Whenever our family craves fresh air and the great outdoors, a jaunt through Vancouver’s rainforests is always a favourite activity. Sometimes, it’s fun to try it from a new perspective—from high above the forest floor.
Surprise your family with one of these unique treetop adventures in Metro Vancouver:
Greenheart Tree Walk, UBC Botanical Gardens
Ascend nearly 20 metres off the ground in this series of suspended walkways and viewing platforms in the heart of UBC’s Botanical Gardens. The aerial trail is nestled amongst century-old Douglas firs, cedars and grand firs, giving you access to upper parts of the coastal rainforest.
The treetop canopy walk is just over 300 metres in length and perfect for all ages. Children will love making their way along the walkway as it climbs progressively higher. Be forewarned that it’ll be hard for kids to resist making the bridges sway, but that’s part of the fun!
The sights and sounds of the delicate ecosystem can be enjoyed at your own pace, or you can join a naturalist for a guided tour of local flora, fauna and wildlife.
Admission to the Greenheart Tree Walk is $44 for a family (two adults and four children/youth). It includes access to the rest of the gardens, so be sure to take advantage. Bring a lunch or snacks, and enjoy a leisurely wander through Canada’s oldest university botanical garden.
Good to Know: To access the Greenheart Tree Walk, small children must be able to walk on their own or be carried in a child backpack or carrier.
The UBC Botanical Gardens is located at 6804 SW Marine Drive, Vancouver, BC. Phone: 604-822-4208
Find out more at botanicalgarden.ubc.ca
WildPlay Element Parks
If you’re looking for something to get your adrenalin pumping, try jumping and swinging your way through the WildPlay adventure park in Maple Ridge, located near the entrance to Golden Ears Provincial Park.
This exhilarating treetop obstacle course will push the boundaries of your comfort zone. It’s a physical and mental challenge as you navigate log ladders, tightropes, ziplines and Tarzan swings, all integrated into the forest environment.
There’s something for all ages and comfort levels.
The Kids’ Adventure Course is “built for humans” aged 5-12, and takes young adventurers up to 4.5 metres off the ground. The Classic Course reaches a peak height of almost 14 metres, while the Extreme Course will take those who are most daring 18 metres off the ground.
Each section becomes progressively higher and more difficult, but staff prepare you in advance with a safety harness and an explanation of how to manage the obstacle course. There are also guides who walk around below the course to assist if needed. And, if the height gets to you and you feel you can’t go any further, there are certain points where you can leave the course.
The park can be very busy during peak season and weekends, so it’s best to reserve a time online in advance.
There are also WildPlay parks in Victoria, Nanaimo, Kelowna and Niagara Falls.
Good to Know: Birthday parties are offered at WildPlay, and are a great option for older children and teens. My daughter celebrated her birthday here and had a fantastic time. Bring a picnic or head to a nearby restaurant afterwards.
WildPlay Element Park is located at 23485 Fern Crescent, Maple Ridge, BC. Phone: 1-855-595-2251
Find out more at wildplay.com