Flash - OH CANADA!

13 Feb 2011 08:00
13 Feb 2011 23:59
Trans-Canada Trail
Sunday 13 February 2011 8am (or whenever)
Trans Canada Trail

Run as far as you can go east on the Trans-Canada Trail, an underused gem of an adventure, starting at the Vancouver-Burnaby border.

START: north end of Boundary Road (north of Edinburgh Street); just to the east of Ironworkers/Second Narrows Bridge: http://www.trailsbc.ca/southwest_region/burnaby.asp

TIME: wholly flexible, but main start at 8:00 am

PACE: up to you

ROUTE: we'll go the new TCT route, which turns south at the Pitt River Bridge and then over the Golden Ear Bridge

GETTING HOME: Most of the route is on or near public transporation. Strongly encouraged to figure out potential bus routes in advance and/or bring a bit of cab fare to bring you to a convenient spot.

DISTANCE: entirely up to you. Some target distances (approximate):

  • 10K: Burnaby: SFU

  • 18.5K Port Moody: train station

  • 25.5K Coquitlam: Lafarge Lake

  • 36.5K Coquitlam: Pitt River

  • 40.5K: Pitt Meadows: Pitt Bridge

  • 55K: Langley: Golden Ears Bridge (south end)

  • 69K: Fort Langley

  • 88K: Mt Lehman

  • 97K: Mission: Mission Bridge

  • 118K: Abbottsford: Straiton

  • 132K: Chilliwack: Vedder Canal

  • 150K: Chilliwack: Cultus Lake

  • 200K: Chilliwack Lake

  • 262K: Hope

  • 323K: Coquihalla Summit

  • 420K: Princeton

  • 473K: Osprey Lake

  • 521K: Lake Okanagan

  • 530K: West Beach

  • 545K: Naramata

  • 574K: Chute Lake

  • 623K: Myra

  • 749K: Kettle Valley

  • 777K: Greenwood

  • 815K: Grand Forks

  • 929K: Lower Arrow Lake

  • 954K: Castlegar

MAPS & RESOURCES: website above gives a section-by-section breakdown. Also see www.tctrail.ca/tlocator/tlocator_en.html for a zoom-in map. BRING A MAP!

RESULTS: email me your times, distances, and destinations, and I will post 'em.

ENTRY: Please register here. There is no fee and you don't need to be a member of Club Fat Ass to participate in a Flash event, however whining is not allowed.  You are responsible for your own well being and safety and should be self sufficient.

Please read the Release of All Claims. By participating in this event you agree to the terms of the Release of All Claims.



Ean Jackson's picture

KM0 to the Cypress Picnic Area

The TransCanada Trail starts on the British Columbia mainland at Horseshoe Bay.  The section from the start to the Cypress Park picnic area has always eluded me as each time I planned to run it, my efforts were thwarted by snow.  

On Sunday 21 August, Wendy, Rick, Paul and I hoped the snow had all melted below the 640m level when we parked the first car at the picnic area on Cypress.  The day was glorious, sunny and, for the summer of 2011, downright hot! 

While it may have been faster to run downhill, we opted to run up.  The first section of the TCT comes through town, up a steep flight of stairs and along a sidewalk before getting on to a beautiful old railroad bed.  We followed this trail through some nice backyards to Nelson Creek, where the trail goes steeply uphill along single track through the forest. 

For Wendy and me, this was a new section of trail, one we needed to fill in the last gap between the start and the Fraser Valley.  (The Pitt River Bridge for me and Fort Langley for Wendy.)  Rick had been turned around due to snow earlier this year and it had been over a decade since Paul had taken his wife Joan for a run on this section and got lost!

The single track eventually hits a short section of paved road then veers right along a rarely-used section of gravel road used by watershed workers.  Hard to get lost in this section as it just goes up and up and up until you arrive at a 2-story outhouse.  We didn'd do the detour to verify, but Rick says this spot is just below the Cypress ski area parking lot.

There were many traces of bear, but no bear to be seen.  Given the unusually cool summer, there were not many berries in this area this year.

The trail was wide and made of coarse gravel as it contoured around the mountain.  We ran under powerlines for a while as we got closer to the finish of our section.  (Note to self:  romantic picnic table in the middle of nowhere with view of Eagle Island, Bowen and Vancouver Island in the distance.) 

Total time:  2:20.

To celebrate, we stopped in at Troller's Pub in Horseshoe Bay for a sandwich and a cool one.  Sorry about the scare when I cramped-up in your car, Paul!

Anyone interested in running from Pitt River to Langley or points east in the Fraser Valley?

Ean Jackson's picture

Stanley Park Loop (on inline skates)

OK, OK... this is supposed to be a running challenge, but I thought I'd throw this up against the wall to see if it would stick.

Saturday:  Misery from above.  Cold.  Jackson jams on Montgomery and cleans-out his sock drawer instead of going for a run.

Sunday (Mother's Day).  Parked at Second Beach and did a tour de Stan Park on the 'blades with Mom and the kids along the seawall. 

Wendy, even if you do cut me slack on this, I still need to do the Kits Point to Second Beach leg, and the Rowing Club to Seabus section, so we may as well run the whole thing together  =;-)


Boundary Rd to Pitt Meadows Airport

Yesterday I ran about 45km from where I stopped last week-end to Maple Ridge. The plan was to go across the Golden Ears bridge to the South side where I have family (another 10-12 km), but it was quite warm in the whole area around Pitt River, and I ran out of water early. A tad dehydrated (orange's not good, right?) I bailed out near Pitt Meadows Airport and got a ride to my final destination.

I will run the sections that I'm missing in the Maple Ridge and Langley area from my base there. But I have no idea regarding the logistics of going much further East than Mt Lehman / Abbotsford. The West Coast Express (goes as far as Mission) is not very useful as all the trains go West in the morning and they all go East at night. Unless we do an overnight run... That may be a good idea to avoid the heat in the summer.

Ean Jackson's picture

Seabus to Edgemont

Rode the Seabus back from the Sun Run today and took the opportunity to run a bit of the North Shore section of the TCT.   Hope to pick up at the Griffin Gym later this week and run westward.

Waterfront to New Brighton Park

Ran the roughly 30k from Waterfront to Boundary Road (New Brighton Park) this morning.

Plus 200m sprinting behind the car of the pervert who was exposing himself in the bathrooms by Second Beach Pool in Stanley Park, while talking to the Police on the phone and trying to read the plate. The bastard got away. I should have kicked his ass, and *then* called the Police, as my instinct first urged me to do. How does one make sure a "citizen's arrest" doesn't turn into a charge of assault?

Didn't exactly follow the trail while in East Van, because I didn't feel like looking up for signs too much. So I cheated a little. Probably.

Anyway, I'm hopping to run the original section from New Brighton next week-end.

Ean Jackson's picture

Never a Dull Moment...

Sounds like you had quite the adventure!  You'll enjoy the section from New Brighton to where we hooked up on Burnaby Mountain last week.  Nice bit of hill there from where you hit the Barnett Highway.

Ean Jackson's picture

New Brighton Park to SFU

Saturday 9 April 2011:  Burnaby Mountain Run day.   My kindly wife got up early today and dropped me off where Wendy and I started a couple of weeks ago so I might bag a part of the TCT I missed earlier in the year.  The stretch from New Brighton Park near the Second Narrows bridge to the top of Burnaby Mountain was decidedly pleasant for a trail runner.  In fact, much of it was the course of Ryan Conroy's Muthas Nature run in September.   Most of this section of the TCT was on wide, nicely maintained gravel trail with a bit of sidewalk along West Hastings Street at the foot of Burnaby Mountain.  

It took me about 1:15 to do this section at a fairly slow pace, though I confess that I picked it up considerably as the clock ticked down to 9:00 and the start of the Burnaby Mountain run.  Made it with 4 minutes to spare and was very warmed up for the start of the Burnaby Mountain run.

So, Wendy, looks like we're tied for distance now!  When are we going to mop up that last piece of the TCT in Vancouver around Stanley Park?

Ean Jackson's picture

Montgomery and Jackson Start a Rumor

Will they run the whole BC section of the Trans-Canada Trail in 2011?

Wendy and I took the temporary break in the rain as an opportunity to add to our bagging of the Trans-Canada Trail.  Today, we did the section from Kits Beach to the Second Narrows Bridge.

For those wishing to follow in our footprints, we left one car at Kits Point and drove the other to New Brighton Park in the shadow of the Second Narrows bridge and worked our way westward.  The route is not always obvious.  (Think trail running in the boonies, but instead of looking for faded flagging tape in the bushes, you're looking for little stickers on bike path signs.)  Mostly follows one bike path or another.  Given that the description on the TCT website goes from west to east, you might want to run it in that direction. 

David Crerar's picture

OH CANADA Results (so far)

Thanks to all of the enthusiastic folk who braved the pleasant temperatures and sunshine to catch some unique views of the paradise in which we live!

Any other runners, please forward your info and I will add it.

Wendy Mongomery

North Van to Pitt River Bridge



Carolyn King

SFU to Pitt River Bridge



Neil Ambrose

SFU to Pitt River Bridge




SFU to Pitt River Bridge




SFU to Pitt River Bridge



Ean Jackson

SFU to Pitt River Bridge



Valerie Cotta

Boundary Rd to SFU




Boundary Rd to SFU



David Crerar

Boundary Rd to SFU



Ean Jackson's picture

Jackson's Distance

was probably closer to 25K as I met the group at the overpass on the Port Moody side of Barnett Highway.

While the promised sunshine came in liquid format more than less, I had a blast running with old friends and new along the famous Trans-Canada Trail (TCT). 

The run was an adventure into the unknown.  While I've lived in Vancouver for almost 2 decades, I didn't know the neighborhoods we ran through, so it was a run of discovery.  It was also fun to not run with a map, but rather follow the TCT markers on posts and in the trees.

Thank you:

  • David Crerar for coming up with this brilliant idea
  • Jason Eads, who dropped me off on some dead-end street in Maillardville on his return trip home to Tampa
  • Neil and Carolyn, for driving Wendy and me back to the Skytrain.
  • Sibylle for picking me up at the Home Depot in Burnaby

I'd very much like to keep the drive alive and run more of the TransCanada Trail.  Anyone interested in running from the Pitt River Bridge eastward one weekend soon?

neil ambrose's picture

And Where Was the Host?

Wednesday hey - does that mean you are half way across BC on the TCT? ;-)

Wendy, Ean, Marla, Neil, Ken (Marla's friend) and I ran the TCT. Wendy started from her house in North Van, Neil, Marla, Ken and I started at SFU and we met Ean along the route. We all finished at the Pitt River Bridge and called it a day. Nicely sign posted trail. Great journey - aprox 3 hrs 20 minutes from SFU.



David Crerar's picture


...to all who came out on the surprisingly beautiful day.

Send me your times, distances, and start and stop locations, and I will post results on Wednesday.

David Crerar's picture


In this one-year anniversary of the Vancouver Olympics, looking forward to OH CANADA!

Weather looks better than expected: clouds with some hints of sun.

I'll bring a few maps of the route, which is generally well marked by cheery TCT poles and signs.


Sounds great

I'm very tempted of running the whole 52K to the Golden Ears Bridge. I have family right on the other side of the bridge, in Langley, and will just go for dinner there.

I'll try to be there.

David Crerar's picture

and think of the toll money that you will save by running!


Can't make it

Sadly, I have to get to the airport in the afternoon, so I won't be able to join you on this run.

I will be running this section to the other side of the bridge some day soon, though. I'll make sure to inform the Fat Asses then.

Could this be the launch of a XTCT Challenge?

Like the thought...

David Crerar's picture

it would be cool to see who can get the bragging rights

...for longest TCT conquest in a single day. It is fun to look up from the trail and find yourself in places you've only ever driven to.

Ean Jackson's picture

250 K by Canada Day?

Awesome idea, Crerar!  Why limit the fun to one day, though?

The TC Trail passes almost by my house.  I've run it west (I designed XTC trail around the TC Trail), but never east.  The challenge of running it east has a lot of appeal.  Anyone interested in running from Edgemont in North Van to Hope or somewhere farther east in segments over the next few months?

Some logistical challenges would need to be addressed.  For example, it will take a while to do this if one has to go out and back from wherever the car is parked.   If there are enough people, we could trade keys and start at opposite ends of a segment.  All could be worked out with a little planning.


Love it....

Won't be able to join you on this one... But my vote is to post this a few times per year! Thanks for posting the resource.

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