Think you have a head for heights? The Capilano Cliffwalk will make you think again. Opening on June 2, it's suspended 70 m over a rushing river with some sections projecting 9 m away from a mossy, fern-covered granite cliff.
Located in the forested hills just minutes from downtown Vancouver, the Capilano Suspension Bridge park already boasts the eponymous 137-m-long bridge. But after rappelling down the canyon one day, John Stibbard, third-generation park manager, found inspiration for a newer thrill. The Cliffwalk, a 230-m bridge suspended over the Capilano River, was born. After all, "people don't get to just stand on the edge of a cliff face," Stibbard says. They do at Capilano at eye level with rock-clinging tree roots while gazing at bald eagles swooping below.
As you tentatively make your way along the 50-cm-wide bridge, between the treetops, slender sidings of stainless-steel mesh leave you feeling awfully exposed and force you to hang on a little tighter to everything you're carrying. So do the bobbing and swaying of the bridge itself. Then come two glass-bottomed decks the second of which is not for the timid, being cantilevered into midair.
Dotted along the Cliffwalk are informative signs, explaining the importance of water, natural vegetation and salmon which can be seen in the river below. These serve the function of educating visitors, but more importantly of distracting you from that awful sheer drop.
For more information, see capbridge.com.
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