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Kinsol Trestle, Vancouver Island

(4.6/5 based on 85+ reviews on the web)
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 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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • It's about an hour drive from Downtown Victoria. The walk was easy (about 20 min each way) although by the end my 4 year old was pretty tired out. You can walk down the valley and get a closer look at...  more »
  • Incredible bridge to visit on the road to tofino or the North of the island from victoria. Is not well signposted super (we almost turn) but once we're there (stay on the road for 1 km from the parking) we got a great view of the Valley and especially on the deck (one wonders how trains could pass it on). Do not miss.
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  • Rain or shine, the kinsol trestle is worth the trip. Easy parking, 1km(ish) from Southern access, beautiful view, great hills and paths below if you want a workout. Even my mom made it and she has lim...  more »
Google
  • Very easy hike with a nice reward at the end. Seriously, my grandmother did it with her walker!
  • It was an amazing revelation o Vancouver island history that we had never new existed. The work that has been to restore is awe inspiring. And the scenery around is so untouched and beautiful. It was truly a walk back into history.
  • This bridge was burnt and underwent an extensive repair/rebuild. They have done a wonderful job with trails, picnic tables, outhouses, and lookouts. Recommended family outing
  • Only a short walk and well worth it. Excellent example of a wooden trestle bridge.
  • Nice trail for a walk. Beautiful view from the trestle.