Some trails blossom naturally over time, while others seem to spring up out of nowhere. British Columbia has long been known for its natural beauty through paths covered in evergreen coniferous trees, stunning views of snow-peaked mountains and sun-soaked oceans—sometimes all in the same place! However, if you dare to explore, you may come across some secret treasures nestled between these gems.
If you're looking for a unique adventure, check out these three hiking trails:
Choo – Choo – Choose this Trail
Through a trail of deep tree roots, tucked away in an old-growth forest and over a recently built suspension bridge crossing the Cheakamus River, you will find the notorious Whistler Train Wreck.
It is home to several decaying box cars covered in bright graffiti. Scattered between the large trees, this ever-evolving outdoor art gallery is tagged in traditional graffiti-style signatures, lovers’ initials encircled by hearts, exaggerated faces and depictions of creatures of the night. The vibrant colours are loud yet mesmerizing in contrast to the serene and peaceful turquoise river you only just crossed.
How did these box cars end up in the middle of this forest? Sixty-five years ago, a train transporting lumber from Lillooet to Vancouver was falling behind schedule. As such, the train went almost twice the speed limit and 12 boxcars derailed. Five of these were salvageable and the seven that remain were dragged by a logging company to their final home where they are located today. What was once a likely midnight hangout for locals is now a popular tourist destination as it is a relatively easy trail of two kilometers, taking up to just an hour to complete.
Move Oolong, Nothing to Tea Here
Teapot Hill is a five-kilometer, two-hour hike with a steady incline, and it is definitely unique! Somewhat of a scavenger hunt, spotting sneaky saucers peeking out of trees and cute teapots nestled between bushes may keep you motivated as you ascend.
Located by Cultus Lake, this whimsical trail got its name in the 1940s when a logger found a teapot on the hill. Though it is not known how or why this particular teapot got there, a new tradition has now formed in which hikers take a teapot, cup, saucer or an entire set to contribute!
Though trail itself is a bit challenging, children are often running about, excitedly spotting hidden gems with eccentric patterns along the way. Recently, broken dishes have turned up and created quite a mess, posing a danger to hikers and wildlife. This may be an intentional act of trail users or the cycle of freeze-and-thaw of winter. Either way, this hazard is threatening to bring this quirky tradition to an end.
Alison Karlene Hodgins
Whatever Floats Your Boat
Located on Graham Island in Haida Gwaii, this hike is a bit of a trek itself to get to but well worth it! The hike is about six kilometres and takes four hours to perambulate the woods down to the bank of the Tlell River and end up on long stretches of beautiful pebbly and sandy beach.
Here you will find the remnants of the bow of a log barge, eroded by waves and patinated by rays of sun, “Pesuta.” This barge was beached in December 1928 due to a horrid storm in the Hecate Strait. The barge was being towed by a tugboat when strong winds caused the crash. Lumber and machinery was salvaged but the wreck remained. The enchanting shipwreck continues to decay so be sure to visit soon and plan around the tides!
Kiara Campbell/IG: kokobeware23