Our family of four were heading up to Whistler on a beautiful, sunny day, when we decided to be a wee bit adventurous and check out a few places we had never been before! We had no plans that day – other than exploring! Our first stop was the stunning Alexander Falls, which is on the road to Callaghan Lake and the Whistler Olympic Park.
It stands at 43 metres/141 feet high, and is absolutely gorgeous to see. Other than sightseeing at the falls, you can take a seat at one of the picnic tables and have a packed lunch. After we took a few pictures and let the kids run around, we jumped back in the Jeep and went off towards our second destination.
Jay had heard about a bike trail called ‘Train Wreck’ a couple of years ago, he had found some biking videos where these downhill mountain bikers were jumping off derailed train cars and built ramps and jumps around and on them. When I was searching for something to do this past weekend, I stumbled upon the same trail for hikers.
Train Wreck is a hiking trail in Whistler that starts in Function Junction, just behind the Olives Market, and continues along the Cheakamus River until you arrive at a train derailment from the late 1950s. At the time, train derailments were common accidents, and since Whistler was such a small settlement at the time, they decided to forgo the cost of extracting the 7 train cars and left them in the forest. Now they are rusty, covered in graffiti, and quite an awesome spectacle to find deep in the woods (and a photographer’s dream!).
Along the Train Wreck trail you will hear the roar of the Cheakamus River. We went off the rooty, rocky trail many times to catch glimpses of the white water rushing past. We found the Cheakamus Waterfall along the way that amazed Holland. The trail itself starts out very flat and easy to follow, it continues through the woods a bit more rooty and rocky, going up and down at times. Our two-year old walked with a bit of help and hand-holding until he decided only Dad’s arms would do. Our eight-year old had no problems and ran through the forest. The trail is a bit windy, and leads you to the train tracks a couple of times and back into the woods again. In theory, you could just take the train tracks until you get to the wreck, however you’d miss all the adventure and fun of hiking through the woods and seeing the gorgeous river.
The train wreck in Whistler is something really cool to see. The seven dilapidated train cars are set askew all over the forest, in between the trees. I tried to picture how the derailment could have happened but it’s difficult to imagine the sheer force of the train cars barreling through the woods and ending up in different areas of the forest. The graffiti is really cool, and from pictures I’ve seen of the Train Wreck trail from the past, new graffiti art seems to go up all the time. It’s like this neat outdoor graffiti art gallery hidden in the woods.
As hiking goes, the train wreck trail in Whistler is fairly easy. It took us between 2-3 hours to do the 5 kilometer round-trip hike, and we had kids with us. I would definitely do this hike again in the future, and I would recommend it to anyone who’s into hiking, biking, and finding cool things in the forest!