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 Home > Discover BC > Provincial Parks > Cowichan River

Cowichan River Provincial Park
Cowichan River Provincial Park is located approximately 25 km (16 miles) west of Duncan near the small community of Lake Cowichan.

River Corridor
This park is especially popular during the summer and is comprised of a number of pools along a 27 km (17 mile) corridor on the Cowichan River. Cowichan River Provincial Park also offers the visitor two separate campgrounds one at Stoltz Pools, and the other at Skutz Falls, plus providing access to the Cowichan River Footpath and the Trans-Canada Trail.

Hwy18 to Lake Cowichan
The easiest way to access Cowichan River Provincial Park coming from Hwy 1 is to take the Hwy 18 exit for Lake Cowichan and travel west following the directional signs located on the highway. Once at either Stoltz Pools or Skutz Falls, the rest of the park is easily accessible along Skutz and Riverbottom Roads.

Recreation
There are also a large number of recreational opportunities in the park including the very popular summertime pastime of tubing and swimming on the river. The park also offers opportunities for white-water kayaking, cycling and horseback riding on the Trans-Canada Trail and hiking the Cowichan River Footpath which has fly-fishing available.

Cowichan River Swimming Holes
The swimming holes found along the Cowichan River at Stoltz Pools and Skutz Falls are also very different. The swimming hole at Stoltz Pool is safer, shallower, has a gravel beach and is more suited for young children. The swimming hole at Skutz Falls is deeper, rocky and the water is swifter with some rapids, more suited to teenagers and younger adults.

Campgrounds
There is only one campground which is located at Stoltz Pools. The campground is more suited for small kids with the sites being larger and more private.

Stoltz Pool
The swimming hole at Stoltz Pool is located by a short walk from the campground on the Stoltz Pool Loop Trail. The swimming area features several gravel beach areas and shallower water that is well suited for younger children. There are pools around but they tend to be smaller than and not quite as deep as those found at Skutz Falls. If you can, try and view the Burma Star Memorial Cairn located along the Stoltz Pool Loop Trail.

Skutz Falls
Tubing along the Cowichan River especially from Skutz Falls to Marie Canyon is absolutely incredible. This 2.5 km (1.6 miles) trip takes from between 2-3 hours depending on water flow let out at the weir in Lake Cowichan. Skutz Falls and Marie Canyon offer excellent swimming and have ample vehicle parking for transporting back and forth if you're tubing.

Marie Canyon
You can also tube from Marie Canyon to Stoltz Pool. Unfortunately because of some dangerous rapids, you cannot tube through Marie Canyon from Skutz Falls. You have to start below a rocky shelf and shoreline at Marie Canyon. It is a good idea that you have proper footwear or water shoes when walking at the river's edge and unusual rock formation at Marie Canyon.

Trans-Canada Trail
For people who enjoy cycling the Trans-Canada Trail happens to pass right through Cowichan River Provincial Park. The trail has been designed to use the abandoned Canadian National Railway right-of-way on the south side of Cowichan River.

Spirit of 2010 Trail
The trail part of the Spirit of 2010 Trail Legacy goes through the park starting at Holt Creek Trestle in the south at Glenora by the Cowichan Fish and Game Association. From here it travels north through lush forest to Skutz Falls over a number of trestles spanning the Cowichan River. Once out of the park, the trail eventually goes to Lake Cowichan and makes a loop back to Duncan on the abandoned CPR non-maintained E&N right-of-way.

Cowichan River Footpath
Another trail that meanders along in the park is the Cowichan River Footpath. Also starting near the Cowichan Fish and Game Association in Glenora with access points throughout the park, the 20 km (13.5 miles) hiking trail provides you with opportunities for some great fly-fishing opportunities.

'Provincial Heritage River'
The Cowichan River, declared a 'Provincial Heritage River,' is noted for great angling opportunities. The best angling, especially fly-fishing, is found during the colder months with species found including Cutthroat, Rainbow and Brown Trout plus Coho, Chinook, Chum and Steelhead Salmon.

Campground Reservations
If you are planning to use a campground at Cowichan River Provincial Park reservations are accepted for Stoltz Pool campground only from May 15 to Sept 8. If reservations are full, try coming during the week as the park fills up quickly during the weekend. Reservations can be made through Discover Camping with the park managed and serviced by RLC Enterprize Ltd.

Information on the Cowichan River

 

Cowichan River Provincial Park
Cowichan River Provincial Park

 

River Tubing at Skutz Falls
River Tubing at Skutz Falls

 

Kayaking at Marie Canyon
Kayaking at Marie Canyon

 

Stoltz Pool Campground
Stoltz Pool Campground

 

Stoltz Pool
Stoltz Pool

 

Tubing near Marie Canyon
Tubing near Marie Canyon

 

Trans-Canada Trail to Lake Cowichan
Trans-Canada Trail to Lake Cowichan

 

Skutz Falls Swimming Hole
Skutz Falls Swimming Hole

 
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