In the mood for an adrenaline rush? Try skydiving, parasailing, paddleboarding, wakeboarding, flyboarding or seadoing. If you love freefalling above beautiful sand and water or jumping over waves on high quality seadoos, then head to Grand Bend where you can experience the latest and greatest in adrenaline filled activities.
Since 1982, the Grand Bend Sport Parachuting Centre has operated as the only skydiving facility in Southwest Ontario. Here, qualified professional instructors assist anyone from beginners to advanced skydivers with freefalling. Whether you’re a freefalling expert or this is your first jump, there’s something for everyone at the parachuting centre. Instructors recognize that a first jump can be frightening, so they offer new skydivers a freefall skydive with two instructors assisting until the parachute is activated, which is when the beginner steers the parachute with instructions via radio.
Skydiving not your thing? Try parasailing with Grand Bend Parasail through the skies at heights of up to 1000-feet from Grand Band’s beautiful pier. There are several qualified instructors and operators who provide instruction to all participants, no matter their experience level. There are tons of deals to take advantage of such as early bird flights, which run from 9am to 11am every day; sunset loads where you can enjoy one of Canada’s best sunset destinations from a bird’s-eye view above the main beach; and group rates and specials for groups of eight or more people.
Head over to Xtreme Water Sports where you can whip around on waves in a seadoo, launch into the lake off of a 20-ft. water trampoline, try out a tube or water ski. They even have the latest innovation in adrenaline-rousing water thrill-rides – flyboarding – which is essentially a “water jet pack” that uses water pressure to let the user rise into the air, dive, and jump out of the water. Xtreme also provides an exclusive jet boat charter service and quality seadoos, jet skis, and three person waverunners for rent.
Recently, there has been a new addition to the adrenaline scene in Grand Bend – wakeboarding and paddleboarding lessons and rentals! Head to Bayfield’s Windmill Lake Wake & Eco Park, an eco-friendly outdoor recreation park that offers beginner, intermediate, and advanced cable wakeboarding, as well as stand up paddleboarding, canoeing, kayaking, and paddle boating. Windmill Lake is the only straight line cable park in Huron County, and the first bi-level wakeboarding park in Canada. There are adventures for the whole family with programming like PaddleFit, Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP) Yoga, and guided nature tours that wind through 200 acres of forest.
Heart-pumping action doesn’t stop at the shoreline. Head inland to get your motor running at Grand Bend Motorplex. One of Canada’s largest motorsport facilities, Grand Bend Motorplex has 60,000 racing fans annually. It’s the location of the largest drag racing event in Eastern Canada and the second-largest of the International Hot Road Association’s MOPAR Nitrojam Nationals! The Motorplex offers drag racing, road racing, oval-track racing and motocross competitions.
The GTA Exotic Cars track experience program is heading this way again for 2018. Ever wanted to take a Ferrari or Lamborghini or other exotic car for a drive? This program lets drivers select the car of their dreams and take it for a spin. Or maybe you’d rather throttle it out on a motorcycle. The Racer 5 Motorcycle Training School is offering two weekends of training to bring aspiring motorcycle racers from introductory to pre-race levels.
Of course, crowd favourites like the MOPAR Canadian Nationals, ONDR’s Nostalgia Weekend, Stratford Spectacular, Windsor Race Weekend and Thunder by the Beach are all back for another year.
Motorcycling Routes & Guides
It’s not the destination, it’s the journey. The Greater Grand Bend Area is nestled between three regions that publish motorcycling route guides – Cruise the Coast, Ride Perth County, and Waterloo Motorcycle Rides. Motorcycle tour itinerary maps are available at the Welcome Centre, located south-east of Grand Bend’s main intersection.
Old-Fashioned Pedal Power
Why not get your heart rate up the old-fashioned way by pedal power? The area is the starting point for several cycling routes that tour scenic farmland, valleys and woodlands from Dashwood to Zurich, Huron Park to Exeter, Whalen Corners and Centralia, a circular route to and from Bayfield and another around Seaforth, Clinton, Benmiller and Goderich. Routes vary from eight kilometres to 40 kilometres. Cycling guides available from the Welcome Centre.
Rent a Bike
You can rent a bike at Pinery Provincial Park south of Grand Bend and Outside Projects on Main Street in Bayfield. Outside Projects also provides repairs and equipment sales.
Handy Cycling Websites: BikeFriendlyLambton.com, BikeOnTours.on.ca, Canadian-Cycling.com, CycleCanada.com, gbcbt.org, GuildedHistoricalBikeTours.ca, mapmyride.com/ca/goderich-ontario, OntarioCycling.org, OutsideProjects.net, waterfronttrail.org/lambton-shores.
Grand Bend Bike Club: strava.com/clubs/21707
Decks, Ramps, Boards, BMX & Scooters
Action sports continue in downtown Zurich at the All-In Skatepark – Southwest Ontario’s largest indoor skatepark at 40,000 square feet; offering training ramps and training camps for all ages and levels. They host a variety of events, including birthday parties for those seeking active fun. The Skatepark also sells equipment and supplies for skateboarders, BMX bikers and scooter aficionados. Check out their location at 36 Main St., Zurich or call 519-236-7203 or visit theallinstore.com.
Take To The Lanes
Looking to take it easy after an action-packed day or seeking rainy-day activities? Hit the lanes at Town & Country Bowling Lanes (Main Street, Zurich). Family-friendly 5-pin bowling can include glow-in-the-dark fun! Call 519-236-4923 or visit townandcountrybowling.com.
Get a jump on your day
Maintain your fitness routine away from home at one of the area’s gyms.
- Birch Park Trailer Park (Grand Bend): Gym passes and memberships available to non-park visitors. birchbarkcamping.com, 519-238-8256, 36501 Dashwood Rd. (County Rd. 83).
- Oakwood Resort (Grand Bend): Drop-in, monthly and seasonal gym, pool and fitness class passes. oakwoodresort.ca/fitness-oakwood, 519-238-2324, 70671 Hwy. 21.
- South Huron Fitness (Exeter): 24-hour, 4,000-square-foot gym facility; passes and memberships available. facebook.com/southhuronfitness, 519-235-4555, 190 Thames Road. E.
- YMCA Fitness Centre (Forest): Inside the Shores Recreation Centre. Adult and student priced day passes available. ymcaswo.ca, 519-786-9622, 7883 Amtelecom Pky.
- YMCA Fitness Centre (Goderich): Inside the Maitland Recreation Centre, ymcaswo.ca, 190 Suncoast Dr. E.
- MOPAR Canadian Superbike Series – June 8-10, 2018
- ONDR Nostalgia Weekend – June 29-July 1, 2018
- Bayfield Vettefest – July 6 & 7, 2018
- BaconFest – July 14, 2018
- MS Bike Tour – July 28 & 29, 2018
- MOPAR Canadian Nationals – August 3-5, 2018
- Wind & Waves Outdoor Eco Festival – August 4-6, 2018
- Thunder by the Beach – September 1-3, 2018
- Volkfest – September 30, 2018