Want to feel what it’s like to be a monkey or a squirrel frolicking as high as you want up in the treetops?
Want to know what it’s like to run from tree to tree, looking down 250 feet to the ground below, and not be confined in a plane or a helicopter or a hang glider or even a hot air balloon?
Then come to the Capilano Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver and climb up on the longest suspension bridge in Canada and prepare to be amazed.
Yes, it’s a little wobbly, but there are secure metal handrails, and the joy of being in the midst of old growth Douglas firs looking 230 feet down onto the Capilano River makes you forget any fearful feelings of vertigo. You can take a free shuttle bus from several different stops right in downtown Vancouver and in about 20 minutes you’re driving through the enormous Stanley Park, green and unspoiled nature at its British Columbian best, with the Capilano just ahead with its eco-minded walkways and seven footbridges for stopping a moment and enjoying the feeling of being above it all. It’s sort of like zip lining without ever having to step off the footbridge.
You can take guided nature and eco-walks through the trees on the bridge amid the forest canopy, and kids can follow a Treetops map and collect stamps at six locations to receive an “I Made It” certificate. Children can also meet Harris Hawk and Great Horned Owl, the legendary birds of prey who live in the park and are cared for by rangers. Kids’ Rainforest Explorer allows children aged six through 12 to collect research data on the rainforest in a self-guided program. For every age, complimentary guided nature or history tours are available throughout the day during most of the year.
The bridge was built in 1889 and named after the First Nations family name meaning “beautiful river,” from the Squamish Nation. Totem poles in the area remind visitors of the many special places in Canada where First Nation tribes set foot here before the white man came and settled. The newest addition to the bridge is Cliffwalk, a spectacular series of cantilevered glass and metal bridges, stairs and platforms added to the suspension bridge walks in 2011 and carefully, eco-mindedly, attached to the enormous old fir trees so that it doesn’t harm them. Walking this area feels like walking on a cloud. In late fall and during the Christmas season, the bridge presents Canyon Lights, adding to the arial beauty of the area.
Vancouver has an amazing number of special attractions, sites, and festivals to attract visitors. This should be first on everyone’s visit list to the lovely city.
For more information, go to capbridge.com.