September 20, 2017
After a morning of work in Victoria, Tracy and I decided it was time for an adventure. We did a quick search to see what we could get up to for the afternoon.
The Gold Mine trail, part of the Coldstream Provincial Park just West of the city stood out to us for its variety of sights and closeness to the city. We decided to get a little off the beaten path though. Many people start at the main park parking lot and head up to “Niagara” and then into the old trestle bridge. While this is the easiest option, on a weekend, you will be sure to be crossing other people endlessly.
We wanted to still check out these sights, but without as many the people. We parked in a small unmark lot just south of the main lot.
The trail started on the path of an old paved road, chunks of old asphalt still visible underneath the dirt. Then, it started climbing very quickly the valley on its way to the train track at the top.
It didn’t take us long to get lost, thanks to the map that only shows about a quarter of the trails that actually exist in the park. We decided to abort our original planned route and head to the trestle after a brief stop and Google Maps confirmation.
The walk along the decommissioned rail bed was pretty cool. It crosses along the mid point of the valley offering great views until ends up at an amazing old bridge.
Walking on the trestle bridge is not for the faint of heart. There are no guard rails. No walk way put down. You are simply walking on the old cross beams with gaps between them. You can definitely feel the height of the near 300 feet of the bridge. Falling would not be fun. That being said, it is a pretty amazing thrill to be up there!
After checking out the trestle, we headed back down to the rain forest. The trail is called the Goldmine Trail for a reason! There are a few old goldmines to check out. They are pretty cool! Make sure to bring a headlamp to look into it a little further. I wish I did!
In typical John and Tracy fashion, we got lost again trying to find our way out. We probably got distracted by the gorgeous views and wildlife around. Luckily I had snapped a photo of the map on my phone, but it didn’t really help much. We ended up just following our ears and working our way towards the sound of highway 1, eventually ending back up at the van!
It was a great first adventure in Victoria, BC and we are looking forward to more. Let us know what else we should check out in the comments below.