The Malahat Skywalk project is really exciting for this area.
The proposal is for a 650 metre long elevated wooden pathway through an arbutus forest to a spiral ramp which will take walkers up 40 metres to a lookout with a view of Finlayson Arm.
We can see tourists flocking to such an experience.
Most of Cowichan’s best tourist attractions are nature-based in some way, so this will fit right in with the Valley’s brand. The Malahat Nation is a partner in the project so there will also be a cultural component.
We can see a trip to the Skywalk fitting in perfectly with a visit to the Kinsol Trestle, then maybe a local winery or two, and a stop at a Valley restaurant for dinner. We can see folks hitting the Skywalk, then going whale watching in Cowichan Bay, or heading to the BC Forest Discovery Centre and taking the train, or taking a wander through Chemainus to see the murals. There’s also the Quw’utsun’ Cultural Centre and the totem tours through Duncan. An afternoon at the Skywalk and the evening at the Chemainus or Cowichan theatres, perhaps?
Even those who are coming for a hiking or mountain biking experience would likely be drawn to the Skywalk.
In terms of tourism, the more things to do in any given place the better, as it encourages people first to come, and second, to stay longer. Think about the trips that you yourself have taken, and what made them most memorable. Tourists are coming to Cowichan for its natural beauty, its cultural attractions, and its growing reputation as a culinary hub. People want to get outdoors and marvel at the Cowichan Valley’s unique setting. The Skywalk proposal fits neatly into what people are coming here looking for.
We can easily see it becoming iconic of the region, much like lighthouses are in other communities.
Right now, there doesn’t seem to be a downside to this project, and we hope to see it rise from the Malahat, reaching for the sky in 2020.