Are you an outdoors-oriented person? Would you like to experience a diverse range of outdoor experiences in various parts of beautiful Ontario, Canada? If so, we have the Journey for you! The clubs of Greater Hamilton and Burlington, Niagara, and Haliburton invite ambassadors from around the world to join together in friendship and participate in this global Journey, “Ontario Outdoor Adventure” in September 2018. You will experience adventurous activities including bicycling, boating, and hiking, as well as enjoying the town and country scenery and culture of each of these three areas of Ontario.
Home Hospitality provided by the Friendship Force clubs of Greater Hamilton and Burlington, Niagara, and Haliburton Highlands.
Live With a Local
- This Journey will bring together ambassadors from all over the world, sharing Canadian hospitality and culture, and allowing plenty of opportunity to learn from one another.
- Global Ambassadors will meet one another and the hosts during welcome socials, farewell dinners, and home-hosted meals, as well as sharing in the outdoor activities in the program.
- Home-hosting will be provided for five nights with each of the three clubs during your stay, for a total of fifteen nights.
- Good times will be spent with your hosts in each area, as they highlight all the many places and activities that they especially appreciate.
- You will see the sights of town and country in each area, and skilled outdoor enthusiasts will guide you through the assorted activities, including hiking, bicycling, and boating. Equipment such as bicycles and boats will be provided.
- The start of Fall colours and harvest time in rural Ontario
- Stunning vineyards and tender fruit orchards
- Niagara Falls and Niagara-On-the-Lake
- The scenic gardens of Niagara Falls and the Botanical Gardens
- The engineering feat of the Welland Canal
- Vistas, forests, streams, waterfalls and rock faces along the Niagara Escarpment and the Bruce Trail
- Beautiful waterfront and harbour areas in Hamilton and Burlington
- The wonderful Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton
- Crawford Lake and the Aboriginal Village there
- Stunning scenery in the Haliburton Highlands
- A camp experience at Camp Wanakita
- Abbey Gardens Recreational Area in an old quarry
- A fish hatchery and Sculpture Forest
Hosts went above and beyond sharing their local culture and kindness. - Previous Ambassador, 2015
Ontario Outdoor Adventure
16 Days / 15 Nights Program and Itinerary:
September 5, 2018 – September 20, 2018
Coordinator: Heather Oliver, FF Greater Hamilton and Burlington
All Friendship Force Itineraries are subject to change.
Sept. 5: Hamilton/Burlington
Guests will arrive at meeting place and be picked up by hosts.
Dinner and evening with home hosts.
Sept. 6: Hamilton/Burlington
Visit the Royal Botanical Gardens, a world renowned facility to allow research, conservation and recreation with its wonderful series of trails, beautiful gardens, and informative interpretive centre.
Explore the beautiful Burlington Waterfront.
Sept. 7: Hamilton/Burlington
Hike the Bruce Trail along the Niagara Escarpment, a World Biosphere Reserve running through the area. The vistas from the top are magnificent! You will see stunning waterfalls along the way.
Enjoy a picnic lunch during your hike.
Sept. 8: Hamilton/Burlington
Explore the scenic waterfront, on the Hamilton Harbour including a boat cruise, shuttle tour, and walk.
Enjoy optional activities.
Sept. 9: Hamilton/Burlington
Experience Crawford Lake.
Step back in time and explore the 15th century Iroquoian village, one of the most accurately dated pre-contact archaeological sites in Canada.
Hike through beautiful woodlands and explore the interesting meromictic lake.
Sept. 10: Niagara
Arrive at Niagara Club by coach from Hamilton/Burlington.
Get acquainted time with hosts and early lunch at home hosting.
Tour of Welland Canal, then an easy hike in the Glenridge Quarry Naturalization Site.
Welcome Party with dinner at designated venue.
Sept. 11: Niagara
Breakfast with home hosts.
Tour of Niagara Falls led by a tour guide from the Niagara Club. Tour includes a cruise on the ship “The Hornblower,” an IMAX theatre presentation, walking along The Falls area to Table Rock, and riding to the top of the Skylon Tower to view The Falls.
Dinner hosting at individual club members homes.
Sept. 12: Niagara
Meandering ride around country roads in the Jordan area with a visit to a local fruit growing farm. (Riders need to be able to cycle an easy 25-30 km.)
Lunch on own, with time to visit the quaint Village of Jordan.
Dinner with home hosts.
Sept. 13: Niagara
Experience hiking the famous Bruce Trail in the Niagara Area (four hour hike).
Sample wines at the Niagara College Teaching Winery.
Ambassadors take hosts to dinner.
*Please note that the cycling day and hiking day could be switched around depending on the weather conditions for the day.
Sept. 14: Niagara
Free activity day.
Ambassadors may select from the list of possible activities:
- Jet Boat Ride on the Niagara River
- Zip Line at the Falls
- Visit the historic village of Niagara on the Lake
- Sample beers at Craft Breweries
- Further wine tasting with over 80 local wineries to choose from
- Shopping at local Outlet Collection Fashion Mall
- Experience further hiking time
Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant or hotel.
*The free day does not have to be the last day, but could be between the cycling day and the hiking day.
Sept. 15: Haliburton
Heading north, you will visit breathtaking cottage country. Haliburton is a village in the Haliburton Highlands with this name due either to its similarity to the Scottish Highlands or the Scottish ancestry of the area’s founders. The lakes, rivers, and forests dominate in the area, along with the rock outcroppings of the Canadian Shield, but there is also a thriving arts and cultural scene which helps to make Haliburton a great destination.
Tonight, enjoy a welcome social with your hosts.
Sept. 16: Haliburton
Visit Abbey Gardens with interesting hiking trails and lovely gardens in an old gravel pit.
Dinner with hosts.
Sept. 17: Haliburton
Experience great adventure at Camp Wanakita, a children’s camp and outdoor education centre located on the shores of Koshlong Lake in Ontario’s magnificent Haliburton Highlands. A full day is planned here, which includes a tour of the camp, a hike to a beaver dam, and an exciting paddle in a voyageur canoe used by the fur traders many years ago.
Sept. 18: Haliburton
Fish Hatchery – Participants will be given a tour of the Haliburton Highlands Outdoor Association’s Resource Centre with interpretative displays, and then tour the fish hatchery where volunteers raise rainbow trout and other species for lakes in the Highlands. This tour is followed by a hike on trails through the adjacent wetlands.
Visit the Haliburton Sculpture Forest, an outdoor collection of sculptures by Canadian and international artists. The trails in the Sculpture Forest provide a unique perspective of the forest and the art installations displayed along the way.
Tonight, attend a Farewell Dinner with your hosts and fellow ambassadors.
Sept. 19: Haliburton
Today is a hike day that will culminate in a boat tour and barbecue.
Sept. 20: Haliburton
Ambassadors will say farewell to their hosts and fellow ambassadors and depart for home.
$850 USDPrice Includes: FFI and host fees, transportation between clubs, most dinners, tours, and the cost of activities and equipment rentals.
Know before you go
- As this Journey is geared to outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy more active adventures, we are planning the program for ambassadors with certain abilities.
- Physical Requirements - All ambassadors must be fit, healthy, and able to participate in high energy activities. Ambassadors must be able to do physical activities for at least 2-3 hours at a time, walk over 3 km at a time - frequently on uneven ground, climb hills and flights of stairs, be able to stand for extended periods of time, and be experienced in riding a bicycle for several kilometers at a time.
- Ambassadors must be willing to participate in all activities and sign a liability waiver. No alternative program will be provided (though there may be some choice in some of the activities.)
- We will need your height measurement for proper bicycle fit, once you have your confirmation as an ambassador.
- A Health and Mobilty Checklist must be submitted with each application.
- Temperatures vary in September, with usual daytime highs in the 18-25°C range, depending on the area, and night time in the range of 8-12°C. Haliburton will be cooler than Niagara.
- Appropriate clothing should be worn for activities - good hiking shoes, comfortable bright coloured cycling clothing (for visibility), cycling helmets - which can be brought, or will be provided here, bathing suit and clothes that can get wet in the water activities, light rain gear (as needed). Layering your clothes works best.
- Bring a small backpack.
- Smart casual attire will be worn for dinners (no jackets or ties for men.)
Friendship Force International provides opportunities to explore new countries and cultures from the inside by bringing people together at the personal level. Through the signature program of home hospitality, local hosts welcome international visitors into their culture, sharing with them meals, conversation, and the best sights and experiences of their region.