A ride on the Cowichan Valley Trail to view the Kinsol Trestle

by Raymond Parker on September 27, 2012

in Cycling, Touring, Video

Kinsol Family Outing

The Kinsol Trestle opened to great fanfare one-year-ago, after a $7 million restoration project returned it to its former glory as one of the longest and highest wooden railway trestles in Canada. The 188-metre long, 38-metre high structure, originally built in 1920 to carry trainloads of lumber to market, spans the Koksilah River canyon near Shawnigan Lake. Abandoned in 1979 and left to decay, the airy structure  now completes a link on the Cowichan Valley Trail, part of the nationwide Trans-Canada Trail.

On a recent sunny Saturday I hopped on my newly-restored Rocky Mountain Blizzard to check out the refurbished span.

Unfortunately, the trail is already under attack from ATVs, otherwise known as “Asshat Trail Vandals.” In April, bollards blocking motor vehicle access were removed by grinding security locks off the barriers.

On my visit, churned-up sections of trail showed the effect of ATVs. A loud, dusty performance by one such cretin, who went out of his way to demonstrate the superior power of the internal combustion engine, if not his grey matter, gave firsthand evidence of why these miscreants should be restricted to remote gravel pits. I managed to record the final seconds of this juvenile performance in the attached video.

The Kinsol Trestle, I noticed, is overlooked by security cameras. Images of the ATVers who took advantage of the breach in April have been circulated, but the bollards have not been recovered and the culprits have not been apprehended, despite pledges to crack down from Cowichan Valley Regional District’s enforcement department and the RCMP.

I’d imagine the full-face helmets generally worn by the fart-machine drivers gives them a certain sense of anonymity. The only remedy I can see is regular enforcement and hefty penalties that will serve as a deterrent. Otherwise, I fear the Cowichan Valley Trail will suffer the same fate as the Kettle Valley Trail, which is now a sea of deep gravel and ruts, churned up by ATVs. The area is no fun for cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians who want to get away from the roar of engines and enjoy a day out in the country.

The trestle is a marvel of rustic engineering and worth a visit. The committee that lobbied for, raised money and oversaw its rescue deserve a decisive response to defend this treasure from a new threat.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add your spin! }

ofoab September 28, 2012 at 7:35 am

ATV ‘s and the idiot that rode in on it ! I could rant on forever about the stupidity of the current provincial government on this mechanical spawn of Satan, but I leave you with the image of 15 {counted} of these with riders passing 2 cyclists at speed near Princton. Maybe the next generation of phones could have a light-saber app. May 2013 cannot come fast enough! My 1st Myra Canyon moment was before it was a park, no rails, 18 ties missing on middle of the Pooley creek trestle. I carried 4 bikes across the rail {12 in.wide }. They hiked the canyon. Those were the days, when they had ATV trikes that were travelling Darwin awards! Rant on to your local MLA. Good on ya, Cheers.


Raymond Parker October 3, 2012 at 12:44 pm

Gee, Lee, I thought I answered this, but it was all a fig of my imag.

Anyway, like the light-saber ap idea, but we’ll have to keep plans “for cyclists’ eyes only” or everyone will want one.


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