The Goldstream Provincial Park Trestle Bridge is a hidden gem located just outside of Victoria, British Columbia. Tucked just off the Island Highway this is not a hike for someone looking for an easy walk. The trestle bridge is the Esquimalt & Nanaimo Railway that has not been used since 2015. The view from the middle of the trestle bridge is not one to miss! Here is our guide to hiking to Goldstream Provincial Park Trestle Bridge!
Where to Park
Lets start with where to park! There are several different options – you can park in the main parking lot located on the east side of the Island Highway at the entrance to the provincial park. There are two areas for parking but make sure you come early to get a spot as it quickly fills up! We were in an RV and the main parking lot was already full, but don’t fret as just up the Island Highway heading north not even an minute away there is another large dirt area that looks like an extension of the highways shoulder is a popular area for large vehicles and overflow parking.
Starting Your Hike to Goldstream Provincial Park Trestle Bridge
Once you have parked if you are coming from the main parking lot in the day use area heading north towards the Nature House and follow the trail into the forest. You will come to a junction and turn left which will take you up a gravol path to a bridge where you will see a large tunnel that heads under the highway. This is how you will cross to the otherside of the provincial park to start your hike.
If you are located in the overflow parking just up the Island Highway you have two options – you can either follow the shoulder of the highway up a ways and on the other side you will see an opening that goes up a hill onto the hiking trail. You do need to cross the highway median and the highway is often very busy so be careful if this is the route you choose! The other option is to head north down a gravel path into the forest you will quickly come to the bridge on the right and the concrete tunnel that will take you under the highway. *Note – we found it just as easy to take this path under the highway and less risky than crossing the highway*
Once you are at the concrete tunnel walk through it and you will enter a dried up creek bed and you can go several ways at this point. You can continue to head up the creek bed and visit Niagara Falls or begin the climb up to the trestle bridge. If you have just come out of the concrete tunnel the unmarked worn trail that heads up a steep hill will be the route you will want to take to get to the bridge. This is a very steep hill that you will likely need to use your hands to get up. If it has recently rained it can be increidbly slipperly on the entire trail so make sure you are wearing appropriate footwear. Once at the top of the hill you will continue to follow the trail as it winds up in a series of twists and turns. You will come to a chain link fence make sure to stop and look at Niagara Falls as it falls 47.5m down. You will then cross the falls on the wooden bridge.
From here you will follow the series of wooden steps – make sure to hold on to the wire that runs along the side as the wood and mud are very slippery. There are several sets of stairs you will climb – at this point you are over halfway there!
The trail comes to a junction where the sign points left to continue on the Gold Mine Trail – don’t be like us and head that way! We realized about 5 minutes down the trail we had gone the wrong way. From this exact point if you look to your right you should be able to see the Goldstream Provincial Park Trestle Bridge hiding amongst the trees. From the sign post take a right and head up the last steep hill to the top of the trestle bridge!
The Goldstream Provincial Park Trestle Bridge
We reached the top of the Goldstream Provincial Park Trestle Bridge probably after about 30-45 minutes of constantly pushing up the mud covered hills. The trestle bridge is still technically apart of a working railroad but has not been used since 2015. It is considered trespassing to cross the bridge but many people still cross the bridge. If you choose to go out on the trestle bridge make sure you watch your step as there are gaps in between each of the boards and you could hurt yourself if you are not careful. The view from the middle of the bridge is quite spectacular and you can see for miles both ways of beautiful lush green forest.
We spent about 2 hours total hiking and then spending about 45 minutes at the top. Make sure to bring water and be ready for the conditions to be wet on the trails. This was one of our favourite hikes on our time on Vancouver Island and if you have two hours to spare we highly recommend you check it out! Make sure to check out Niagara Falls either before or after your hike up to Goldstream Provincial Park Trestle Bridge.