With early spring weather threatening rain for the day we made a choice for some close proximity outings with easy access to the truck incase the precipitation was to much. 45 kms south of Chemainus on Vancouver Island, we wind our way through the Cowichan valley, past Shawnigan Lake to the Kinsol Trestle parking lot. The Cowichan Valley Trail District (CVTD) has invested plenty of time and money into covering the old rail line into a network of walking paths, nearly 125 kms long. The old line was first constructed back in the early 1900s for the mining and logging industry and the Kinsol Trestle is by far the most spectacular.
Named after the King Solomon copper mine, the Kinsol Trestle stretches 187 meters long and stands 44 meters over the Koksilah River meandering below. This full wooden structure had a dark history of delays, neglect and vandalism before the CVTD took charge of the abandoned line and completed a rebuild that would keep this man made structure available for others to enjoy for years to come.
After a short 15 minute walk from the main parking lot our views opened up as we reached the trestle. Full handrails and equipped with extruding viewpoints make for excellent opportunities to see the masterpiece from all different angles. The rain started to fall for us at this point and as our luck had it, the CVTD had a crew on the trestle doing some cleaning and pressure washing. There are trails on either side that can take you to the underside of the supports and north side of the bridge has a path that descends all the way down to the river below where a picnic table awaits.
Before the four of us got too wet me made it back to the vehicle and were on our way.
We made another stop on our way out at Bright Angel Park for lunch. The girls did a few laps of the play ground before we enjoyed another short little walk to the river. There was a pedestrian suspension bridge that accessed the opposite side for a network of walking trails and a great place to just get down to the water. The girls could have spent all day here throwing rocks into the water enjoying the sights and sounds they made as they broke the surface.
Nearing nap time now we briskly got them back into the truck and returned to our hotel before we missed their witching hour window. Our day was finished off with a swim in the hotel pool and dip in the hot tub before laying down our heads for the night.
Our time in the Cowichan Valley has slowly come to an end but we have great hopes of returning again one day for more little hidden secrets of the area.