Shawnigan Lake is located approximately 45 km (28 miles) north of
Victoria and 60 km (37 miles) south of Nanaimo
off the Trans-Canada Hwy 1.
Known for being a waterfront resort community in south Vancouver
Island, Shawnigan Lake has provided a place where people, especially
from Victoria, have enjoyed cottages for get-away weekends for over
to Shawnigan Lake
There are three main routes for you to take when travelling north
from Victoria on Hwy 1 in order to get to the Village of Shawnigan
Lake. They are South End Shawnigan Lake Road just south of the Malahat
Summit, Shawnigan Lake-Mill Bay Road and the Shawnigan-Cobble Hill
Road. Shawnigan Lake is approximately 5 km (3 miles) west of Mill
Bay and Hwy 1.
of Shawnigan Lake
Once you're at the Village of Shawnigan Lake you can find the Black
Swan Pub, various Bed & Breakfasts, Steeples Restaurant, Village
Chippery and Mason's Store.
The Village boasts quite an art community with art displays and
craft shows taking place regularly. There are also various musical
and theatrical events that happen throughout the year, showcasing
lots of local talent at the Shawnigan Lake Community Centre.
Right across the street from Mason's Store is the community beach
called Mason's Beach Park. If you don't have a boat but would like
to go for a swim, this is a great spot for the kids. Mason's Beach
Park features a pebble beach, a grassy area and a log boom that
forms a protective zone from the boats. The water is nice and clear
and during the summer warms up nicely.
Rivers Community Park
If you're walking around the Village of Shawnigan Lake, there is
a nice park called William Rivers Community Park. Situated next
to an E&N Railway bridge, the park features a great place for
a picnic, grassy field and an excellent spot for kids to watch some
on Shawnigan Lake
Waterskiing has always been very popular on Shawnigan Lake throughout
the years. If you enjoy waterskiing, come try the calm waters that
Shawnigan Lake has to offer. One ski club called Victoria Aqua Ski
Club uses Shawnigan Lake for competitions so expect to see lots
of good skiers on the lake.
Shawnigan Lake Road
There is a road that goes around the west side of Shawnigan Lake
where you can find views of Old Baldy Mountain called the West Shawnigan
Lake Road. You can find West Shawnigan Lake Road by travelling north
of the community along Shawnigan Lake Road, then west on Renfrew
Road or you can also go south on East Shawnigan Lake Road to where
it meets West Shawnigan Lake Road.
Shawnigan Lake Provincial Park
Once on West Shawnigan Lake Road you can find numerous lakefront
cottages and West Shawnigan Lake Provincial Park. At West Shawnigan
Lake Provincial Park there is a great spot for picnics, grass field
and a small beach area.
Island Provincial Park
Shawnigan Lake also features a small island that is home to Memory
Island Provincial Park. This day-use only park features nature viewing
of small plants and animals plus a small picnic area near the beach.
The easiest way for you to reach here is to put your boat, canoe
or kayak in at West Shawnigan Lake Park.
The whole Shawnigan Lake area has great outdoor recreation from
fishing, canoeing, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing whitewater
kayaking, horseback riding, 4x4 adventures and motorcycling especially
around the backroads off Renfrew Road. There are also some hiking
and walking trails available with a favourite trip up Old Mount
Baldy one of the local mountains.
River Provincial Park
Make sure you take the time and visit Koksilah River Provincial
Park. Just 7 km (4.4 miles) from Shawnigan Lake along Renfrew Road,
the Koksilah River Provincial Park features good hiking, mountain
biking, fishing and a nice little swimming hole. There are numerous
trails throughout the forest offering some great wildlife viewing
The Trans-Canada Trail is located on the west side of the lake.
Watch for the signs to access routes onto the trail along West Shawnigan
Lake Road. Once on the trail you can either ride south towards the
starting point on Sooke Lake Road or north towards the Kinsol Trestle.
At one time the largest wooden railway trestle in the British Commonwealth,
the Kinsol Trestle was the property of Canadian National Railway.
Built in 1921 this engineering feat made out of wooden timbers spans
the Koksilah River Canyon and is 187.6 metres (615 feet) long and
38.1 metres (125 feet) high. Used to service the forestry industry
and the famed King Solomon's Mines, the bridge eventually succumbed
to years of wear.
The Kinsol Trestle was closed due to poor shape until 2011 when
it was re-opened to the public after a major project revitalizing
the bridge with a new capital through the Cowichan Regional District,
funding and donations.
to Kinsol Trestle
You can get to Kinsol Trestle by travelling from the Village of
Shawnigan Lake north to Renfrew Road. Take Renfrew Road until Glen
Eagles Road, turn right towards the north until Shelby Road then
right again and look left for a small parking area. Look for the
railbed which is the Trans-Canada Trail. Once at the trail there
is a quite a walk over the trestle.
There are lots of exploring around Shawnigan Lake. Another community
in the Cowichan Valley Regional District called Cobble
Hill is located close by. Cobble Hill features various vineyards
and wine tours available during various months throughout the year.
Regional Wilderness Park
Cobble Hill also has a great walk up the Cobble Mountain Trail which
is located in Quarry Regional Wilderness Park. Once up at the top,
you will have a great panoramic view of the valley below.
on Shawnigan Lake