Roadside Attractions: Big Stuff in BC

Roadside Attractions: Big Stuff in BC

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British Columbia is bursting with big. Towering trees, mountains, and endless ocean prove the point, but there are also a lot of oversized roadside attractions to discover. Spice up your next road trip with these big photo ops.


Great Big Truck

Three people sit in the wheel spokes of a giant green truck.

The green machine. Photo: @brieannaheather_ via Instagram

The GM Terex 33-19 was the largest, highest capacity haul truck in the world for 25 years, and the only one of its kind ever built.

Find it here: Parked beside Highway 3 along the Crowsnest Highway.

While you’re there: Go fishing on the Elk River, hike the Matevic Draw for a bird’s eye view of Sparwood, or take a drive out to Grave Lake.

Port McNeil

Largest Burl

A woman hugs the World’s largest burl—a natural tress formation.

One of two burls on display in Port McNeill, BC. Photo: @reneegardner14via Instagram

Burls are natural formations that develop when extra cells grow on a tree. The world’s largest burl was carved off a tall sitka spruce tree and is estimated to be 30 tonnes (66,000 lbs).

Find it here: On the northeast side of Vancouver Island, next to downtown Port McNeill.

While you’re there: Port McNeill is an unspoiled wilderness. Go for a hike in the rainforest—Marble River Trail for an easy hike, Cape Scott Trail for more of a challenge—or rent a kayak and paddle to the Broughton Archipelago, BC’s largest marine park.

New Westminster

Big Tin Man

The world’s tallest tin soldier stands in the middle of a busy downtown area.

World’s biggest tin soldier. Photo: @pixnprose via Instagram

The largest tin soldier in the world stands 10 meters (32 feet) high, and the heart contains a time capsule to be opened in 2025.

Find it here: Outside the River Market, just off Quayside Drive.

While you’re there: Check out the shops in the River Market and then go for a walk along the Fraser River boardwalk.


Giant Fishing Rod

A 60-foot long fishing rod.

Visit Steelhead Park in Houston and you’ll find this giant fly rod. Photo: Tandra Bamsey

Canada’s largest fly rod is 18.3 m (60 feet) long and weighs about 360 kg (800 lbs).

Find it here: Along Highway 16 as you drive into town.

While you’re there: Go fishing. Houston is known for steelhead fishing, but there are also plenty of spring and coho salmon, and trout.


The Birds

People stroll past a statue of a giant sparrow.

One of the giant birds in Olympic Village. Photo: @colemanalley via Instagram

These sparrows, by artist Myfanwy Maclead, were inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 film The Birds.

Find it here: They have flown away at the moment for maintenance, but are expected back in September of 2018 to their home along False Creek at the site of the 2010 Olympic Village. 

While you’re there: Take a walk along False Creek, or stop in at Craft Beer Market in the historic Salt Building.


Smokey Bear

A giant statue of Smokey Bear next to a VW wagon.

A towering Smokey Bear reminds visitors that “Only you can prevent forest fires”. Photo: @wolfpack_81 via Instagram

Smokey Bear was part of a wildfire prevention program that started in 1944. The real life Smokey Bear was an orphaned black bear cub rescued from a wildfire.

Find it here: Five km (3 mi) west of Revelstoke at the base of Boulder Mountain (just off the Trans-Canada Highway).

While you’re there: In winter try the many snowmobile trails, or in summer ride the Pipe Mountain Coaster at Revelstoke Mountain Resort.


Giant Penny

A statue depicting a giant penny from the year 1995.

Penny for your thoughts? Photo: @sailorcalypso via Instagram

The Giant Penny is 2.5 m (8 ft) high and honours the Penny Power campaign of 1995, where Salmo residents collected pennies and donated them to the Government of Canada to reduce the national debt.

Find it here: On Highway 6 in Salmo.

While you’re there: Catch a glimpse of a herd of bighorn sheep at Kootenay Pass (just outside Salmo).

100 Mile House

Great Big Cross-Country Skis

40-foot tall skis next to a log cabin.

Cross-country skis in 100 Mile House.

These cross-country skis are 12 metres (40 feet) tall and are complete with poles.

Find it here: At the South Cariboo Visitor Centre located along the 100 Mile Marsh.

While you’re there: Stop for a picnic and some bird watching. In winter, explore 150 km (93 mi) of groomed cross-country ski trails.


Gold Pan

The world’s largest gold pan, shovel, and gold nugget.

Gold! Who can resist a photo next to the world’s largest gold pan? Photo:@bobkronbauer via Instagram

Follow the Gold Rush Trail and you’ll find a huge gold pan, shovel, and nugget in Quesnel.

Find it here: Along Highway 97.

While you’re there: Take a jet boat tour on the Fraser River, or make your way to Barkerville—a living Gold Rush museum with over 100 restored heritage buildings and live performances.


Giant Paddle

A man sits on top of the world’s largest paddle.

A paddle fit for a giant. Photo: @jenmerrick via Twitter

The largest paddle in the world is over 18 metres (60 feet) long and was made from one huge western red cedar log.

Find it here: Between Golden and Parson on Highway 95.

While you’re there: Rent a canoe and explore the Columbia River and surrounding wetlands.


Garden Gnome

A statue depicting the world’s largest garden gnome.

A seemingly random garden gnome on Vancouver island. Photo:@rustytraveltrunk via Instagram

Find it here: Off Highway 17 at Galey Farms

While you are there: Visit the floral wonders of Butchart Gardens


Big Axe Man

A statue depicting a giant lumberjack.

This lumberjack was originally created as a movie prop. Photo:@k_sandilands via Instagram

The Squamish Axe Man (Sam) promotes the Squamish Days Festival in August.

Find it here: Off Highway 99 in Squamish at the Squamish Adventure Centre.

While you’re there: Take a ride up the Sea to Sky Gondola for breathtaking views of Howe Sound.

Prince George

Mr. PG

A statue depicting a giant man made of wood and holding a Canadian flag with the initials “PG” on his chest.

Mr. PG in Prince George. Photo: @rnchabot via Instagram.

Mr. Prince George stands 8 metres (27 feet) tall and was recognized on a Canada Post stamp in 2009.

Find it here: In Prince George at the junction of Highway 97 and Highway 16.

While you’re there: Check out the vintage rail collection at the Central BC Railway and Forestry Museum.


The World’s Largest Hockey Stick (and Puck)

40 times bigger than life-sized, the hockey stick is 62.48 m (205 ft) long, and weighs 28.12 tonnes (62,000 lbs).

Find it here: It was originally on display at Expo 86 in Vancouver. Now you’ll find it at the Cowichan Community Centre in Duncan.

While you’re there: Go for a hike on the Cowichan Valley Trail, or follow a Totem Tour Walk to see dozens of totem poles.

Fort St. John

Muffler Man

Road trippers have been on the hunt for pictures with the giant Muffler Men since they started appearing in North America in the 1960s (they can be recognized by their one hand up and one hand down position). This one stands next to a sawmill and looks like a logger.

Find it here: At mile 62 of the Alaska Highway.

While you’re there: Go bird watching at Charlie Lake.


Giant Peach

The giant peach is also a snack shack. Give the peach screamer a try.

Find it here: In Rotary Park, on the south shore of Okanagan Lake.

While you’re there: Chill at the beach, sip your way through the award winning Naramata Bench wineries, or bike ride the Kettle Valley Rail Trail.

Powell River

Ghost Ships (The Hulks)

These 1940s ocean-going freighters were placed in the harbour to shelter log rafts from waves. With the mill gone, they are now just nautical ghosts.

Find it here: Just off the Sunshine Coast Highway, north of downtown.

While you’re there: Go for a kayak in Desolation Sound Marine Park.


Huge Motorcycle (The Great Hog of Freedom)

Artist and writer Kenny Glasgow created the Great Hog of Freedom for his Philosophy Park. The largest of three motorcycles on display is 7.5 metres (24 feet) long and three times larger than the original. Be sure to wander and explore Kenny’s other outdoor metal sculptures.

Find it here: Off Highway 12 from Lytton.

While you’re there: Go rafting in one of Canada’s best river rafting locations(the Fraser and Thompson rivers meet in Lytton).

Lac La Hache

Big Hatchet

This oversized tomahawk is inscribed with Lac La Hache (meaning Hatchet Lake).

Find it here: At the south end of the lake on Highway 97.

While you’re there: Go fishing, or take a stroll around the lake.

Big Roadside Attractions Map

An illustrated map depicting all the giant-sized roadside attractions in BC.

Know before you go. Be sure to check the following resources to plan for the latest conditions:

  • Drive BC is your source for information about road closures, major events, and transportation delays.
  • BC Parks offers information regarding provincial campgrounds and park closures.
  • Recreation Sites and Trails offers alerts, closures, and warnings regarding BC’s rustic campsites and recreational trails.
  • The BC Wildfire Service offers a variety of resources, including an interactive map of all active wildfires across the province.