Monday, August 11, 2008

Monteverde canopy walk

Monteverde is a special place. Its cloud forest has a 2.5 km (1.5 mile) nature trail with 6 suspension bridge walkways like this one across ravines from one ridge to the next.

These walkways allow visitors to walk through, and look down upon, the canopy of trees at the roof of the cloud forest. The walkways are as high as 42 m. (138 ft.) above the ground and as long as 243 m. (797 ft.).

I will post a picture tomorrow of the view looking down on the canopy of trees, and additional photos of the cloud forest on the several days after that.

I will also provide some information on the history of Monteverde during the next few days. It is fascinating. It was founded by American Quakers who were faced with being drafted into the U.S. Army during the Korean War, and of course their religion did not permit them to take up arms. They read about Costa Rica abolishing its military and a group of 50 of them from Alabama decided to move to Costa Rica. They settled in Monteverde, which was an uninhabited mountainous area.

The Monteverde cloud forest was later identified as a threatened ecological treasure. School children in Sweden collected coins in the 1980's to purchase land to save the cloud forest, and their efforts were joined by school children from 44 nations. The Quakers also donated some of their land. More than 54,000 acres is preserved in what is called the Children's Eternal Rainforest, or Reserve Bosque Eterno de los Ninos.

10 comments:

Abraham Lincoln said...

That really is the biggest hanging bridge I ever saw. I bet it does the hula dance when you walk across it. Wow. Impressive photography too.

ft. lauderdale daily photo said...

Wonderful photo and what a story about this beautiful place.

Rambling Round said...

Wow! This walkway/nature trail is beautiful!

Saretta said...

Excellent photo. I can just feel the sides of the bridge closing in on me.

Hilda said...

The trail and the suspension bridges sound awesome! And the park's history is wonderful — thank you for the story. I will be looking forward to your next posts about the park.

David -- www.CostaRicaDailyPhoto.com said...

Thank you for the above comments. In response to Abraham's and Saretta's comments about the sway of the brindgeor the sides closing in, I should point out that the cloud forest canopy walkway at Monteverde is remarkably stable.

I have been on some canopy walks that do sway back and forth ande that move each time someone takes a step or shifts his or her weight. Those swinging canopy walks are usually built from platforms hanging from the high trees.

The Monteverde Canopy walk has suspension bridges like the one in the photo that are anchored in the ground on each end and that are stabilized by a metal frame. Yes, it still does move and sway a little bit, but not too much. Of course it is possible to look straight down throughout the walk on the bridges, which can be a challenge for those who are bothered by heights.

Blognote said...

That is a beautiful photo, David!!
Thanks also for the history about it!

Neva said...

my daughter is enjoying her visit in Costa Rica....I can see why from your photos.

PJ said...

For some time now, hubby and I have been thinking of going to Costa Rica. I think this clinched the deal. I would love to walk that bridge.

Laurie said...

This is extraordinary. Glorious. I really must hike this someday.

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