The Municipality of North Cowichan is located 50 km (31 miles) south
of Nanaimo and 54 km (33.5 miles) north
of Victoria on the
Vancouver Island portion of the Trans-Canada Hwy 1.
North Cowichan is quite a large district made up of the communities
of Chemainus, Crofton,
Genoa Bay, Maple Bay and Westholme plus the land surrounding the
town of Duncan referred to as the 'South
North Cowichan is very picturesque with the countryside quite varied,
ranging from beautiful ocean views, and rural farmland to small
mountains surrounding the municipality.
With the Cowichan and Chemainus Valleys running through North Cowichan,
the various recreational activities that are available are never
ending. Hiking, sailing, boating, fishing, scuba diving, hang gliding
and mountain biking - they are all excellent.
Gardens in British Columbia
North Cowichan enjoys a very nice pleasant temperate climate. The
winters are short, fairly mild with some rain but not too overly
wet. The summer time is quite hot, dry and sunny. The Cowichan Valley
is often referred to as the 'Valley of the Sun.' If you enjoy gardening
North Cowichan is able to boast some of the nicest gardens in British
- 'The Little Town that Did'
The community of Chemainus lies within the boundaries of North Cowichan
and has the district's greatest tourist attractions in the Chemainus
Murals. The 36 murals (2006) were the brainchild of local resident,
Karl Schutz, to attract people to Chemainus to stimulate the economy
after a series of mill closures in the area.
Creek Wilderness Park
For people who love trees and wild plants visit Askew Creek Wilderness
Park in Chemanius. The wilderness park is located between Chemainus
Road and Oak Street. Askew Creek has trees over 500 years old, with
easy walking paths traversing throughout. The views of nature and
the wilderness ecosystem that you will see are awe-inspiring.
Crofton is located just south of Chemanius and north-east of Duncan.
Situated here is home to one of the largest employers in the area
with the Catalyst Crofton Pulp Mill. There is a BC Ferries terminal
located in Crofton with a ferry crossing via Stuart Channel to Vesuvius,
Salt Spring Island.
There is an excellent waterfront RV Park at Crofton as well as a
small museum located at the Visitor Info Centre.
Located directly east of Duncan is Maple Bay, your escape route
to the ocean. Maple Bay is situated near the east side of Mount
Tzouhalem with Sansum Narrows in the east with a view of Maxwell
Point on Saltspring Island.
Maple Bay is centrally located for cruising around southern BC.
Birds Eye Cove is situated at the southern end of Maple Bay where
you can find docks, fuel, a small shipyard plus a general store.
There is the Maple Bay Marina if you require boat services including
moorage for the evening or extended stay. This place makes a good
spot to rest and take shelter especially if the weather changes.
The marina is also home to a few float homes, marine artifacts and
the Maple Bay Marina Pub.
Located 9 km (6 miles) farther south of Maple Bay on a no-through
very scenic ocean view road is the very small community of Genoa
Bay. Most of the residence here are made up of around two dozen
or so houses mostly waterfront along the southern end Sansum Narrows
near Cowichan Bay. There is also the Genoa Bay Marina, very handy
if you require marine services including moorage, general store
or a really cool waterfront café.
This small community is located alongside the Trans-Canada Island
Hwy 1 between Duncan and Chemanius. Westholme is mostly made up
of beautiful farmlands offering mountain landscapes and views. Westholme
is situated near the Chemanius River if you wish to fish or swim.
River Provincial Park
For people who enjoy fishing or swimming holes there are some places
located in Chemainus
River Provincial Park. Travel 6 km (4 miles) on Hwy 18 west
of Hwy 1 to Hillcrest Payne forestry road. Access to the Chemainus
River Provincial Park is off Hillcrest Payne. The trails along the
river are unmarked so please practice good hiking habits.
As you travel through North Cowichan you can't help noticing the
mountain on the west side just north of Duncan. This is Mount
Prevost famous for thermal winds rising off the landscape creating
perfect conditions for paragliding or hang gliding.
If you enjoy this sport, come and have a look at Mount Prevost -
you won't be disappointed. To get here, go down Somenos Road, north
of Duncan to Mt. Prevost Road.
There is one other mountain that stands as you view the countryside,
Mount Tzouhalem. Located in the south-west Mount Tzouhalem offers
mountain biking and hiking trails with some excellent panoramic
vistas of the landscape. For access go along Maple Road and Genoa
Wineries and Vineyards
Throughout the Chemanius and Cowichan Valleys are some of British
Columbia's finest wineries. The word 'Cowichan' in the local First
Nation's language means "the land warmed by the sun" with
the quality of grapes being the proof. Take your time and visit
some of the wineries or try some wine when you're at a local restaurant
when visiting North Cowichan.
on North Cowichan
Bed & Breakfasts