The Whistler 30×30: Time To Get Outside
Posted by: Feet Banks
All kinds of scientific studies are coming out proving what Whistler residents have intrinsically known for decades — the more time you spend out in nature, the happier and healthier you’ll be.
This is why we live here and it’s why people visit. Scientists can talk about reduced stress and cumulative emotional benefits (and here is an excellent Info-graphic laying it all out) but the long and short of it all is that Nature is just really good for us.
And to prove it the David Suzuki Foundation (one of Canada’s greatest environmental advocates) did a study asking participants to spend just 30 minutes a day out in a park, forest or natural setting for 30 consecutive days. Over 10,000 Canadians signed up for the 30×30 Challenge and the resulting research showed participants were sleeping better, feeling less stressed and generally just enjoying life more. And that was after only a half hour a day.
This year the David Suzuki Foundation is back at it with the 30×30 Nature Challenge, so here at The Insider we’ve thrown together a local list of 30 different ways to get out and enjoy Whistler’s nature for a half hour a day or longer. Truthfully, we think 30 minutes should be the bare minimum—all the happiest people we know are the ones who spend the whole day outside. Just sayin’.
30 Whistler Ways to Get Your Nature Fix
- Hike around Lost Lake
Smell the rainforest air while enjoying lake and mountain views on a variety of maintained trails. Hiking in Whistler is amazing.
- Seek out the Giant Chairs and Poet’s Pause on the West side of Alta Lake
Public artwork in a naturally sweet spot. Find it on the Valley Trail across the lake from Wayside Park.
- Bird Walks
The Whistler Naturalists do monthly walks where if you’d like to see some local birds. Look for a Ptarmigan.
- Cross Country Mountain Biking
Whistler has enough XC mountain biking trails to last an entire summer, so a half hour should be pretty easy.
- Valley Trail
Bike, walk, skateboard or pogo stick this two-lane, paved trail that runs the length of Whistler.
- Hit the Beach
Sunshine and great views good for the soul and the refreshingly cool alpine water will definitely get that heart pumping. Life’s a beach.
Golf is really just a civilized excuse to take a long walk isn’t it? (Try a round without the cart!)
Why just look at Nature when you can zipline right through it?
- Canopy Walk
Ever wonder what the world looks like to a Squirrel? Find out with a treetop trek or aerial adventure course.
People have been fishing since the dawn of time, so why stop now? Fishing in Whistler can be both relaxing and exciting at the same time.
- Look for Bears
Bear tours are more successful with a trained guide. And if you don’t like bears, find a waterfall instead.
- Climb a Rock Face
It’s kinda like Syvlester Stallone in Cliffhanger but with less machine guns. Take a climbing lesson and learn to climb rock or try the Via Ferrata, which climbs to the Peak of Whistler Mountain.
- Bungee Jumping
The bungee jump is only a few seconds but it’s the climax of a sweet journey out to one of Whistler’s coolest rivers.
The Whistler Skateboard Park may be concrete, but surrounded by trees and Fitzsimmons Creek it still counts as getting out in nature.
- Paddle Something
Canoe, Paddleboard or Kayak: start paddling the gorgeous Whistler waterways and watch your worries literally drift away.
- Learn Local Native History
Try out the self-guided nature walk in the forest behind the Squamish Lil’Wat Cultural Centre and learn some local wisdom.
- Jet Boating
A few hundred horsepower of pure nature immersion. Rivers are the highways of BC history and a jetboat is the most exhilarating way to travel them.
- Read a Book in a Mossy Forest…
…and try not to fall asleep from the sheer relaxation of it all. Whistler’s Armchair Books has great books and suggestions on where to read them.
- Skiing/ Snowboarding
Yes, we still ski in the month of May. Heck, with glacier skiing you can ski most of the summer too.
- Hit the Spa
The Scandinave is the perfect way to relax in nature, an outdoor facility tucked up in a gorgeous forest away from it all.
- Whitewater Rafting
Literally taste the power of nature with a rafting adventure. Splash!
- Walk a Dog
Dogs get it, they love nature more than anyone. Often you can volunteer to walk a dog from the local animal shelter.
- Outdoor Yoga
So much better than indoor yoga. And Wanderlust is coming up in August 2014.
- Paint a Landscape
Nature has been inspiring art since about as long as we have had art.
- Watch a Sunrise, Take a Picture
The photo is rarely as good as the real thing but it’s a nice excuse to get up and get out there.
- Whiffle Golf
Some think it’s more fun than real golf and there’s a course at the Whistler RV Park Campground.
- Have a Picnic
We all gotta eat, why not do it outside?
- Climb a Tree
Or climb the tree fort at Alpha Lake Park (no actual climbing skills required).
- Disc Golf
Like regular golf but with much more nature, Whistler disc golf courses are true nature immersion (and it’s free).
- Just Breathe
No matter what you are doing outside, take some slow deep breaths and just enjoy that clean alpine air. Ain’t nature wonderful?
You can’t appreciate Whistler nature if you aren’t in Whistler so hit up Whistler.com and come get your nature fix.
Article source: http://www.whistler.com/blog/post/2014/05/12/whistler-30x30-nature.aspx