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Kinsol Trestle, Vancouver Island

Categories: Bridges, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.6/5 based on 80+ 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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  • After 13 years on the island, we finally made a visit to walk the section of the Cowichan Valley trail that includes the Kinsol Trestle. The walk was made all the better by it being a cloudless Autumn...  read more »
  • Being our first time to Vancouver Island my cousin suggested visiting the Kinsol Trestle which we found amazing. A short walk from the parking lot and being a part of the Trans Canada Trail it was a g...  read more »
  • Beautiful sights. Unique experience. Needed better signs for directions. Would be weather dependent as its outdoors only. Is about a 10-15 minute hike to see each direction. 
  • 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
  • Great views, easy walk (if a bit long), nice history.
  • Great biking trail. Travelled from Kinsol Trestle to Lake Cowichan with kids this summer and had a great time.
  • Very historic. Cool trestle. Great biking trails
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