A number of years ago, the Canadian government made a commitment to create a multi-use trail from one end of Canada to the other. The most westerly leg of this trail is on Vancouver Island and part of the trail includes an impressive journey over one of the longest wooden trestle brides in the world. The trestle began live as a rail road trestle for carrying logs and ore from remote regions on Vancouver Island to the coast for processing and shipping. Construction began in 1911 but due to the First World War, completion was not until 1921.
Originally named the Koksilah River Trestle, but for the locals the trestle's close proximity to the old King Solomon Mine, the trestle started to be referred to "Kin Sol" trestle, and the name stock to what it is today, the Kinsol Trestle.
Over the years, many of the wooden components began to deteriorate, and couple with a fire on the deck of the trestle it fell into quite a state of disrepair. There were many discussions and meeting about whether or not to rebuild the magnificent old trestle, and of course the costs associated with the restore. In the end it was decided to rebuild the old trestle and today it stands as a remarkable achievement for the community and for those who worked so hard to preserve it and the many people who donated funds to help in the restoration.
Woodworkers would especially appreciate the grandeur of this trestle, with the intricacy woven immense wooden beams criss-crossing their way to a staggering 145 feet high and 617 feet in length. The trestle became disused around 1979 and the former tracks removed, laying way for what would later be the Vancouver Island Leg of the Trans Canada Trail.
If you are a walker, a hiker or a bicycle rider, this is a must see. The scenery is impressive and the trail is an easy walk or bicycle ride. If you only want to see the trestle, you can take the Koksilah cut off, off the Island highway just south of Duncan, then turn left on Riverside Road and follow it all the way to the parking lot about 300 yards from the trestle.
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If you are ever on Vancouver Island, on the West Coast of Canada, the Kinsol Trestle will be one spot you won't want to miss.
Copyright - Colin Knecht