July 28th was a day many people on Vancouver Island had looked forward to over the last several years. It was the official opening, or actually the re-opening, of the historic Kinsol Trestle near Shawnigan Lake in the Cowichan Valley. There was a great crowd in attendance at a well organized event.
Almost a year ago I blogged about the trestle when the rehabilitation work had just started and I took a trip to have a look. A construction cam was installed and allowed you to see the progress over the past year, and it was great to see things coming together. Funds for the rehabilitation were supplied by many individual donors as well as both the federal and provincial governments, the Island Coastal Economic Trust, the Cowichan Valley Regional District and the Trans Canada Trail Foundation. A major missing link in the Vancouver Island portion of the Trans Canada Trail is now complete. The trail now runs continuously from the south end of Shawnigan Lake up to Lake Cowichan and from Duncan to Ladysmith. The section from Duncan to Ladysmith was opened just a few weeks before the opening of the Kinsol Trestle.
There is still work to be completed around the trestle, including a pavilion listing all the donors to the project. A completed walkway takes you down all the way to the river on the north end of the trestle. Looking up at the 44 meters high trestle from the river is pretty awe inspiring, especially if you consider how the trestle was built back in 1920, without any of the huge cranes or other equipment now used for the rehabilitation. The rehabilitation created local jobs, used Vancouver Island lumber and the project was led by a local Cobble Hill company.
We have hosted numerous cyclists at our Cobble Hill Bed & Breakfast over the years, as they cycle and visit the wineries, or pass through on their way up-Island. The completion of the Kinsol Trestle on the Trans Canada Trail will definitely be an added attraction in the Cowichan Valley for both cyclists and hikers as well as visitors who are interested in seeing this piece of Vancouver Island history for themselves.