Great Family Walks: Kinsol Trestle
If your spring break weeks have big plans, a small walk to the Kinsol trestle is quick and refreshing. My spouse and I live in Shawnigan Lake near the South end of trestle. We visit it every month or so walking with our daughter and Fredrick (the dog).
Recently we visited again on a Sunday morning with some friends from Victoria who haven’t seen the trestle (past or present).
To reach the South end of the Trestle, follow along Renfrew Rd and turn right onto Glen Eagles Rd. A new gravel parking lot on the right, is tough to miss. It’s about a 20 minute walk to the trestle, which isn’t much exercise, but great for pre schoolers. Emily (my 2 year old) ran the whole way to the trestle and 90% of the way back. There are no hills, and the trail is packed gravel. We saw lots of other families with children, many of them on bikes.
About 5 minutes into the walk (at the 1st bend in the trail) we spotted a few trees with thin blue tubes which drained into white 20 litre water pails. Tapping maple syrup!
It was nice to see many other families like ours enjoying a simple walk to a magnificent structure.
If you come from Duncan follow Koksilah Rd and turn onto Riverbottom Rd, following this road until reaching the end. There is a parking lot on the left. The walk to the Trestle is only about 5- 10 minutes from this direction.
Completing the missing link in the Trans Canada Trail between Shawnigan Lake and Lake Cowichan, the Kinsol Trestle restoration finished last year. Originally built in 1911, the trestle was used to assist in the transport of minerals and lumber on the island. When the railway took a back-seat to other modes of transport, the trestle began to deteriorate, the last train to travel across was in 1979. In the last few years the trestle weathered, was victim to vandalism and became very unsafe. A decision had to be made – tear down one of the most amazing timber structures in the world or rebuild and preserve our history? I think we made the right choice.