Hyper tubing and barrels surround an empty school bus in the centre of one of Sherkston Paintball's four woodland fields, while a two-storey tower stands tall among a huddle of lower-slung structures in another. Players can navigate through medium to thick brush in the aptly named Brush Field, or ambush the Attack & Defend field's 100-foot-long fort, which hinders blitzes with walls reaching more than nine feet and a tower missing a princess with scalable hair. Alternately, bunkers are the only obstruction on a new speedball field that's surrounded by a seating area for spectators.
Along with outdoor bouts every Saturday and Sunday throughout the year, Sherkston Paintball hosts annual events and tournaments including an epic Trailer Park Boys-themed battle. Players can also get the most up-to-date gear at the fully-stocked, on site pro-shop.
The outdoor enthusiasts at Play Hard Niagara outfit visitors for romps on the water, beach, and street. Gear rentals ranging from sit-on-top kayaks to bikes equip explorers for adventures throughout the Port Colborne area, including trips along the old canal and Lake Erie shoreline. For a small fee, Play Hard's staff delivers equipment to nearby locations for full-day rentals. Back in Crystal Beach, the shop displays a multitude of recreational equipment, ranging from land-bound scooters to surf gear that stands ready to skim over a cresting wave or through layers of the upper atmosphere.
Niagara Fishing Adventures guides line-casters over the waters of Lake Ontario for voyages fruitful in fish-centric escape. Troll for king and coho salmon as well as rainbow, brown, and lake trout on the sturdy decks of a 30-foot Sea Ray, ripe with opportunities to master plank-pirouettes or sea-legged tap dances. Captain Aldo Nava’s trawling savvy comes from almost 30 years of experience, including spots on the Canadian Sportfishing television series and high placement in salmon tournaments. Baited hooks taunt succulent schools that have made their way to lake hotspots during the prime spring and summer seasons for binge mayfly consumption and unbridled spawning. Rods, reels, and bait are included, allowing collectors to leave Fabergé lures at home in the safety of their own display tackle boxes.
The six hard courts at Welland Indoor Tennis Club play host to friendly matches, leagues, and clinics conducted from October to April each year. Committed members and a welcoming staff of enthusiastic instructors run the inviting non-profit facility and readily help beginners, intermediate players, and professionals perfect strokes and secure facial tissue for post-Wimbledon nasal drip. Check out the schedule to plan ahead for court time.
The tree-lined easements of 27 fairways just north of Lake Erie form Whisky Run Golf Club’s three distinct nine-hole golf courses. The most popular of the courses, the Fox Course, roams through parkland terrain characterized by mature arbors, treacherous ponds, and picturesque panoramas from the tops of Lake Erie sand dunes. The Fox course connects with the links-style Serpent course to form the club’s signature 18-hole, 5,742-yard course, which invites golfers to play two unique golf experiences in one round without having to imagine life from the perspective of their sandwedge.
For a more abridged round, duffers can hack their way through the Owl Course, a par 34 executive layout lined by red pines, black walnut trees, and deciduous briefcases. After a round of divot-tearing bliss, golfers can continue to hone their swing at the Club’s driving range or rejuvenate with a libation or sandwich at the Bootlegger Bistro.
The 36 holes at Sparrow Lakes Golf Club double down on playability by forming both a championship-length course dubbed the Heron and its shorter sibling, the Sparrow course. The Heron weighs in at 6,765 yards from the back tees for a par of 72, with much of the course playing into a prevailing wind that routinely knocks down approaches. Rounds come to a climax at the signature par 3 18th hole, where a green surrounded almost entirely by water lies poised to bring a damp end to otherwise high-and-dry rounds. The 4,909-yard, par-67 Sparrow course, meanwhile, allows shorter hitters to enjoy the game without injecting their golf balls with Flubber.
Heron Course at a Glance:
Sparrow Course at a Glance: