Goldstream Railway Trestle

Goldstream Railway Trestle

Goldstream Provincial Park

  • Difficulty
    Difficult

  • Time
    (Roundtrip)
    2 hours

  • Distance
    (Roundtrip)
    3km

  • Elevation
    170 meters

  • Dog Friendly
    Yes

  • Public Transportation
    No

  • From Downtown Victoria
    25 minutes

  • Camping
    No


Special Advisory

Please do not walk on the trestle bridge as there are no safety sidings or supports and spacing between beams is inconsistent and slippery. One false step may lead to death.

Niagara Creek maybe running high with lots of water this time of year, making the tunnel under the highway inaccesible. Please refer to the driving directions below about parking on the west side of the highway.


Overview

A popular hike in Goldstream Provincial Park is to hike from the day-use area to a train trestle bridge that crossed high above the Niagara Creek. The route passes the scenic Niagara Falls before climbing a steep trail above the waterfall and continuing up to the railway tracks where the bridge crosses the canyon.

The railway line is called the Esquimalt & Nanaimo Railway and is currently managed by the Island Corridor Foundation. As of 2015, rail service along the route has been suspended indefinitely due to sections of track needing repair. The intention is to start passenger and freight rail service through the area again, however funding is still being discussed between various levels of government. The tracks and trestle bridge are private property and trespassing is technically not allowed, however many people do commonly cross the bridge or walk out to the middle to see the view. It is also possible to hike to the trestle bridge from the campsite area in Goldstream Provincial Park.

From the day-use area, walk past the picnic tables heading north towards the Nature House and follow the trail into the forest. At a junction, go left and walk up the gravel path as it arrives at a bridge with a tunnel under the highway to your left. It's this tunnel that you have to walk through to get to the other side of the highway. Carefully climb down the rocks at the sides of the culvert and walk up into the tunnel, passing through it to the rocky creek bed on the other side.

Once on the other side of the highway, we will first visit Niagara Falls and then return to the point where you are standing having just gone through the tunnel. Walk up the left side of the creek bed to a trail and follow that trail uphill. Only a short distance and it rounds a corner where the tall, slim Niagara Falls comes into view. The waterfall drops 47.5 meters from above, landing in a pool in the canyon up ahead. Walk down into the canyon for a closer view but do not stand near or under the waterfall as rocks, logs, and other debris can come tumbling down from above.

To hike to the trestle bridge, walk back down the trail and climb down into the creek bed near the tunnel you walked through earlier. Next, cross the creek bed and climb up the far side, following a very steep, worn path where you may have to use your hands to help you up. Once at the top, walk along the flat trail in the direction of the highway for about 15 meters, then go left at a sign up the trail.

The trail climbs gradually at first, then becomes steeper as it passes next to a chain linked fence. The path crosses a bridge over Niagara Creek above the waterfall, where plenty of logs and other debris sit, stuck below between the rocks. After crossing the bridge, follow the trail up the steps and continue as it steeply climbs through the forest.

The trail eventually reaches a junction, where the sign only points to the left onto the Gold Mine Trail. However, a well worn trail goes off to the right and it may even be possible to see the trestle bridge through the trees from this point. Go right and continue to follow the trail uphill as the bridge becomes more and more visible. Climb the last steep hill where you reach the train tracks and the trestle bridge to the right.

While we don't recommend walking onto the bridge (again, it is technically trespassing), if you decide to do so, watch your step and do not venture too close to the sides. The canyon is a long ways down and one mis-step or slip could spell disaster.

Return via the same route that you took to reach the trestle bridge, walking back down the steep slope and going left at the junction. Follow the trail back down, crossing over the bridge, then going right at the flat section before carefully descending the steep hill into the creek bed. Walk back through the tunnel, under the highway. If you didn't see it earlier, it's worth walking the short distance along the trail to the Visitor Centre. Return to the parking lot by following the trail south as it emerges back at the picnic and day-use area.

Possible Loops

Most people simply hike back down to the day-use area the way they hiked up to the trestle. It is possible to hike along the Goldmine Trail and make a loop out of route, however it will involve crossing the highway at some point and, likely, walking back along a path that's directly next to the highway. There are two options, with option 1 adding about 1.5 hours to your trip and option 2 adding up to 3 - 5 hours to your trip. Option #2 is a very long hike and should only be done by experienced hikers or those in good physical fitness.

Option 1: Hike to Hidden Spring Falls, Return via the side of the Highway

To hike to Hidden Spring Falls along the Gold Mine Trail, after walking back down the hill from the trestle bridge, go right at the junction and follow the Gold Mine Trail. The trail is beautiful with lush greenery, from moss covered rocks and hanging lichen. Keep following the trail as it weaves its way through the forest, gradually making its way downhill until you finally reach an old gold mine to the right.

After passing the gold mind, continue along the trail as it continues weaving through the forest and then reaches a junction with the Arbutus Ridge Trail. Go left and down the steep trail and, at the bottom, go right and follow the wide trail out towards the highway. There is a gravel parking lot and just along side the parking area is a trail to the right that drops into the forest and you can hike up to Hidden Spring Falls.

After seeing Hidden Spring Falls, walk back to the gavel parking area. From this point, you will need to cross the highway and then follow a trail that's on the other side of a cement median next to the highway back to the day-use area. While it might seem like you have to walk a long ways along the unpleasant highway, it should only take 10-15 minutes to return this way.

Be very careful when crossing the highway. Cars are often driving at speeds close to or over 100 kph and they are not expecting people to be crossing the highway. Make sure to leave lots of space between you and oncoming traffic and hustle across.

Option 2: Hike to Campsite, Return via the Prospector's Trail

This option follows the same route as Option 1 above but instead of going left and walking down to the road, go right and hike up the steep trail along the Arbutus Ridge Trail. The trail levels for awhile as it reaches its first of several junctions. The easiest thing to remember is to go left at all junctions through this section. You will first go left onto the Arbutus Trail and then a short distance later, go left onto the Arbutus Loop. The trail descends quickly where it reaches another junction. If you are not going to the campsite, go left and continue along the Prospector's Trail as it follows a path next to the Goldstream River before crossing a wooden bridge and reaching the highway.

From this point, the Prospector's Trail resumes on the other side next to the bridge on the highway. The park map says there is a trail that passes under the bridge next to the river, however during the spring, the river is too high and you will need to carefully cross the highway, then walk towards the bridge along the grass and down towards the river.

This section of trail is rugged and overgrown in some sections. Follow the path and make your way through the forest as it meets a junction that goes to the park headquarters. Go left and continue along the Prospector's Trail. If you have the time and energy, hike up to a ridge on the right for a viewpoint. Continue making your way along the Prospector's Trail, going left at a junction, until finally you descend some stairs and arrive at a wooden map board and road. Walk left along the road for 200 meters and return to the day-use parking lot area.


Driving Directions

The trail to the trestle bridge via Niagara Falls in Goldstream Provincial Park starts from the day-use parking lot area just off of Highway #1. From downtown Victoria, drive to Douglas Street and head northbound, leaving the city behind. Continue following the highway as it passed through Langford and narrows into a single lane on either side. Watch for signs as you enter Goldstream Provincial Park and turn right into the day-use parking lot close to the Visitor Information Centre. After leaving the highway, immediately turn left and park in the parking lot. The trail begins from the picnic area and heads north bound towards the Visitor Information Centre.

NOTE: During the winter months, spring months, or after heavy rainfall, Niagara Creek maybe running quite high. This may make the tunnel that passes under the highway inaccessible as a lot of water will be flowing through it, meaning you cannot get from the east side of the highway to the west side.

If the tunnel is not accessible, you will need to park at a small gravel area on the other side of the highway (west side) located about 1km north of the day-use parking lot. However, to drive there from the day-use area will mean you have to drive about 5km north to the first turnaround before coming back. Be sure to take note of where this parking area is when you drive north to ensure you don't miss it when you come back.


Additional Information

Dog-Friendly

Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times in Goldstream Provincial Park and are not allowed on beach areas or in streams due to the risk of damaging sensitive salmon spawning environments. Please ensure to pick up and remove all dog excrement from the park.

Toilets

Toilets are located next to the parking lot at the start of the trail and also at the visitor information centre. There are no toilet facilities on the west side of the highway on the trails to the trestle bridge.

Although we try to keep information as current as possible, www.victoriatrails.com makes no warranty or representation as to the availability, quality, fitness for purpose, conditions or accuracy of the information provided with respect to this trail or trails. The information provided herein is further subject to our Terms of Use.

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