us we had an impossibly clear and still day. What an experience. Akira was definitely satisfied!
Planning a trip? Browse Viator’s Niagara Falls tours & things to do at Niagara Falls, including Niagara Falls helicopter tours, including the helicopter tour Jeff reviewed.