The small community of Cowichan Lake is found 31.5 km (20 miles)
west of Duncan on Hwy 18. To get here take
Hwy 1 on Vancouver Island to the junction of Hwy 18 and Hwy 1, 5.5
km (3.5 miles) north of Duncan.
Lake Cowichan is a small community that lies on one of Vancouver
Island's largest lakes, Cowichan Lake. Cowichan Lake is approximately
34 kilometres (21 miles) long with around 150 kilometres (93 miles)
The mouth of a BC heritage river, the Cowichan River is located
near the east end of the community at Saywell Park.
The recreation around Lake Cowichan is incredible. During the seasons,
you have water skiing, biking, tubing, swimming, hiking, camping,
cycling, fishing, curling and snowmobiling. The lake is very clean
plus there are lots of surrounding areas around Lake Cowichan to
explore and discover.
Take your time and wander about the town enjoying the beautiful
scenery and parks located in the community especially Ohataki Park
located on South Shore Road. This park will lead you across the
Cowichan River on the historic Canadian National rail bridge built
in 1921. Once you're on the other side, there is Riverside Park
and "the Duck Pond."
Sponsored by the local Kinsmen Club, 'The Duck Pond' is Lake Cowichan's
answer to the local swimming pool. Situated just after the control
weir for the Cowichan River, 'The Duck Pond' is a great swimming
hole especially if you have small kids. There is a small raft here
plus it is a good starting point if you're tubing down the Cowichan
If you are here in the summer and have a boat, there is a marina
located at Lake Cowichan. The Cowichan Lake Marina features a concrete
two-lane boat ramp, moorage slips for 90 boats, power-boat rentals
including a selection of houseboats, gasoline and a small store.
For people exploring around the lake there are a few slips at the
Trails End Pub which is situated next to Saywell Park.
Located next to Saywell Park on the west side of town is the Kaatza
Station Museum. Home to various memorabilia of Cowichan Lake's past,
the museum highlights are the lumber and railway industries found
throughout the Cowichan Valley. To get here you take the South Shore
Road towards Mesachie Lake and Honeymoon Bay.
If you enjoy cycling the Trans-Canada Trail western terminus is
at Cowichan Lake. You are able to use the old railbed that parallels
Cowichan River to Skutz Falls and Stolz Pool located in Cowichan
River Provincial Park.
If you have time the Trans-Canada Trail eventually works itself
south-west towards the Kinsol Trestle near Cobble
A really fun event worth visiting is the annual Lake Days. Happening
every year in June Lake Days brings all the people out for a celebration
reflecting the past heritage of Lake Cowichan. One competition you
have to see is the Great Inner Tube Race followed by the KinDucky
Derby, a race involving plastic ducks bought by everyone with some
proceeds towards charity, sponsored by the the Kinsman Club of Lake
Besides all the great recreation the town has to offer there are
also a few good restaurants, pubs and places to get supplies. There
is a Lakeview Park Campsite if you have an RV or like to camp. For
those who prefer not to camp there is the South Shore Motel plus
a selection of Lodges and Bed & Breakfasts.
Bay Provincial Park
If you enjoy British Columbia's Provincial Park system you'll enjoy
Bay Provincial Park near Honeymoon Bay. Set in a grove of second
growth Douglas fir trees that have a height to two hundred feet,
the park features a pebble beach along Lake Cowichan. The campsites
are quite private with lots of trees between you and the neighbouring
campsite with reservations being accepted.
If you happen to visit Central Park, the fountain is in honour of
Dr. William Carpentier. A local person, Dr. Carpentier, served as
the flight surgeon for Apollo 11, the famous NASA spacecraft that
carried the first men to the moon.
Every year on the 3rd Saturday in September a 56 km (35 miles) walk/ultra-marathon
called the Great Lake Walk occurs. This all-day event has people
from Lake Cowichan participating in an event dedicated to assisting
There is also the other smaller communities of Youbou, Mesachie
Lake, Honeymoon Bay and Caycuse Camp which are situated along
Cowichan Lake. To get to these other communities there are the South
Shore and North Shore roads that eventually join up and encircle
If you're travelling on to Ditidaht (Nitinat)
or Port Alberni via the back roads,
Lake Cowichan has a grocery store if you need supplies. The Village
Market was great before but now with the newly built Country Grocer
shopping is even greater. Consider this an option before heading
into Nitinat where the selection is not as varied and more expensive.
on Lake Cowichan