The Vancouver Land Bridge is a unique and exciting attraction located in Vancouver, Washington. It is a pedestrian and bicycle bridge that spans over State Highway 14, connecting the historic Fort Vancouver to the Columbia River waterfront. The bridge was built in 2008, and it has quickly become a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.
The Vancouver Land Bridge was designed to represent the rich cultural heritage of the indigenous Chinook people who inhabited the area for thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans. The bridge serves as a symbolic connection between the historic Fort Vancouver, which was an important trading post for the Hudson’s Bay Company in the 19th century, and the Columbia River, which was the lifeblood of the Chinook people.
Walking across the Vancouver Land Bridge is a unique and invigorating experience. As visitors cross the bridge, they are surrounded by stunning views of the Columbia River, Mount Hood, and the city skyline. The bridge also features several interpretive exhibits that explain the history and culture of the Chinook people, as well as the importance of the Columbia River to the region.
One of the most interesting features of the Vancouver Land Bridge is the Chinookan Plankhouse, which is located on the bridge’s western end. The plankhouse is a replica of the longhouses that were built by the Chinook people along the Columbia River for centuries. The plankhouse is open to the public and features exhibits that showcase the traditional way of life of the Chinook people, including their art, food, and social customs.
The Vancouver Land Bridge is also home to several public art installations that celebrate the culture and history of the Chinook people. One of the most striking is the “Cedar Circle” installation, which features a circle of carved cedar poles that represent the four seasons and the natural elements of air, earth, fire, and water. The installation was created by the renowned Chinook artist Lillian Pitt and is a testament to the enduring legacy of the Chinook people.
Visitors to the Vancouver Land Bridge can also explore the nearby Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, which features a replica of the original fort and several other historic buildings that offer a glimpse into life in the 19th century. The fort was an important center of trade and commerce for both European and indigenous peoples, and it played a significant role in the development of the region.
Overall, the Vancouver Land Bridge is a unique and inspiring attraction that showcases the rich cultural heritage of the Chinook people and the importance of the Columbia River to the region. Whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or simply looking for a unique and engaging experience, the Vancouver Land Bridge is a must-visit destination in the Pacific Northwest.