Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge and Ecology Centre - North Vancouver
Activity:Feel like breaking out and trying something a little daring? How about visiting the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge. Why is the bridge sure to give you goosebumps? It jiggles, for one--every time someone takes a step. It's pretty narrow too--just wide enough for two people to pass each other. I should also mention the bridge was built in 1912, so instead of solid steel, you've got narrow wooden slats under your feet. And that's all that's separating you from a 166 foot drop to Lynn Creek below.
The bridge, however, is 100% safe--although I know it doesn't sound like it is. Nobody has ever fallen off it--although people have jumped. Every summer at least one daredevil loses his life jumping off either the bridge or the rocks into the beckoning blue pools below.
The view from the bridge is spectacular--if you have the nerve to stop and look at it. My wife doesn't. Once Mary's on the bridge, she never looks back. Nathan and Jen are the exact opposite. They carefreely toss dried leaves over the edge, and excitedly peer through the railing to see what hit the water first.
Once you make it across, there are several hiking trails awaiting you. The one we usually take (because it's easy) winds along the creek until you reach a couple of pools. I have seen a few brave people swimming in these pools. Be prepared, the water is cold. I also wouldn't recommend swimming when the water is moving fast. Several people have died swimming in Lynn Creek! There are longer hikes you can take as well leading to the Seymour Demonstration Forest and the Lynn Headwaters Regional Park, plus oodles of forest to explore. The park is 250 hectares in size! If you'd like a guided tour, you can get one at the Ecology Centre. It also has displays on the effects plants, animals, and man have on each other.
Age group:All ages
:What I like about the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge is there's plenty to see and do for everybody. You can cross the bridge and go home, or you can cross the bridge, go hiking, explore the forest, wade in the water, and have a picnic. The scenery is worth spending a roll of film on. And parking is free.
:I'd be hard pressed to find even one thing I don't like about the bridge. But then, I'm not afraid of crossing a jiggly bridge. Some people are. Plus, don't underestimate the power of the creek. I wasn't exaggerating when I said every year somebody dies. Take the time to read the billboards explaining how easy it is to drown.
Details:The Ecology Centre is open 10 am - 5 pm daily (closed weekends December to January).
For information call (604) 981-3103. Website: www.dnv.org/ecology
To get there take the Upper Levels Highway (Highway 1) to the Lynn Valley Road exit (exit 19). Follow Lynn Valley Road in a north-easterly direction, past the Mountain Highway intersection, and continue on Lynn Valley Road until you see the sign for the Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre.
3663 Park Road in Lynn Valley.
Season:You can visit the bridge all year round. It might be kind of slushy and mushy in the winter to go hiking. Plus the water will be at its peak. I wouldn't advise you to go down for a closer look. On the other hand, it does get busier in the summer. (The bridge really jiggles a lot).
Educational highlights:You have to respect Mother Nature when you see how the force of the water has etched out this magnificent canyon. The raging water contrasts to the security and serenity of the forest. I always think about how lucky I am to be a part of it.
Fun for the adult?:This is one spot my wife and I can always agree on. Once we get the swaying bridge out of our systems, we enjoy hiking along the trails and watching our kids discover creepy-crawly bugs, slimy fungus, termite-eaten bark, rocks, water, holes, and, of course, sticks.