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Kinsol Trestle, Vancouver Island

4.7
#26 of 91 in Sightseeing in Vancouver Island
Bridge Tourist Spot
The Kinsol Trestle, also known as the Koksilah River Trestle, is a wooden railway trestle located on Vancouver Island north of Shawnigan Lake in the Canadian Province of British Columbia. It provides a spectacular crossing of the Koksilah River.Completed in 1920, its dimensions measure 44m high and 188m long, making it the largest wooden trestle in the Commonwealth of Nations and one of the highest railway trestles in the world.It was built as part of a plan to connect Victoria to Nootka Sound, passing through Cowichan Lake and Port Alberni, when forestry had gained some ground on Vancouver Island and a more efficient way to transport the region's huge, old-growth timber was needed. It was not built, as some mistakenly believe, to serve any nearby mines. It was named after the nearby Kinsol Station which, in turn, took its name from a nearby mining venture grandiosely named “King Solomon Mines”, a very small mining venture that produced 18t or 18000kg of copper and 6300g of silver (from 254t of ore - hardly enough to fill 3 rail cars) over the period 1904-1907.The line was started in 1911 by the Canadian Northern Pacific Railway (CNoPR) and while it was designed by engineers, it was built by local farmers and loggers, with investment funds from the Canadian Western Lumber Company, which was the largest lumber company in the world at that time. The trestle was never completed by the CNoPR, and the line only reached Youbou before construction was terminated. The CNoPR was taken over by Canadian National Railways in 1918, and its line and the trestle were completed in 1920 as part of the "Galloping Goose" rail line. The last train to cross the Kinsol was in 1979, and the trestle was abandoned 1 year later.
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(Shawnigan Lake is the nearest city to Kinsol Trestle)

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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
95 reviews
Google
4.5
  • This is a rather interesting refurbished step back in time,a very pretty spot to stop,a nice walk and then stunning views from up top on the trestle,a very nice place to see,cheers  more »
  • A 1km walk on a nice trail. This is a beautiful bridge. Good photo opportunities. You could picnic as well. Bathrooms are just portables.  more »
  • If you love bridges, this is the place to go. It was a lovely bridge to go visit before the restoration. You could see how the beams were labelled for when they were originally put it together. We go ...  more »
Google
  • Easy trail and interesting from an engineering and construction point of view. The trestle has been rehabilitated with steel trusses. Nice viewing platforms.
  • Easy trail, wheelchair accessible. Absolutely stunning views. The hike is about 15 minutes from the parking lot to the trestle on a flat well kept path.
  • This place is really neat. Nice walking trail and a trestle built in place of an old train. Great historical site. A must see if your in the island.
  • An easy place for a walk. Flat, wide gravel path can easily manage strollers. Best to hit it midweek or a wet day to avoid the crowds
  • What a beautiful site to see. the walk is short and sweet if you do not have much time, otherwise you can go down and all around and enjoy from every angle. I plan to explore when I have more time in the warmer summer months. 10/10 do recommend!

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