The Kinsol Trestle
One of the major new Cowichan Valley attractions is the rehabilitated Kinsol Trestle. This heritage attraction was completed and re-opened to the public in July of 2011 and completes a major missing link in the Cowichan Valley Trail, the local section of the Trans Canada Trail. The trail is now a continuous stretch of over 70 km from the south end of Shawnigan Lake to Lake Cowichan and Duncan, and in the next few years will connect directly to the Galloping Goose Trail in the Greater Victoria area, and subsequently to the Nanaimo section of trails.
The Kinsol Trestle is the largest wooden trestle in Canada and the largest in the Commonwealth, possibly the world. At 187 meters (614 feet) across and 38 meters high (145 feet) it contains over 1.2 million board feet of timber. Originally completed in 1920 by the Canadian National Railway to transport logs more easily and quickly, the trestle was abandoned in 1980, and eight years later partially destroyed by fire. Local Cobble Hill company Macdonald and Lawrence Timber Framing, a specialist carpentry company whose heritage team is made up of international timber restoration and conservation experts, was the contractor on the restoration project. The Kinsol trestle stretches across the Koksilah River canyon and the Rotary Club has constructed a path down to the river so you can view the trestle from below. It’s a pretty awe inspiring sight!
The Trans Canada Trail, of which the Cowichan Valley Trail is a section, is scheduled to be completed across Canada by 2017, Canada’s 150th birthday. When complete, it will be the longest trail in the world.