Places: Historic Kinsol Trestle Over the Koksilah River

There are many out-of-the-way places on this Earth. Finding them is an adventure and experiencing them, a privilege! My wife and I just recently enjoyed a visit to a historic landmark in British Columbia, Canada.

The Koksilah Bridge, or Kinsol Trestle, was completed in 1920. It is twelve stories tall and made entirely of wood likely harvested from Vancouver Island itself. It had a rich history of service before being decommissioned, abandoned, restored, and then reopened to the public as a tourist attraction.

Upon arriving in the rather small parking lot, you are greeted with this introductory signage:

We are now a ways along the Cowichan Valley Trail which was an integral part of the Great Trail route of Southern Vancouver Island. It’s a short 1.2 km walk (about 3/4 of a mile) from the sign to the beginning of the trestle:

Again, we are greeted by another sign to update us on our progress:

We learn that we have about 187 meters (or 615 feet) to go to reach the other side of the trestle. Let’s get started!

As you can clearly see, some of the most beautiful views are going to be available from this vantage point!

We are now almost completely across the trestle and ready to explore the other side. There are three levels for observation: From the trestle; From a secondary viewing plateau, and from the bottom of the valley.

There was also a small covered kiosk with more informational signage and this uniquely wrapped utility box:

Before we continue with more images and text, please enjoy this short video:

Panoramic View of Kinsol Trestle

Perhaps you’re wondering just how high twelve stories feels like when you look straight down! Well, wonder no more:

It’s a Long Way Down!

The following image should also help to establish just how high this trestle is:

Secondary Viewing Plateau & Bottom of the Valley

We arrived at the parking lot about 6:45 pm on Saturday, September 18th. By the time we walked to the trestle, explored, took photographs, and read up on our history from all of the great signage, it was time to make our way back to the car before nightfall. After all, it was going to be a brisk walk through bear country. so…

It had been raining off and on all day and this made for some fantastic shots of the trees and mountains. We paused just long enough to take one more shot:

Okay, now it was time to hike it on out of there! I would highly recommend this attraction to anyone. It is wheelchair accessible and easily reached by even the youngest of children. The walk out is not too long and is certainly picturesque. But what awaits you is breathtaking and well worth the effort!

If you would like to visit this historical site yourself, here are the coordinates:

Latitude: 48 degrees 40′ 6.34″ N

Longitude: -123 degrees 41′ 37.77″ W

I believe the nearest city to this location is North Saanich. It’s also quite close to Maple Bay. If you like the great outdoors and unusual manmade structures, this is for you!

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