In 2013, long before the City and CPR reached an agreement for the sale of land in the Arbutus rail corridor, I decided to run the length of the old tracks to see if it was runnable. From the north end of the tracks, buried somewhere in the bush across the footpath from Cultural Harmony Grove just east of Burrard Bridge, the CPR line weaved its way south through Kitsilano and Kerrisdale to a swing bridge beside the Oak Street Bridge on the shore of the North Arm of the Fraser. The original Hobo Run took me from the north end to the south end and back again. Adding to the adventure was the fact that although the rail line hadn’t been used in years, the tracks were intact and heavily overgrown with brambles in many places. It was a hell of a workout.
Today, the Arbutus Greenway has been almost completely cleared and replaced with a wide, paved bike and pedestrian path with long stretches of bark mulch path for runners like Vancouver’s fastest gardener, Michael Stockdale, who prefer a softer landing.
The Full Hobo is a 22-kilometre route from the Cambie Running Room which combines the entire length of the old rail corridor to South Vancouver with a return climb up Ontario Street back to the store.