Since moving to British Columbia I’ve developed a bit of an obsession with trestles. I don’t even think I knew what they were before I moved to Canada. But now? Now if I know there’s a trestle in the area I’m desperate to go visit. The Myra Canyon trestles and the Ladner Creek trestle are some of the best trestles in BC but they’re not the only ones. If you like trestles too (and the photo opportunities they provide) then make sure to check out this list of the best trestles in BC.
A word of warning: Most of these trestles in BC are in various states of disrepair (with exception of Kinsol, Myra Canyon, Selkirk and Holt Creek (if reopened)). If you do decide to walk on them take extreme care – I’d advise you not to. Also be aware that some are still active railways.
Mainland BC trestles
Ladner Creek Trestle
The Ladner Creek Trestle (old bridge) was part of the Kettle Valley Railway that ran across southern British Columbia. The railway opened in 1915 and was abandoned in part from 1961. The last trains ran on the part of the railway west of Penticton in 1989.
Nowadays much of the railway has been turned into a biking and hiking route (of which the Myra Canyon trestles below are part of). The Kettle Valley Railway (KVR) also intertwines with the Trans-Canada trail which is a 42,000km trail across Canada.
Whilst the trestle is largely still in tact, the wood has rotted which makes walking across the trestle an extremely bad idea. Do not attempt to.
The Myra Canyon trestles in Kelowna make up part of the Kettle Valley Railway. In January 2003, this section was even designated a National Historic Site. The trestles were restored and reopened in 2008 for cycling and hiking after a disastrous forest fire a few years prior.
The Myra Canyon bike trail features two tunnels and 18 trestle bridges. It’s incredible!
This section of the Kettle Valley Railway runs between Ruth station and Myra station for 12km one-way, 24km round trip. It’s a super flat trail too which makes cycling the Myra Canyon trestles super easy.
The McCulloch Trestle near Penticton in the Okanagan was completed in March 2002. It’s named after the Kettle Valley Railway’s chief engineer: Andrew McCulloch. It’s not an old one like the others on this list therefore, but it’s still worth visiting if you’re in Penticton.
The McCulloch Trestle is just a 40 minute walk from downtown Penticton and you’ll get a wonderful view of the Okanagan Valley and the vineyards from it.
Trout Creek Trestle
The Trout Creek Trestle is also in the Okanagan. It’s in Summerland and was built between 1910 and 1915. It’s the only part of the Kettle Valley Railway that’s still running to this day.
Walking it only takes about 10 minutes and it’s easy too. From Trout Creek Trestle you get great views of the Trout Creek Canyon and Okanagan Lake.
Vancouver Island Trestles
The Goldstream Trestle on Vancouver Island, as with many of the other Vancouver Island trestles, used to be part of the Esquimalt & Nanaimo Railway. The trains that used to use the Goldstream Trestle only stopped running along this route as recently as 2015.
To get to the Goldstream Trestle you’ll need to hike. The trestle sits high above the Niagara Creek. You’ll walk by Niagara Creek and then climb steeply up above Niagara Falls (just a much smaller version!).
The hike to Goldstream trestle via Niagara Falls is only one of the ways to get to the Goldstream trestle. You can also hike up from the Goldstream Campsite in Goldstream Provincial Park.
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The Kinsol trestle on Vancouver Island BC is a well maintained trestle. It’s safe for cycling, hiking and horse riding.
It’s just one of 8 trestles that run along the Cowichan Valley trail route. In that way the Kinsol Trestle is similar to the Myra Canyon Trestles.
Of the 8 trestles that make up the Cowichan Valley Trail, the Kinsol Trestle is the tallest (and one of the tallest in the world!). It’s 44m high!
It’s easy to visit the trestle since it’s just 1.2km away from the parking lot along a paved, flat surface.
Holt Creek Trestle
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The Holt Creek Trestle on Vancouver Island is one of the other BC trestles that make up the Cowichan Valley trail. It also makes up some the The Great Trail that crosses Canada.
The trestle was build in 1939 and later converted for recreational use.
This trestle closed for repair in 2017 and was expected to open mid/late 2018.
McGee Creek Trestle
You can also explore the McGee Creek Trestle on Vancouver Island. The McGee Creek Trestle near Victoria BC is also along The Trans Canada Trail. It’s also along the 60km Galloping Goose trail which runs from Victoria to Leechtown in Southern Vancouver Island.
A great day trip idea is cycling or hiking from the McGee Creek Trestle to the Kinsol Trestle.
Arbutus Canyon Trestle
This trestle is a couple of kilometres north of the Goldstream Trestle so you can easily combine the two into a day trip.
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Right in the heart of Victoria on Vancouver Island is the Selkirk Trestle. It crosses the Selkirk waterway and is one of many trestles on the Galloping Goose Trail.
Summit Lake Trestles
There are two more trestles on Vancouver Island near Port Alberni. This would make a great stop off if you’re on your way to Tofino and Ucluelet.
The Loon Lake Trail which can be accessed from the Loon Lake Main off the Alberni Highway will walk you around Loon Lake and come up at the old railway line.
Cameron Lake Trestle
Unsurprisingly the Cameron Lake trestles run alongside Cameron Lake. Cameron lake is found between Coombs and Port Alberni and is right before Cathedral Grove (if you’re travelling west). On the way to the trailhead (which is about 100m west of the Cathedral Grove parking lot) you’ll go past the lake, the Cameron Lake Trestle is on the other side of this lake after a 6.2km.
The tracks on this trestle haven’t been in use since 2001.