Plans for a new tourist attraction on Vancouver Island’s Malahat Highway were officially announced this week.
Known as the Malahat Skywalk, the project is similar to the recently announced, elevated tree walk project at the top of the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish.
Located 30 minutes from Victoria, just north of the Malahat Summit, the proposed attraction is a partnership between a new company known as A.Spire by Nature and the Malahat Nation.
The Skywalk is a 650-metre elevated wooden pathway through an Arbutus forest leading to a gentle accessible spiral ramp climbing up to a 40-metre high sightseeing lookout where visitors can take in views of the Finlayson Arm and distant coastal mountains.
“Inspired by our exploration of elevated forest walks in Europe, we want to bring the concept of an accessible, environmentally sound and culturally significant tourism experience to Vancouver Island,” said A.Spire by Nature Principal, David Greenfield.
This project, he said, “will offer opportunities for locals and visitors alike to immerse themselves in local storytelling, cultural celebration and natural interpretive education as well as the stunning natural landscape and vistas of the Cowichan Valley and Finlayson Arm.”
Malahat Nation Councillor George Harry Jr. said the project is one that his nation is “proud” to partner on.
“Not only is it a tourism experience that speaks to sustainability and the connection to our land, but it will also provide opportunities for many generations of the Malahat Nation to come,” he added.
The Malahat Skywalk rezoning application has been submitted to the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) and the Management plan has been submitted to the Provincial Government. The goal is to start construction in the fall with a proposed opening in June of 2020.
“As the Destination Marketing Organization focused on the South Island, we are delighted to see business partnerships with indigenous communities to support economic development,” said Paul Nursey, President and CEO of Destination Greater Victoria. “We see this new attraction being very popular to individual travellers, cruise visitors, tour operators and to meetings and incentive groups.”