Foxtrail is a scavenger hunt-style game you can play with friends or co-workers. It takes you on a self-guided walking and interactive adventure in Vancouver.
Versions of the game can be played in multiple cities around Europe. As of the summer of 2022, now for the first time it can be played in Canada too!
There are two trails in Vancouver. Each starts in a different location in Yaletown. They take teams through different routes around nearby districts.
When you book a Foxtrail adventure, only the starting location and the first set of clues are given. The trails take around 3 hours on average to complete. They can take a couple of hours if you are fast, efficient, and good with the clues, or they can take slightly longer. Played in teams of 2 to 6 people, the adventures are a lot of fun.
For the game’s official website and to book your adventure visit foxtrail.ca.
Foxtrail Scavenger Hunts in Vancouver
Escape rooms have become quite popular in recent years. While Foxtrail shares some similarities with escape rooms, it’s also quite different. The Swiss-made puzzle-solving hunts take place mostly outdoors and are interactive. Participants receive an initial set of instructions and need to work as a team to successfully move from location to location (or from station to station) to find new challenges to complete.
On the hunt you have to decipher codes, access locked boxes, look for clues and explore the region. The goal is to follow the clever fox until the very last station of the trail.
Foxtrail is a fun activity that brings people together. Being outdoors and working as a team can bond participants in a unique and fun way. In Europe, the experience has been very popular for a number of years among schools, clubs and companies as a team-building exercise.
Foxtrail scavenger hunts began in Switzerland over two decades ago and there are now 60 different trails in that country. In 2017 the company began to expand elsewhere in Europe and in 2022 the first trails outside of Europe opened in Vancouver.
Foxtrail Location and Prices
There are two trails in Vancouver. Both begin in Yaletown. When you book, only the starting location and the first set of clues are given.
Each experience takes between around 2 and 4 hours to complete depending on each team’s individual pace and problem-solving luck and abilities.
As of the summer of 2022, adults cost $32 and youth (ages 10 to 15) cost $20. Children ages 9 and under are free.
Foxtrail is open year-round with the first time slot of the day at 8:00 am and the final one just before 5:00 pm. (Note: Exact start times are subject to change and may vary by season.)
For the game’s official website and to book your adventure visit foxtrail.ca.
Available Vancouver Trails
There are two trails available in Vancouver as of the summer of 2022. They are the COMPASS Trail and the AMPHIBIOUS Trail. They are the same price and both start in Yaletown. Their routes take participants through different areas around that vibrant district as well as other neighbourhoods nearby.
As Foxtrail is a self-guided activity, each team gets a set of instructions with initial clues. Various stations are set up and it’s your job to decipher each puzzle as you find it before moving to the next station. The clues and their solutions can be on the street, in parks, inside buildings, on the side of the road, way up high or anywhere else.
While Foxtrail is meant to be a primarily offline adventure, each group needs to have a smartphone that connects to the Internet in order to check-in at the beginning of the adventure. There is also an automated hints feature available to provide extra clues for those stuck on a specific element. To solve a few of the challenges, you also need your phone to see some cool special effects.
When we did a Foxtrail adventure we did the AMPHIBIOUS trail. It took us to parks, down side streets, along the Seawall, around Yaletown and to one of Vancouver’s other most famous neighbourhoods. It also included a lovely amphibious surprise!
Tips and Advice
Below are some suggestions and extra information to help you make the most out of your Foxtrail experience. Suggestions include things to keep in mind before, during and after doing the scavenger hunt.
Tips for Before Your Foxtrail Adventure
TIP #1: Go by public transit if you can. The Yaletown-Roundhouse Skytrain Station is conveniently close to where you start. If driving though, be sure to pay for enough time. Street parking in the area is usually only good for up to two hours. To be on the safe side, you’ll want to pay for at least four hours, just in case your team takes longer than expected. That means you’ll want to park in a parkade.
TIP #2: Be sure to go with a fully-charged phone. Not everyone on the team needs a phone, but it’s nice if everyone has one, and one that won’t die before the end of the adventure.
TIP #3: The adventures happen rain or shine, so make sure to take weather-appropriate clothing since you’ll be outside most of the time. Also, be sure to wear a good pair of walking shoes.
Things to Consider Regarding Players and Teams
TIP #1: The game can be played with as few as 2 people. 2 people will have a blast as will 6. Around 4 though is probably the perfect number. The more people in your group the easier it is to come up with ideas and solve a problem. The fewer the people the more involved and focused all the team members have to be. It’s a social activity though, so the more the merrier!
TIP #2: If you have more than 6 people wanting to play you can do Foxtrail in two different teams. Each group has to play at slightly different times, however, as the route and clues on each trail are the same. You can ask Foxtrail at firstname.lastname@example.org to reduce the interval between starting times, if needed. For bigger groups or company or school outings Foxtrail offers customized experiences.
TIP #3: Foxtrail is a great game for families with older children to play together and for groups of friends. It’s also a great team-building experience for companies, clubs and associations that are looking for a different way to connect with each other.
TIP #4: Children ages 9 and under can tag along for free (although they do count towards the maximum number of people allowed per team). Kids can have fun too. The clues and challenges are difficult and sometimes quite complex though, so in most cases they’ll have to be solved by the adults in the group. Kids can be good though at helping to spot objects when they know what to look for.
Advice While on Your Foxtrail Adventure
TIP #1: If you find a written clue, take a photo of it in case you want to refer back to it a few minutes later.
TIP #2: If stuck on a problem, use the hints feature on the Foxtrail app. It’s not cheating. You are allowed to ask for hints. Just try really hard to solve the challenge first.
Other Info, Tips and Things to Do
TIP #1: Because Yaletown is full of great restaurants, you might want to eat somewhere in the area before or after your adventure. Afterwards can be especially good as it’ll give you a chance to chat about the game and discuss how you did. Since you play Foxtrail at your own pace, you can also pause briefly during the experience to get a snack or something to drink.
TIP #2: If you are visiting the area from out of town and looking for a place to stay, see our article about StayVancouverHotels.com. It’s a website where you can book downtown hotels. Their rates are usually very competitive, plus you can get your choice of a special bonus gift when you make your reservation.
TIP #3: A number of festivals and events take place in Yaletown each year. Combining a visit to a festival with a Foxtrail adventure can make a fun outing! The False Creek Seawall is also a nice place to explore any time of the year.
To give you an idea of what to expect from a Foxtrail adventure, check out the following video. As you’ll see, the trail takes you to all kinds of interesting places.
To learn about other things to do in the area see our article about Vancouver’s Yaletown District.
Some of the various festivals and major events that take place in Yaletown include the following:
- Bastille Day (in July)
- Candytown Street Festival (in November)
- Pet-a-Palooza (in the summer)
- Taste of Yaletown (usually sometime in autumn)
- Vancouver Dragon Boat Festival (in the summer)
- Vancouver International Jazz Festival (in late June and early July)
- Winter Solstice Lantern Festival (in December)
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