The Kinsol Trestle is an impressive 187 metres long and 44 metres high, making it one of the tallest free standing timber trestles in the world. Trestles are impressive, with row upon row of crossing timber these bridges span water ways and canyons all over British Columbia. Many of these ginormous structures were built over 100 years ago and hold a key piece of North American history through the expansion of the railway. Although hundreds of trestles were built all over the continent, this trestle is special because of it’s gargantuan size and its unusual seven-degree curve.
Construction of the Kinsol Trestle began in 1914 but was interrupted by the First World War. The trestle was completed six years later in 1920, and continued service until the decline of the forest industry on south Vancouver Island; the last train passed over its structure in 1979.
Without trains the trestle lay dormant for almost three decades; it was forgotten by many and vandalized by some. In 2007 a community group began to petition the government to revive the trestle, and in 2010 the restoration began. By the summer of 2011 the trestle was open to the public as part of the Cowichan Valley Trail.
The trestle is located near Shawinigan Lake, just off of Glen Eagle Road. The parking lot is an easy one kilometre walk from the trestle. There are picnic benches, so pack a lunch.
THE GREAT TRAIL
The Great Trail is being constructed/completed for Canada 150. It will connect Canadians from coast to coast to coast, and form the longest recreational trail in the world. As part of this project the Cowichan Valley Trail will connect with the Galloping Goose Trail in Victoria.
This is incredible news! It means you can get off the ferry in Swartz Bay, jump onto the Lochside Trail, connect with the Galloping Goose and take the Cowichan Valley Trail up island. Once completed, it will connect an uninterrupted 122 kilometres of trails.