Popular Othello Tunnels park impassable after flood damage (VIDEO)

Dec 10 2021, 6:16 pm

Please note: Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park is currently closed and not open to the public.

In Metro Vancouver, folks eagerly wait for the Othello Tunnels in Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park to open each year in the spring so they can wander the Instagram-worthy trail through the canyon.

BC Parks confirmed to Daily Hive by email that the popular park near Hope was heavily impacted during the recent storm events in November 2021.

Right now, the Coquihalla Canyon Park is closed. An order dated November 29, 2021, details the closure, and the public is restricted from entering for everyone’s safety.

“The impacts associated with the recent storm cycles are widespread,” BC Parks told Daily Hive.

“BC Parks staff in the Fraser Valley are focused on responding to park-related incidents that directly impact public safety, infrastructure, and adjacent homes,” they said.

It could be some time before assessments are completed and the tunnels reopen to the public again.

“While Coquihalla Canyon Park is a very important component within the BC Parks system; assessment and planning for restoration efforts won’t occur until it is safe to do so,” said BC Parks.

“BC Parks continues to assess the current situation within the affected parks and are unable to provide any timeframe as yet.”

A YouTube video shows the extent of some of the damage on the popular Othello Tunnels path. A train used to run along this path and through the tunnels, linking the Kootenay region to the coast by rail. Today, it’s a busy tourist attraction in the Fraser Valley.

The video, titled Historical Landmark Destroyed By The Coquihalla Flood, shows piles of debris on the usually busy path, making it impassable.

You can watch the full video below:

Nearby, Cultus Lake Provincial Park is also closed due to storm damage and flooding. BC Parks is not recommending trail use at other parks like Golden Ears and Sasquatch Provincial Park.

If you are planning on heading out to a park, check before you go to see if there are any notices of closures or alerts so you can enjoy the outdoors and stay safe.

Sarah AndersonSarah Anderson

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