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 Home > Travel BC > BC Cities and Towns > The Islands  > Lake Cowichan

Lake Cowichan
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.

Cowichan Lake
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) of shoreline.

Cowichan River
The mouth of a BC heritage river, the Cowichan River is located near the east end of the community at Saywell Park.

Incredible Recreation
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.

Ohataki Park
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."

'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 River.

Cowichan Lake Marina
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.

Kaatza Station Museum
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.

Trans-Canada Trail
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.

Kinsol Trestle
If you have time the Trans-Canada Trail eventually works itself south-west towards the Kinsol Trestle near Cobble Hill.

Lake Days
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 Cowichan.

Lots to do
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.

Gordon Bay Provincial Park
If you enjoy British Columbia's Provincial Park system you'll enjoy Gordon 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.

Dr. William Carpentier
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.

Great Lake Walk
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 local charities.

Cowichan Lake Communities
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 the lake.

Going to Nitinat?
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.

Information on Lake Cowichan




Map of Cowichan Lake Communities
click map for larger image


Cowichan Lake
Cowichan Lake


"The Duck Pond"
"The Duck Pond"


Cowichan River Tubing
Cowichan River Tubing


Kaatza Station Museum
Kaatza Station Museum


Trans-Canada Trail
Trans-Canada Trail


Control Weir
Control Weir


Gordon Bay Provincial Park
Gordon Bay Provincial Park


Central Park
Central Park

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