The long-awaited suspension bridge spanning Elk Falls will officially open to the public Saturday, May 9, when the Rotary Club of Campbell River hosts a ribbon-cutting and grand opening in conjunction with the 75th anniversary of Elk Falls Provincial Park.
The grand opening is scheduled for 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at the trailhead from the parking lot off Brewster Lake Road.
Lorrie Bewza, Rotary Club project chair, said a ribbon-cutting at the bridge itself would be impractical because the narrow trail would not accommodate the crowd expected.
The 60-metre-long footbridge, which is suspended 64 metres above the canyon floor, is the result of five years of work by Rotary Club and its contractors, with contributions from BC Parks and BC Hydro.
Along with the bridge itself, which is designed to safely hold the equivalent of 400, 300-pound men, the Rotary Club also created a cantilevered viewing platform that provides stunning views of Elk Falls from the top to the canyon bottom.
It is accompanied by a new parking lot off Brewster Lake Road that can accomodate 83 vehicles, including buses and RVs, and multiple upgrades and additions to sections of trail leading to the bridge and platform.
Following the ribbon-cutting, guests will be treated to cake and coffee, presentations by “Jerry and Friends”, park trivia and site tours hosted by BC Parks and Rotary Club of Campbell River.
To get to the Elk Falls suspension bridge, follow the blue-and-white BC Parks highway signs from Hwy. 19 at Campbell River, take Hwy. 28 to Brewster Lake Road and turn right to access the parking lot.
Guests are advised to bring sturdy footwear and be prepared for any weather.
The project was made possible by $124,500 in funding from the Campbell River Rotary Club, a $150,000 contribution from BC Hydro, a federal government grant for $86,650 and $325,000 from the Island Coastal Economic Trust.