Goldstream Trestle – Table of Contents
- Hike Introduction
- Hike Statistics
- Goldstream Trestle Video
- Map and Elevation
- Hiking Route Description
- Directions and Parking
- Free PDF Download
Goldstream Trestle Hike Intro
The hike to Goldstream Trestle is one of the more popular hikes around Victoria. The hike is located within Goldstream Provincial Park and can be accomplished within about 2 hours. The hike to the Goldstream Trestle has a fair amount of elevation as well, making it a good workout.
Along the way you are treated with an up-close view of the gorgeous Niagara Falls. While not as big as that other Niagara Falls in Ontario, this waterfall in Goldstream Park is an impressive 156 feet (47 meters).
Then there is the historied trestle itself, which stretches across the Niagara Creek Canyon.
Goldstream Park has great picnicking facilities so you can relax and eat after your hike. The rainforest is full of massive Douglas-fir and western red cedar trees.
A word of caution: While the Goldstream Trestle is not, as of June 2016, an active railway line, maintenance crews do come through on these tracks. There is also talk of the line re-opening in the future. Furthermore, one wrong slip on the tracks would have disastrous results as there are no railings. For these reasons, everyone is discouraged from going on the tracks. While most of the trail leading up to the trestle is B.C. Parks land, the final stretch of trail, and the trestle itself, are private property.
Goldstream Trestle Hike Stats
Distance: 3.5 km
Net Elevation Change*: 90 m
Highest Point: 145 m
Time Needed: 2 Hours
Dogs Allowed: Yes, on leash
Est. Driving Time from Victoria: 20 Minutes
Trailhead Coordinates: 48.478219, -123.548147
Goldstream Trestle Video
Goldstream Hike Map and Elevation
Goldstream Trestle Hiking Route
To begin the hike to Goldstream Trestle, park at the Finlayson Arm Road day-use parking area (directions at the bottom of this guide). There are several gravel parking lots just off the side of the highway. Near the parking lot, you will find an information board next to the Goldstream River.
Each year, between October and December, you can find thousands of chum salmon spawning in these waters. After the spawning salmon begin to die, many eagles come to feed. Goldstream Provincial Park draws one of the largest bald eagle concentrations in Canada during this time.
You will also find restrooms, tables and firepits for picnicking near the parking lots.
To begin the hike, walk with the highway on your left, and follow the trail marked in the direction for the visitor centre. You will pass a few junctions, but stay on the main trail for the visitor centre.
Before you reach the visitor centre, you will come to a bridge crossing a Niagara Creek. Depending on the time of year and weather, this creek may be flowing quickly, or it may be completely dry. As you are walking over the bridge, you will see a tunnel on your left, which goes under the highway. It may not look like it, but that is where you need to go. (If you want, you can do a quick detour to the visitor center first and come back. They have souvenirs and a lot of information about the park and its ecology.)
Important note: During heavy rain, passing through the tunnel may be unsafe/ impossible. If this is the case, you will need to park on a gravel pull-out on the other side of the highway. (See directions for details)
Walk through the tunnel and come out on the other side of the highway. You’ll be in the creek bed, and Niagara Falls is straight ahead. The reach the trail to Goldstream Trestle you have to go left, to the gravel parking area. But first, let’s detour to Niagara Falls.
Walk straight ahead and follow the trail up the left-side of Niagara Creek. It only takes a few minutes and you’ll be at the bottom of the impressive Niagara Falls waterfall.
After you’ve checked out the impressive waterfall, head back to the highway. Follow the flat stretch of trail alongside the southbound-side of the highway. You’ll come to a sign with a map and a blue arrow pointing to the left. Go left, and begin following the trail up. You are now on the Gold Mine Trail.
Near the tunnel, by the creek, there is a slope with a worn path you can scramble up. Please do not walk up this embankment, and erode the slope. Instead, walk up and over the tunnel from the gravel pullout. This is easier, safer, and better for this sensitive environment.
The trail climbs up steadily, and within roughly 15 minutes you’ll come to a chain-link fence. Go left and follow the trail alongside the fence. The trail continues to be a steep climb. It is rooty, but not too difficult.
You will cross a bridge over Niagara Creek – and you are now at the top of the 156 foot drop of the waterfall.
Follow the trail up for roughly another 10 minutes and you will come to a junction with a blue marker pointing to the left. Ignore the arrow, as that points you in the direction of the abandoned gold mine. Instead, continue straight, leaving the Gold Mine Trail. From here, it’s only a matter of climbing for a few more minutes before a view of the old trestle opens up to your right.
You can view the impressive structure from the trail, and any eagles that may be soaring high above Niagara Creek Canyon.
As mentioned above, the trestle itself is private property and dangerous to go on. Maintenance trains do still use this track, along with the obvious dangers of falling off the trestle. You are advised to stay off the trestle.
The trestle itself has a long history. And technically, it isn’t a trestle at all, but rather a cantilever style bridge.
Cool fact: “This cantilever suspension bridge was built in England in 1883 and first used in Canada crossing the Fraser River at Cisco where it became known as the Cisco Bridge. It was moved to Vancouver Island for the present crossing in 1910.” [source]
After you’ve admired the bridge, simply retrace your steps back to the parking lot.
Download the PDF version of this guide for offline use
Directions and Parking
To get to the Goldstream Provincial Park day-use area, follow Highway #1 / Island Highway north out of Victoria. As you pass through the city of Langford, you will see signs that you are entering Goldstream Provincial Park. On your right there will be signs for the day-use area on Finlayson Arm Road. As you exit the highway onto Finlayson Arm Road, there are parking lots immediately on your left and right.
Google Map directions are here.
As noted in the guide, there is also a small parking lot on the other side of the highway. To reach it, drive north on Highway #1 until the next turnaround point after Finlayson Arm Road, several kilometers ahead. Turn around when safe. Driving southbound, pull into the parking lot which is just north of the Finlayson Arm Road parking lot. Directions for this parking lot are here.
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