Greenheart TreeWalk at UBC
Located on the grounds of the largest university in Vancouver, UBC Botanical Garden is full of exotic plants and trees. The garden is also home to the Greenheart TreeWalk in addition to trails through the forest, wide open spaces and various vegetation species.
Built in 2008, the Greenheart TreeWalk is a 305-metre trail of bridges that goes from tree to tree through the forest. At some points the bridges are as high as 22 metres (or about 75 feet) off the ground!
Where is the TreeWalk?
The UBC Botanical Garden houses the Greenheart TreeWalk. The garden’s address is 6804 SW Marine Drive which is in the southwest corner of the university’s campus.
There are two parts to UBC Botanical Garden. On the southwestern side of Marine Drive there is the forested area. There is also more open area on the northeastern side (which is accessed via a tunnel under Marine Drive).
The Greenheart TreeWalk is located in the larger forested area of the garden about two-thirds of the way down from the gift shop and main entrance. Both the entrance and exit to the TreeWalk is accessed just off Upper Asian Way (which is one of the main trails through the forest).
How Much Does the TreeWalk Cost?
Admission to UBC Botanical Garden is free for members, faculty, and students at the University of British Columbia. Payment is required for most other folks.
The cost for non-UBC affiliated guests (excluding access to the TreeWalk) used to be $10 for adults and $8 for seniors, people with disabilities and non-UBC students. Children between the ages of 6 and 12 cost $5. Kids ages 5 and under were free. However, as of early 2022, admission to the UBC Botanical Garden and the Nitobe Memorial Garden are by donation, with a suggested amount of $5.
The Greenheart Treewalk is currently closed and plans to re-open on April 1st. In the past, general admission to UBC Botanical Garden hasn’t included access to the Greenheart TreeWalk. To do the TreeWalk you had to pay extra. The additional fee was about $13 for adults, $9 for seniors and students, and $5 for children between the ages of 6 and 12. As of February, 2022, it’s not known whether this will still be the case when it re-opens.
During the winter the gardens are open from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm Wednesday through Sunday. Beginning in April they will still be closed on Monday and Tuesday but the hours are to be extended to 5:00 pm closing.
See the UBC Botanical Garden website for tickets and exact rates.
What to Expect at the TreeWalk
The Greenheart TreeWalk is a network of suspended bridges. There are quite a few bridges and they connect with one another. Each starts and finishes at a different tree. The route takes about 20 minutes to complete at just over 300 metres in length.
The TreeWalk is quite unique. It’s operated by Greenheart Conservation which has similar sites in Africa, Brazil and the United States. The company’s only location in Canada is the one at UBC.
Vancouver venues that are somewhat similar to Greenheart TreeWalk include WildPlay Element Park in Maple Ridge, the Mountain Ropes Adventure at Grouse Mountain, and the Treetops Adventure at Capilano Suspension Bridge. You’ll probably enjoy these other venues if you like the TreeWalk (although some are more challenging than others).
How is the Greenheart TreeWalk Different?
The bridges in the Greenheart TreeWalk are all pretty much the same within the attraction. However, they vary slightly in length and degree of wobbliness. You don’t have to be attached to anything or require special equipment to walk along the bridges.
The bridges and ropes course elements at WildPlay, on the other hand, have different rules. It is mandatory to wear a harness and attach yourself to a network of cables at the Maple Ridge attraction. WildPlay also requires a bit of upper body strength and balance too.
The different segments at WildPlay are also varied and range from wobbly ladders to tightrope walking and even ziplining. The Maple Ridge course is challenging whereas the Greenheart TreeWalk isn’t (at least not for most people).
The Mountain Ropes Adventure at Grouse Mountain, meanwhile, is similar to WildPlay, but smaller. Both attractions are far more adventure-style and extreme than the Greenheart TreeWalk at UBC and the Treetops Adventure at Capilano Bridge.
The Treetops Adventure at Capilano Suspension Bridge is perhaps the most similar to the Greenheart TreeWalk at UBC. The Treetops Adventure is just one of several things to see and do at the world-famous North Shore attraction.
Similar to the Greenheart TreeWalk, the Treetops Adventure involves a series of bridges that go from tree to tree high in the air. However, the bridges on the Greenheart TreeWalk are narrower and more shaky (although no more so than the main suspension bridge that the North Shore attraction is most famous for).
Greenheart TreeWalk Video
Check out the following video if you’d like a glimpse into the TreeWalk.
Tips and Advice
Below are some suggestions and extra information to help you make the most out of your TreeWalk experience.
TIP #1: The Greenheart TreeWalk is a great addition to the UBC Botanical Garden, especially for families with children. We recommend doing the TreeWalk last as it’ll give kids something exciting to look forward to.
TIP #2: UBC Botanical Garden is like a park, but without sports facilities and children’s play areas. It has flower gardens and trails throughout the forest. Adults will likely find the garden more interesting than some children might. It appeals to people who like gardens, nature and plants. However, kids will love the TreeWalk! It makes the forest and garden especially interesting and exciting.
TIP #3: Don’t forget your camera. Make sure to hang onto it tight if you’re holding it over the edge of the bridges. It’s a long way for your electronics to fall if you drop something!
TIP #4: You’ll get an amazing birds-eye-view of the forest from up high in the bridges. It’s a cool perspective! Keep your eyes out for eagles while there. About eight of them live in the area. You probably won’t see them, but you might if you’re lucky.
TIP #5: The Greenheart TreeWalk is suitable for people of most ages and abilities. However, the bridges are high, narrow and wobbly. As a result, it’s not so suitable for people who have balance issues, vertigo or are afraid of heights.
Visit the UBC Botanical Garden‘s website to learn more about the bridges through the trees.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- WildPlay Element Park
- Capilano Suspension Bridge
- Lower Mainland Parks and Nature
- Outdoor Recreation in Vancouver
- Vancouver on a Budget
- Vancouver Activities for Children
- Lower Mainland Climbing Wall Centres