We continue our look at the sights and wonders of Vancouver Island with a visit to the newest attraction to be added to the many things to do and see, officially opened to the public on Thursday, July 15, 2021 at 10:00 a.m.. The Malahat Skywalk is a wonderful place to stroll through the timbers and gawk at the vistas! All from the space usually reserved for the birds.
Malahat SkyWalk is an accessible 600 meter (2,000 feet) elevated TreeWalk through a beautiful arbutus forest leading to a spectacular gentle spiral ramp that takes you up 32m (100 feet, or ten stories) to a sightseeing lookout offering views of Finlayson Arm, Saanich Peninsula, Mount Baker and the distant Coast Mountains.
Just look for this sign by the side of the Trans Canada Highway 1 North along the Pacific Marine Circle Route within the Cowichan Valley. For full directions on how to get here, from just about anywhere, please check out their Official Website and look under ‘Plan Your Visit’ and ‘Getting Here’ at the bottom of the opening page. But just so you can get your bearings, it is approximately half way between Duncan and Victoria.
It may look like a lot of walking but really it is doable by anyone, young or old, and even those with mobility issues. We saw many with wheelchairs and canes making out just fine! And there are plenty of benches along the way for taking a break and looking at the scenery.
Before you enter the main trail, where you present your admission ticket, you can see several well done driftwood sculptures. Then you enter the TreeWalk and make your way to the Spiral Tower. But keep in mind that once you exit the attraction, there is no reentry allowed.
The Spiral Tower is built primarily from durable Douglas-fir timber with steel supports. It is very stable, but if you stood still while at the top and paid attention, you could feel a little sway. But you will feel very safe.
When you are done for the day, you can choose your way down with a return walk on the ramp or take the fast route on the Spiral Slide. We didn’t do the slide as it had over an hour wait for just a 10-second descent! But if you had the time, it did look like a lot of fun, at least from the screams we heard!
But while you are still up at the top of the Spiral Tower, you’ll want to pluck up your courage and take a daring walk out onto the Adventure Net! Just don’t look down (I’m kidding, you have to look down!) If you aren’t sure if this is for you, check out my saunter in the air:
But what everyone is really here for is the views. And the Malahat Walk doesn’t disappoint:
You have a panoramic viewing opportunity, but the best views are in two directions overlooking the Coast Mountains and the majestic waters. Looking ‘behind’ does yield awesome views of the woodlands.
Mount Baker has been playing ‘Peek-a-Boo’ with us through dense fog ever since we arrived on the Island. So when we had a chance to sightsee on a clear day, we leapt at the chance to finally get a good picture of this impressive mountain, which you can see in the picture below (left):
As you can see from our smiles (above, right) we would highly recommend this attraction! For just over $30.00 CAN per adult, it is certainly well worth the money.
Just to mention another option for viewing the trees and wildlife, instead of returning to the Welcome Centre (with the obligatory Gift Shop and Café) via the TreeWalk, you can opt for a dirt path that winds through the wilderness. We did this and got some nice views of the TreeWalk and Spiral Tower from below. This might not be the best option for those with mobility issues.
Speaking of the Gift Shop, it is a bit sparse at this point. They are waiting for more targeted merchandise with images of the Spiral Tower and TreeWalk structure on them. What is available now are more generic items with images you can find at any Vancouver Island store but with Malahat Skywalk printed on them.
Overall, I would give this experience a strong 5 Out of 5 Stars as I feel it gives great value for the admission fee.