Friday, October 9, 2009

Othello Tunnels: A Perfect Day Trip

In between random trips across North America, the road trip crew often fulfills our adventure needs by exploring attractions in and around our home town.

This past weekend, we ventured out to the Othello Tunnels for an afternoon of exploring and hiking. We like to venture out to the Othello Tunnels every few years to see the tunnels, and experience the natural beautiful of the Coquihalla River that passes beneath parts of the Othello Tunnels. Just past the Othello Tunnels is a hiking path that is great for easy hiking and trail running. 

History of the Othello Tunnels:

The Othello Tunnels are a series of old train tunnels that were once used to transport freight and passengers between Vancouver and the Kootneys. Construction began on the old train tunnels in 1914, where a straight line of tunnels was drilled through 3 mountain ranges.

In 1959, a 400-foot landslide caused the permanent closure of the railway tracks around the Othello Tunnels. Thankfully for visitors, the surrounding area was officially deemed a provincial park in 1998. This provided a great opportunity for tourists to venture into the old train tunnels for an afternoon of family fun exploring.


Looking for a little more adventure?

Depending on your travel style, the Othello Tunnels can be over and done with within an hour or so. We often like to make a day trip to Hope, crammed full of various attractions along the way. Consider stopping into Bridal Falls along the way. This is a large and impressive waterfall along highway 1 that offers a short 20 minute hike up to the falls. It’s also a great break if you’re travelling from Vancouver, you can get out of the car for a bit and stretch your legs.

After the Othello Tunnels, we like to stop into Hell’s Gate for a fun tram ride across the Fraser River. Hell’s Gate is full of fun history, and for those uninterested in an afternoon history lesson, there are several shops in Hell’s Gate that sell ice cream and fudge!

Othello Tunnel tips:
  • Bring a flashlight to use in the tunnels, as some of them can be quite dark, making it hard to see where you are walking.
  • We like to put glowsticks on our little kids so we can see them running through the tunnels. It makes it fun for the kids, and easy for parents to keep track of where the kids are.
Have you been to the Othello Tunnels before? Leave your comment below and share with us your Othello Tunnel experience.

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