Chemainus River Provincial Park is located north-west of Duncan
in the Cowichan Valley Regional District.
To get here follow the Trans-Canada Hwy 1 towards Duncan
and then take the Hwy 18 exit to Lake
Cowichan. You then travel on Hwy 18 approximately 7 km (6 miles)
to Hillcrest Road. Turn at Hillcrest Road and travel north-west
past a large BC Hydro substation, first on pavement then later on
the gravel Hillcrest Payne Forest Service Road (FSR) for approximately
8 km (5 miles).
Payne Forest Service Road (FSR)
The Hillcrest Payne Forest Service Road is a fairly wide road suitable
for most vehicles. Although caution still must be maintained at
all times when travelling the private FSR, it is in good shape,
well graded and offers decent visibility for oncoming logging trucks
and/or heavy equipment.
Valley Regional District
The Chemainus River Provincial Park is a rustic recreational area
that is managed by the Cowichan Valley Regional District for BC
Parks. The Chemainus River is well noted for local fishing especially
for Steelhead salmon plus there are opportunities for wildlife viewing,
off-road motorcycles, quading, mountain-biking, kayaking, canoeing,
hiking and serves as a local swimming hole in the Cowichan Valley.
The park can be busy at certain times especially during the summer
with the area being popular with the local kids living in the area.
You can though take undeveloped trails that meander along the river
to some private pools and smaller swimming holes.
Caution must be maintained for wildlife that feed and travel along
the Chemainus River including, Roosevelt elk, black bears, wolves
and cougars. Try to avoid the rivers during heavy salmon spawning
times unless you feel comfortable and practice good outdoor wildlife
Services or Facilities
There are absolutely no services or facilities located in Chemainus
River Provincial Park so be prepared especially for all emergencies.
There is a parking lot located right next to the river so a short
walk is only required. There are no picnic tables plus camping out
and fires are not allowed with the park gate being closed from dusk
to dawn. If you have small children or you are not used to swimming
in a river remember there are no lifeguards on duty, so be careful.