If the rules of social distancing involve avoiding people, we’re gonna avoid people hard. That means abandoned resorts are totally fair game! Today, we’re diving into Deertrail Resort, a crumbling cliffside ruin hidden in the woods of British Columbia. Both spooky and artsy, the remains of an almost-completed extravagant chateau will take your breath away.
Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, we gotta give a disclaimer that you’re not technically supposed to go here. The government has blocked off the entrance within Sooke Provincial Park… But with a little improvisation, you can check out the cool murals and walls (respectfully, of course!). Not that we encouraged trespassing or anything.
Anyway! The backstory on this spot involves Albert Yuen, a developer from Victoria. He purchased the 160-acre parcel of land overlooking Sooke River in the 1980s, with big dreams of a luxe lodge hidden in the temperate rainforest. He and his wife dreamt up a spot with over 200 fancy rooms, a pool and spa, and access to in-house shopping outlets.
Deertrail was also meant to be home to Canada’s largest log-burning fireplace, which would have been super cool. But sadly, the development never got that far.
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When things went wrong with the investment money, the property was acquired as parkland, and lodge buildings were stripped down to their stonework. The ruins remain, but stunning graffiti murals decorate the space in a sort of tribute to Yuen’s lost dream.
From Forest Mario to pink goats and gold sharks, it’s a kaleidoscope of mismatched pieces here. Stories are told on nearly every wall at Deertrail Resort– a reminder that things don’t always go as planned… But sometimes it’s the unplanned moments that end up being the most beautiful.
If you wanna check it out (not recommended by us, wink wink), Sooke Potholes Provincial Park is reached via Sooke River Road, just off West Coast Highway 14.
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