Experiencing Canada’s Sacred Forest in Vancouver

This is where we go to worship the beauty and majesty of nature.
June 27, 2014 Updated: June 27, 2014

Visit Capilano Suspension Bridge Park to find the West Coast rain forest lovingly preserved

THE TEMPERATE rain forests of the West Coast of Canada are magnificent to behold. You could say that forests are our sacred groves. In a young and secular country with a small population and vast expanses of pristine wilderness, our forests are our natural temples.

This is where we go to worship the beauty and majesty of nature, and what attracts many of our visitors. But you don’t have to be a rugged explorer to appreciate our northern paradise. The West Coast temperate rainforest can be found lovingly preserved at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park.

Just a short drive across the famous Lion’s Gate Bridge from downtown Vancouver, and located in a well-to-do suburb, 27-acre Capilano Park is truly a delight and well worth the visit. The park is 125 years old, and has a rich and interesting history with interwoven strands of both Native and immigrant cultures, all of which are particularly well displayed.

But what I enjoyed most was the atmosphere and the natural environment. For, though Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is a tourist attraction, it is a rare one. It actually preserves the special ambience of the natural environment, while making it accessible with displays, signage, interactive exhibits and nature and history tours.

But the forest is the main draw

As you walk softly on a thick carpet of reddish pine needles you feel enveloped by the lushness, moist air and sun-dappled greenery. Iridescent ferns, bright mosses, and trickling streams of fresh water catch your eye at ground level. Crowds of evergreens — cedar, pine and fir trees — soften the middle distance.

And majestic Douglas Firs thrust upwards, ram-rod straight, creating a lofty canopy. Birds twitter among the branches, while squirrels gambol up and down tree trunks and butterflies alight on lush ground-level foliage. There is a quiet sanctity, a reverence in the air that slows the gait and lowers the voices of casual visitors.

I met a couple from Kerala, both biologists, who were very enthusiastic about the park and about the new and different species they were encountering. Like me, they felt they truly were in the forest — a slice of forest well managed, maintained and easy to explore.

Capilano is an especially interesting destination for families and foreigners, I think, because there are so many opportunities to experience and learn about the natural environment in this part of the world. Elders can stroll the well-maintained paths while kids can climb up to the Treetops adventure and along the Cliffwalk.

In fact, I met several families from India at the park, all three generations enjoying different activities. A family from Gurgaon told me they loved the warm people, the nature and greenery of British Columbia, and that “people are not in a rush.” Families from Bombay and Gujurat told me they loved the freshness and cleanliness.


Original article http://breathedreamgo.com/2014/06/canadas-sacred-forest-vancouver/

Mariellen Ward is a travel writer and publisher of the meaningful adventure travel blog Breathedreamgo.com for seekers and travellers to India, Canada and beyond. 

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.