Rising 250m above sea level, the new Malahat Skywalk, located on the territory of the Malahat Nation, is an immersive nature experience for tourists. The outdoor recreation structure is on Southern Vancouver Island, among forests, orchards and vineyards. Previously, only agile explorers could enjoy such an experience, but thanks to the new Tree Walk and Spiral Tower, now even strollers and wheelchairs can access this wild environment. A 650m long galvanized and timber “treetop walk” leads visitors from the visitor center onto the hot-dip galvanized spiral ramp which takes you up 30m to a galvanized lookout platform. There you will enjoy stunning, 360-degree views of Finlayson Arm, Saanich Inlet and Peninsula, and the Gulf Islands of Canada, as well as the San Juan Islands and Mount Baker in the United States. For those with a more adventurous spirit, you can take a walk out (or lay down) on the Adventure Net to have uninterrupted views of the lush arbutus forest and spiral structure. The arbutus has reddish bark and bear white flowers in the spring and red berries in the fall. When you are finished taking in the sights and sounds, you can opt to come down the “fast route” on a 20m spiral slide or return down the ramp.
The primary structural system consists of glulam columns with hot-dip galvanized steel bracing all around the perimeter. Galvanized outriggers from these columns create a 600m-long spiral walkway transporting visitors to the top of the structure and access to the viewing platform. A galvanized steel central spiral staircase provides emergency egress.
Hot-dip galvanizing was specified as the primary coating for the Skywalk for its natural corrosion resistance properties. With its proximity to the Salish Sea, galvanizing was the only option to achieve coating longevity while maintaining a more natural look to paint or other coating systems tying the entire structure with its natural surroundings.