ART and the ‘Gateway” to the Cowichan Regional Trail

For the past 20 odd years The Kinsol Trestle at M51 has stood as a symbol of pride and ingenuity and a token of when things were built to last .The men who toiled for years at The Koksilah River ,were intelligent and diligent in their approach to put the railway through. They were artisans who saw the need for clear design and quality to ensure the success of the rail line they were building.

ART is actually an acronym in this case-for all that represents the case of the Kinsol to date-and the importance of it’s necessary conservation.

A is for the Awareness of the bridge -it’s semi remote location ,history,and story to present all of which need an added boost. Advertising to the site will ensure it’s success.

R-is for recreational values which are increasing continually -the need for which is the concern of every municipal planning dept.The TCT will be a free of charge benefit drawing all from far and wide to seek out it’s points of interest. The Kinsol is the largest original bridge for this use in Canada.

T -of course represents tourism ;something an advertised Kinsol and the trail -with 7 other original bridges-will attract in masses.We have the original historic path that the Kettle Valley was before the fires……They now have replacement bridges to celebrate a historic lline with an amazing story ,but without the keystone trestles of origin.

Since 1979 ,many people have in diffferent ways sought to bring deserved attention to the Kinsol and have it restored or repaired for public use.Jack Fleetwood,Richard Pope,Ralph Morris, Tom Anderson and the TCT organization, Kathryn Gagnon,Tom Paterson,Macdonald and Lawrence-and many more have spent hours working for the cause of retaining this unique historic structure n the Cowichan Valley-and of course the MOT and CVRD.

A trail commenced in the nineties, and dubbed the Trans Canada Trail was to cross Canada and here we are years later with that finish goal in our sites. The sole components which have for so long-been obstacles are now being developed around us to fashion this wonderful recreational facility. What an asset to the community the 2010 trail portion of the Cowichan Regional Trail will be with The Kinsol majestically calling all to the gateway with a spectacular river crossing.

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