Back to School for a UBC Day Out

Photo: John Lee

The following article was contributed by Vancouver travel writer and Lonely Planet author John Lee (@johnleewriter)

It’s one of Canada’s largest campuses – with dozens of faculties serving 48,000 full-time students – but the University of British Columbia is also among Vancouver’s best day out destinations, combining a surprisingly diverse array of attractions and activities.

Most start at the Museum of Anthropology. Perhaps B.C.’s best cultural attraction, it showcases a kaleidoscopic array of Northwest Coast First Nations artifacts, including a forest of totem poles and a menagerie of bright-painted carvings.

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Back to School for a UBC Day Out

Featured Attraction of the Week: Greenheart Canopy Walkway (Free Ticket Giveaway!)

Photo: Greenheart Canopy Walkway at UBC Botanical Garden

Back by popular demand, Inside Vancouver has relaunched the “Featured Attraction of the Week” series. Each Monday we’ll be featuring a different Vancouver attraction and will be giving away free tickets to our readers. To be eligible, all you have to do is post a comment.

Climb up and experience Vancouver’s forest with a bird’s eye-view on the Greenheart Canopy Walkway!

Located at the University of British Columbia’s Botanical Garden, the Greenheart Canopy Walkway is a 308-metre (1010 feet) aerial trail system that is more than 15 meters above ground, offering a rare perspective of the natural beauty of the west coast forest canopy ecosystem. It is the only one of its kind in Canada.
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Featured Attraction of the Week: Greenheart Canopy Walkway (Free Ticket Giveaway!)

A Bird’s-Eye View of Vancouver’s Forests: Canopy Tours

greenheart canopy

The West Coast temperate rain forests around Vancouver are filled with towering Douglas Firs, western hemlocks and red cedars.  Surviving old growth trees, some nearly a thousand years old, rise hundreds of feet into the mountain air.  For travelers, one of the most unique – and hair-raising – ways to experience these forests is from above.

Canopy walkways – platforms and swinging bridges hung high in the forest – offer visitors a bird’s-eye view of Vancouver’s natural splendor.  Constructed out of steel cables, the wobbly walkways run from tree trunk to tree trunk, in some cases hanging 100 feet above the forest floor.  At those heights, you’re eye to eye with chattering squirrels and nesting birds and immersed in the majestic green canvas of the rain forest.

There are two options in the city for adventurers interested in exploring the canopy.  Both are completely safe, with safety rails and security netting, but nonetheless aren’t for the faint of heart.

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A Bird’s-Eye View of Vancouver’s Forests: Canopy Tours

Who Loves the Greenheart Canopy Walk?

Greenheart Canopy Walkway

What do you think when you hear “botanical garden”?  Rosebushes? Flowerbeds? Silver-haired seniors in loafers and khakis strolling by?

One thing you probably don’t think of is adrenalin-pumping attractions.  But, as strange as that may sound, that’s more or less what you’ll find at UBC Botanical Garden’s Greenheart Canopy Walkway.

Nestled deep within the beautiful but otherwise sedate garden on the western edge of UBC is an extensive network of wobbly suspension bridges, platforms and viewing towers suspended high above the forest floor.   The idea is that you ascend high into the trees and get a bird’s-eye view of a West Coast temperate rain forest.

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Who Loves the Greenheart Canopy Walk?

UBC Botanical Garden

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Living on the ‘wet coast’, Vancouverites don’t let rainy weather get in the way of their enjoyment of outdoor activities. It’s all in the choice of rain gear and selection of proper footwear – usually rubber boots!

A wonderful place to visit any time of year, and in any weather, is the UBC Botanical Garden, located on SW Marine Drive at the entrance to the University of British Columbia. This garden is the oldest continuously operating botanical garden in Canada, and has much to offer visitors of any age and interest. The Garden is not only an attraction in itself, it serves as a ‘green classroom’ for education, preservation and the research of plants, botany and landscape architecture.

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UBC Botanical Garden