I spent the past week on the road with a friend. Our last destination was Cowichan Valley located on Vancouver Island. We had heard about the beautiful nature surrounding this area, especially the Kinsol Trestle; we always wanted to explore it. Our curiosity and wanderlust led us to Duncan, a city 50km from Nanaimo. Getting to Vancouver Island by ferry was very convenient. This particular ferry ride was very scenic. During the ride it suddenly started to snow. We looked out the window and saw the ocean disappear behind the mist while snowflakes fell.

As we arrived in Duncan the engine of my car started to make an unusual sound. Over the week my car’s been through some tough situations; from long drives to popped tires. We decided to leave the car at the hotel to minimize damage. The Kinsol Trestle was still many kilometers away. Seeing that there was a bike rental called Cycle Therapy, we followed Google Maps and took the local transit. The bus took us to the heart of downtown Duncan and to our convenience the bike rental was only a minute walk from the bus stop.

The bike rental assistant was great! We told him about our plan to bike to Kinsol Trestle and he gave us detailed instructions and a Cowichan Valley Trail map guide. We biked through a few city streets and got to the trail. The total distance from the bike shop to the trestle was around 13km with an elevation of 118m. Upon arriving, the sun began to set and the entire trestle became golden. We spent a good half an hour walking back and forth along the trestle taking pictures and watching the sunset. We saw multiple tables stationed around the trestle. It would definitely make a perfect picnic location. The biking experience to the trestle was unreal; the scenic views of the trail were amazing. To think all this would have been missed if we drove.

Later that night we visited the Craig Street Brew Pub for dinner. Again to our convenience, the bus took us right in front of the restaurant. As we got off, the street lights of Duncan captivated our eyes. The pub is located on a narrow road with beautiful street lamps and fancy architecture on the sides. The food at the the pub was truly spectacular. Since we didn’t drive we were able to enjoy some local drinks. We ordered the Arbutus Pale Ale to start off the night. My friend took the first sip and immediately she said it was one of the best beer she had. For food, we ordered the Cajun Chicken Plate, Prawn Skewer Plate and Citrus Salmon; I personally loved the cajun chicken the most. After we stuffed ourselves we took the transit home and called it a night.

The following day, we decided to go for a horse ride at Alpine Stable. It was only 12km from the hotel so getting there was no problem. The guide was incredibly friendly and talkative. She introduced me to my horse and taught me the basics on how to ride. This was our first time horseback riding and we have to say it is probably one of our most memorable moments.

The trail ride is around two hours and man did time fly. Following the guide we rode through a forest and up the mountains. We were amazed at how easy the horses were able to hike. As we reached the peak, we took a short break to let the horses enjoy a snack on the local plants. Heading down the mountain was very exciting. Some areas are a little steep so the horses tend to go faster, it was like a rollercoaster ride. Riding a horse in the midst of a forest was such an enjoyment!

With the day coming to an end, we made our way back to Nanaimo and caught a ferry back to Vancouver. Until next time, Cowichan Valley. 

Want to plan your own #ExploreBCbyBus trip? Click on the links at the top of this page to get inspired by their suggested family fun itineraries, or kick things up a notch with their day trips for adventure seekers.  Plus, if you share how you’re using BC Transit for your adventures this spring on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using #ExploreBCbyBus, you’ll be entered to win weekly prizes of month-long bus passes, and a Grand Prize of two year-long bus passes and an adventure getaway for 2 or 4! All details can be found at explorebcbybus.com/contest.

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