Kinsol Trestle, Vancouver Island

4.7
#201 of 873 in Things to do in Vancouver Island
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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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
103 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • August 15, 2017
    After many years fighting to preserve this heritage site, the trestle was repaired and now connects both sides of the river as the transcanada trail. Many volunteers and meetings took place to talk wi...  more »
  • August 2, 2017
    This is a cool thing to do any day of the year for any aged person. The hike to the Trestle is about 1 - 2 km and a wide gravel path. Lots of people with strollers, dogs, canes and walking sticks head...  more »
  • July 26, 2017
    I am not sure how I found this location when looking for things to do during our weekend on the Island but so glad we did. The walk from the carpark area to the Trestle is a leisurely stroll suitable ...  more »
Google
  • July 4, 2017
    Easy trail and interesting from an engineering and construction point of view. The trestle has been rehabilitated with steel trusses. Nice viewing platforms.
  • June 1, 2017
    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.
  • May 13, 2017
    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.
  • May 4, 2017
    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
  • March 1, 2017
    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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