Wandering Vancouver Island – Kinsol Trestle.

Since the weather here has warmed up significantly, we decided to take a short, 76k road trip to view the Kinsol Trestle, located in the Cowichan valley,  and now part  of the Trans Canada Trail.

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Kinsol Trestle.

The trestle spans the Koksilah River. It is 187m long, and rises to a height of 44m, one of the largest in North America. Now for a bit of not to boring but condensed history.

Orginally built by the Canadian Northern Pacific Railway in 1911, it was needed to connect Victoria to Nootka Sound to transport old growth timber. The actual construction was undertaken by local farmers and loggers. The CNoPR  was take over by the Canadian National Railway in 1918 who oversaw  completion of the trestle by 1920. Last train to cross the trestle was in 1979, and the trestle was abandoned one year later. DSC_0110DSC_0109

The CNR gave up ownership on Vancouver Island in the 1980s, and the rail line was given over to the Ministry of Transportation. Due to the fact that the trestle sat unused , it’s deterioration  in the following years rendered it’s use prohibitive by hikers on the rail trail. It seemed unlikely at that point in time that the trestle would be able to be restored to use.

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After Much debate for and against restoration, an agreement was reached to preserve the trestle for it’s historical and tourism value. A feasibility study was conducted as to the work needed to restore it to use. It was estimated that 5.7 million would be needed. The provincial government kicked in 4.1 million and the rest was raised by local fund raising. The restoration was started in 2010, and the trestle opened to the public in 2011.DSC_0111

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Original cement piers at the base.
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Koksilah River.

DSC_0108The Kinsol Trestle has proven to be a very worthwhile addition to the Trans Canada Trail as seen by the number of people who visit it each year. Whether hiking, biking or on horseback, the trestle is available to all those who love the great outdoors. Cheers.

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