Cowichan Valley Trail to Kinsol Trestle
Cowichan Valley Trail to Kinsol Trestle

Cowichan Valley Trail to Kinsol Trestle Road Biking Route

Victoria
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Cowichan Valley Trail to Kinsol Trestle Road Biking Route

Distance: 19.4mi
Elevation: 1,385ft
Time: 1.5-2.5h

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Bring the whole family on the Cowichan Valley Trail to Kinsol Trestle trail for an epic bike ride! Pass over a smaller trestle on the way to the main attraction, the Kinsol Trestle. From here, take in incredible views over the Koksilah River and prepare for a steep ride back.

Cowichan Valley Trail to Kinsol Trestle Road Biking Route Map

Getting there

From Downtown Victoria, head out of town via the Trans-Canada Highway. At about 19.3mi and just before the crest of the Malahat, turn left on Shawnigan Lake Rd. In 3.7mi, make a sharp left onto the paved Sooke Lake Road at the very bottom of the hill. Go 0.9mi further, the turn right into the parking lot.

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About

When to do

March-November

Family friendly

Older Children only

Route Signage

Average

Crowd Levels

Moderate

Route Type

Circuit


Cowichan Valley Trail to Kinsol Trestle
Elevation Graph


Route Description for Cowichan Valley Trail to Kinsol Trestle

Set off on the Cowichan Valley Trail to Kinsol Trestle biking trail from the Sooke Lake Road access parking lot, heading in a clockwise direction and riding north along the well-maintained, gravel trail. This is an easy grade trail that can be completed as a family.

Stay on the well-defined trail for 3.1mi, where you’ll come across an access road with a picnic table, rest here if you’d like, but you probably won’t need too. Keep going.

In 6.7 km, you’ll reach the McGee Creek Trestle. This spot is especially popular, with lots of bikers, families and walkers here. The trestle is surrounded by lush tree canopy, which is especially stunning during the fall months.

From here, continue on the gravel trail, crossing Oland Road and then shortly after, crossing Sallachie Road.

Take in the peaceful nature setting, keeping an eye out for deer, hawks or other fowl.

Peddle onwards, until just before the 7.5mi mark, where you’ll pass over Renfrew Road, then Shelby Road.

Once you spot the Koksilah River, you’ll know you’ve arrived at the Kinsol Trestle (though it’s hard to miss!). The structure is particularly fun to ride over and the scenery is stunning along the tree line and looking down over the fast-flowing river.

If you’re riding with little ones, we recommend riding back the exact same way you came, but if you are riding unincumbered, set back out onto Renfrew Road heading towards East Shawinigan Road.

The ride back is pleasant and you’ll pass multiple viewpoints of Shawnigan Lake, but there is no shoulder on the road at times so proceed with caution.

Push your legs to the limit on some steep climbs, as the trail rolls up and down here. At the very end of the trail, prepare for a big climb as you ascend towards Sooke Lake Road, then celebrate, you’ve made it back to the car!

Insider Hints

  • The Cowichan Valley Trail to Kinsol Trestle is a rather popular bike ride, especially for families. If you can, we’d recommend trying this trail during the week or in the evenings when the trail is a bit quieter.

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