BC is beautiful, but sometimes it’s nice to take a break from all those stunning sunsets, mountaintop views, and crystal clear lakes that have been at the forefront of our summer days—aren’t we spoiled—and delve into the more… unusual places in the province.
While these oddities do provide a fresh perspective on where we live, we’re sure that you’ll find just as much breath-taking beauty in uncovering the stranger side of British Columbia.
Add a few of these to the itinerary of your next great adventure—it’ll come in handy if your buddies ever begin complaining about doing the same old hikes over and over again.
Where: Radium Hot Springs
The work of artist Rolf Heer, the Home of a Thousand Faces is a gallery of sorts, featuring various carvings that Rolf has made throughout the years. The outside walls are covered in odd signs stating things like “Open When I Feel Like It,” and “Politicians and officials on duty are NOT welcome!” Rolf even has a pet goat that lives on his roof, fully outfitted with a goat chalet.
Where: Sooke River Rd, Sooke
Located in the aptly names Sooke Potholes Provincial Park, the naturally forming potholes are an interesting sight to behold for visiting travellers. A great place to cool off on a hot day—though the water is quite chilly. Water shoes are recommended.
Where: 420 Horne Lake Rd, Qualicum Beach
If you’re looking to take treehouses to the next level, this is where you need to go. The Free Spirit Spheres on Vancouver Island are an interesting way to spend the night, as you’ll sleep suspended above the rainforest in cozy spheres. Each sphere is large enough to fit two people (and a third in their Eryn Sphere) along with a small table.
Where: 7060 Trans-Canada Hwy, Revelstoke
This one is definitely not just for kids, as adults can also find the magic of woodland creatures, the old growth forest, and BC’s tallest treehouse. Admission is only $12 for adults and $9 for kids, which grants you access to the castles, dungeons, and memories of some of your favourite stories.
Where: Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park, Hope
What once was part of an expansive railway line has now become an interesting trail for locals and tourists alike. Located in the Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park, the Othello Tunnels were created to connect the Kootenays with the southern coast of BC. The railway track has since been removed, leaving behind a walkable trail that cuts straight through granite.
Where: 3905 Horne Lake Caves Rd, Qualicum Beach
Take a trip into the depths of Vancouver Island’s Horn Lake Caves, with tours offered by professionals that will get you safely into the caves and—more importantly—out. This is not your usual adventure, and any claustrophobic would-be explorers may want to think twice!
Parkhurst is a ghost town located near Whistler. It was once used as a logging community complete with a mill, a store, and even a small school. In 1966 the mill shut down, and the area was subsequently abandoned. It can be reached after a 5 km roundtrip hike, or by water via the Green Lake Boat Launch. Hikers will need to take the Sea-To-Sky Trail/Green Lake Loop to discover the forgotten town.
Where: 620 6th Ave, New Denver
Another adorable place to stay, the domes in New Denver are a picturesque handful of cottages sitting amid green grass and flowering bushes. Located in the West Kootenays, they are only a short walk away from Slocan Lake, and are nestled right into the village of New Denver.
Where: Beside the Cheakamus River, Whistler
The Whistler Train Wreck is a collection of seven trail cars that became derailed many decades ago. The area has since become a favourite hiking location, a bike park, and something of an art exhibit—with each car being graffitied by locals. The five kilometre round trip hike is relatively easy, especially with the 2016 addition of a suspension bridge that eliminates the need for walking on the train track. An interesting way to spend the day if you’re hanging around Whistler.