Columbia & Western Railway / Trans Canada Trail (The Great Trail) in the Greenwood Area: Midway to Grand Forks, 77 km

Map Legend & Disclaimer

Note that you can click on each object on the map to obtain details about it.

Trans Canada Trail Legend:

Trans Canada Trail Pavilion
Multi-Use Route (Cycling & Walking)
Hiking Only Route (No Cycling)
Equestrian Route (May Allow Cyclists/Walkers)
Paddling/Water Route
Temporary Bypass or Unofficial TCT Route
Trans Canada Trail Closed
Obstacle or Warning (click it for details)

Alternate Route Legend:

Alternate Route for Cyclists & Walkers
Alternate Route for Hiking
Alternate Route for Equestrians
Connection Point to the Trans Canada Trail

Google Maps Legend:

Map menu to access highlights, campsites, grocery stores, parking areas, toilets and more!
Click the grey star at the top of the map to favourite it in Google Maps, so you can pull it up later in your Google Maps app's "My Places".

Disclaimer: This trail information is subject to changes. While reasonable effort has been made to ensure that the information on this site is correct, Trails BC makes no warranty about the accuracy of this information and accepts no liability for any inconvenience or any direct or consequential loss arising from reliance upon this information. Be sure to check our Latest Trail Closures before heading out and read our full disclaimer!.

Please contact Trails BC if you require in-depth trail knowledge or have suggestions or corrections. Support us by becoming a member or donating funds!

GPS Downloads

  • KML/KMZ files can be opened in Google Earth, and many smartphone apps.
  • GPX files can be opened by most GPS software apps when KMZ cannot. Note, GPX files do not contain custom colours and icons that we use on our maps; all tracks and icons will appear the same colour and styles. We recommend using KMZ instead of GPX if possible.

The files below include data for only this specific area. For all of our Trans Canada Trail data for the entire province (including features, campsites and alternate routes), download our BC.kmz master file (1.2 MB)

Visit our GPS & Navigation page for instructions of how to use your smartphone as a GPS device (even when outside of data coverage) or how to import data to your Garmin unit.

About the Route: 

The Columbia & Western Railway from Midway to Grand Forks begins as a pleasant stretch of trail with at first sandy surface conditions.  With the motorized use this route is getting rougher, but it's worth the ride to not be on the busy highway.  At Boundary Falls it levels out to Greenwood and be sure to take a moment to check out the town of Greenwood when passing through. Large bell-shaped coal slag heaps (called "Hell's Bells" by the locals) are one of many attractions. Also, a stroll down Greenwood's main drag is a trip back in time!

The Tunnel of Flags is located north of Greenwood at the highway crossing. Watch for traffic at this, as well as the other highway crossing just west of Eholt. It's a gentle uphill to Eholt, through pastureland and a great birding area.  Please stay on the trail and close gates!  Though little to nothing remains of Eholt Station, it once rested at the summit of the pass - and northernmost point between Greenwood and Grand Forks. Eholt became the CPR's divisional point and ore hauling headquarters. Due south and higher still was the growing city of Phoenix with its rich copper and gold mines; a branch line with spurs was built to carry Phoenix ores to local smelters. Eholt yards included a roundhouse, and powerful Shay locomotives which made daily trips to Phoenix. By 1920, an amazing 15 million tons of ores had been shipped, but the mines soon closed, and Eholt like Phoenix was abandoned.

Further east from Eholt, the north-facing forested area between to Granby tunnel can be a dark and perhaps gloomy place, but after turning south and passing through the tunnel, views of the Granby river valley below will lift your spirits! An emergency shelter is located immediately south of the tunnel with bunks and tables, however there is no water source until you reach Fisherman Creek several kms to the east.

The Columbia & Western runs downhill from the flanks of Thimble Mountain at the Granby Tunnel, through the streets of Grand Forks.

Trail Highlights and Developments: 

  • Hell's Bells in Greenwood
  • Downtown Greenwood
  • Granby Tunnel (11 km east of Eholt Station)
  • Emergency Shelter (bunks and tables) immediately south of Granby Tunnel - with fantastic views of the Granby River

Important: You will almost certainly encounter motorized vehicles along the route, particularly ATVs and dirt bikes, which could be travelling at high speeds. Over the years, unregulated motorized use has degraded the trail surface along the Columbia & Western, making many areas quite challenging for hikers and cyclists. Users should come prepared for sandy conditions. Please see our equipment recommendations on the Boundary main page or even more detail on our "Equipment Tips" page of our Travel Tips.

Important: You may encounter ticks along the trail. You may wish to wear long pants, tucking the bottoms into your socks while avoiding the foliage at the edges of the trail.

Also important: You will encounter many gates along the TCT in the Boundary region. These gates are in place for a reason, and users should ensure to CLOSE the gates behind themselves. Closing the gates will ensure that livestock do not escape - preventing them from wandering to areas (such as the highways) which would be unsafe for them as well as drivers. The gates also prevent access of the trail by unauthorized motorized users. They are a small inconvenience to trail users, but they are necessary and should be respected.

Trail Operator: 

Trail Stewards and Volunteers: 

Parking & Staging Areas

The Midway Railway Museum can provide parking and plenty of tourism information.

Printable Maps & Directions (PDF)

Directions: Eastbound

The Columbia & Western is incredibly easy to navigate from Greenwood, lying on the west side of town and running about 3 km from the centre of town along the river, before bending east. In the past, the railway climbed up and over the highway using the Tunnel of Flags, but all that remains are the abutments. Cross the highway with caution. The climb up on the east side may be quite strenuous for those packing heavy gear - taking the highway to the left (north) is an easy 8 km bypass. The trail continues ENE before crossing the highway again, before passing Eholt Station as well as a couple of gates and a parking area. The trail continues east, entering provincial forest land. About 6 km past the parking area, the trail turns south and runs 5 km before running through a decent tunnel. On the other side of the tunnel lies the Granby emergency shelter with 4 bunks and a long table.

Directions: Westbound

Starting from the Granby emergency shelter and passing through the tunnel, continue north for about 5 km before the trail begins to travel in a westerly direction. The next 6 km of trail faces north and can be a little cooler and gloomy, but soon leaves the forest, passing a parking area at Eholt Station, close to the highway. The trail continues parallel to the highway, passing through gates, before crossing onto the south side. The trail will continue straight for a while - but a fairly steep decline awaits in 8 km when the trail crosses the highway at the former Tunnel of Flags. Those unprepared for the decline may wish to take the highway. On the opposite side of the highway from the former tunnel site, the trail makes its way back onto the rail grade, following the river for 3 km before arriving to the town of Greenwood. Note that the trail does not run right through the middle of town - you may want to turn left onto one of the intersecting roads to explore town.

Report a Trail Closure


Trail maintenance issues are the responsibility of the Trail Steward, which is either the trail owner or a group given authorization to perform maintenance work. Trails BC is a trail steward for a very limited number of trail segments on the Trans Canada Trail; unfortunately, if a major trail issue occurs along the Trans Canada Trail, there is often very little we can do about it - but we can try to pass on the information to the trail steward, if one exists.

Information such as a precise location (GPS waypoint), photo, as well as your contact information is extremely helpful to ensure the problem is accurately reported.

AGAIN, DO NOT USE THIS FORM TO SUBMIT NOTICES ABOUT TRAILS THAT ARE NOT PART OF THE TRANS CANADA TRAIL. We will simply delete the submission and it will not be posted or passed on to anyone. If you need to report a closure on such a trail, please determine the trail owner or operator and send a notice to them.

Would it be unwise to continue through the closure or blockage? You may add more detail in your report.
Please enter your trail closure report. Include a GPS location or a detailed description of its precise location.
JPG format only, 3 MB max. You must click "upload" after selecting file.
If the blockage/closure can be bypassed, please include your recommended route to do so!