Island Destinations




With the Spring Weather finally improving, one begins to think of driving destinations on Vancouver Island. Interesting destinations are plentiful up and down the island and future blogs will elaborate on ones we have visited. But let’s start the season with a visit to the KINSOL TRESTLE.

Train buffs may already know about the KINSOL Trestle but I had not heard of it until moving back to the island. Located near Shawnigan Lake, the Trestle is now a regional Park. Started in 1911 but not finished until 1920 the KINSOL is a fine example of the engineering and construction of wood beam trestles. It is 614 feet long and 145 feet above the Koksilah River. Although abandoned and vandalized over the years, the Trestle has been fully restored and is now a spectacular sight. The tracks have been removed and you stroll across the entire span. It is a pleasant 1.2 kilometre walk from the parking lot to the trestle. Picnic tables are available too, if you are in a picnic mood.

If you are not into lunchtime self sufficiency, then you may want to dine at the Merridale Cidery or at Unsworth Vinyards, both in nearby Cobble Hill. Check their websites to make sure they are open for lunch. We suggest you go on a weekday when it is less busy.

If you are into walking or hiking, consider a hike along the Cowichan Valley Trail which extends from the trestle.

To get to the KINSOL Trestle drive south past Duncan on Highway 1 and turn west on the Cobble Hill/Shawnigan Lake road into Shawnigan Lake. Turn right on Renfrew Road and continue to Glen Eagles Road. Turn right and you will find the parking lot.

From Parksville/Qualicum Beach it’s a 90 minute drive each way. Make a day of the drive. Enjoy some history and perhaps some wine tasting too.

If you want to see a Trestle but don’t want to drive far, turn on to Drew Road off of 19A between Parksville and Qualicum Beach, drive up to the tracks and park.  Walk south by the tracks about 100 yards and you are at the French Creek Trestle, the longest on the Island. Quite spectacular.

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Just saying…

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