Cowichan Valley

Cowichan Valley

a Fun video Tour of My favourite spots in the cowichan valley...

Top 15 Things To Do In The Cowichan Valley

The Cowichan Valley is in a Mediterranean climate belt, which is why it is a favourite spot for growing apple, pear, peach, fig and plum trees, as well as kiwis and grapes and berries of all kind grow wild here. Plentiful gardens of crisp fresh veggies are everywhere!

1. Beaches
The Cowichan Valley has stunning beaches with clear water in protected inlets. In many places, you can see to the bottom of the ocean 30 feet from shore. The beaches are quiet and not crowded, often you will have the beach to yourself. You will see lots of local wildlife, fish, oysters, crabs, seals, otters, and eagles. There are many public access points along the coast. The north end of the Valley claims to be the warmest ocean waters north of California. I haven’t tested that, but I do go swimming most days in the summer, and its warm enough to walk right in. 
2. The Cowichan Valley Trail
Is a section of the famous Trans Canada Trail that runs through the Valley beside the old train tracks and is a popular source of recreation. Many homes in the valley are close to this pathway system. You can walk along the old tracks, or there is the wide, gravel maintained trail that is popular for cycling, walking, running and horseback riding. The scenery is stunning, through forests, over bridges by rivers and lakes and waterfalls. There are 8 trestle bridges along this trail, and the Kinsol trestle is definitely the most spectacular. At 187m long and 44m high, it is one of the tallest free-standing timber rail trestle structures in the world. Plus, it's only about a 20 min walk from the parking lot along an accessible pathway, so it's a great spot to check out.
3. Fishing
This area is popular for both fresh and saltwater fishing, and the Cowichan river is internationally recognized for fly fishing. Whether by boat on the lake or the ocean or on the edges of a riverbank, this is where to get your fishing fix. Cowichan Bay is the gateway to many plentiful fishing spots, and if you talk to the right people or hire a charter, you can find out where all the good spots are. Or, if you prefer to try your hand at crabbing, there are lots of good spots for that as well.
4. Mad Dog Crabs Seafood market
The fresh seafood without the fishing. The owners, Scott and Katie, hand select and custom fillet fresh catch that they get daily from the docks. Before opening up their store, they were fishermen, and so they know how to select the best, freshest seafood and love to share their knowledge with their customers. If you’re looking for local seafood, you must go see them. At least go by and try their candied salmon, its the best! 
5. Merridale Cidery
Nestled in an organic vineyard, the cidery uses local apples and makes its cider onsite. With a range of ciders and spirits, an artisan kitchen with fresh bread and preserves and crunchy salads, this is one of my favourite places to stop in for a work lunch or Saturday afternoon with the hubby! 
6. Blue Grouse Winery
Vineyards dot the countryside here in the valley, and one of my favourites is Blue Grouse Winery. It's my fav because of the views and quality of both the products and the architecture, but also because of the owners' stewardship of the land. Everything on this property has been designed with sustainability in mind, and they are currently working on organic status. There are too many good things going on at this winery to talk about so check out their website or, better yet, go by for a visit. They have a great bubbly named after the owners' daughter-Paula that is done champagne style by hand.  I like to fill gift baskets with bubbly and local products to give to my clients.
Keystone Cinema
7. Mt Brenton Golf Course
There are half a dozen golf clubs in the Valley that will satisfy everyone from beginners to experts. The temperate climate and well-cared-for greens will make even the most seasoned golf lover happy. I enjoy Mt Brenton golf course as it has the friendly, casual Island vibe but is also very well maintained. Combine that with ocean views, towering fir trees, ponds and a super reasonable golf rate, and it makes this course a favourite for many of the locals.
oakridge nursery
8. Riding
This is one of my passions, so I am a little biased on this one, but seriously, bring your horse or borrow one, you must ride around here. There is a thriving equestrian culture on the Island for good reason. However you like to ride, you can find it here in the Valley whether it be schooling shows, amazing trail riding, jumping, or the local rodeos, there is something for everyone. Or try things that you have been wanting to but haven’t had the chance like swimming with your horse in the river and riding along the beach. 
Sunshine Nursery & Chino’s Bistro
9. Lake Cowichan
This lake is worth the move to the Cowichan Valley all by itself. Over 30kms of clean, clear water in a largely uninhabited area, yet only 30 minutes from the town centre of Ducan, this hidden gem is quickly being discovered. There is lots of new construction going on here, and I think this area is one of the best investment locations around. Living at the lake means that you can spend your summer days playing on the water and feel like you're on vacation all year. Time really does seem slower here.
Steinbach Coffee Culture Cafe & Eatery
10. Paddle Boarding
Have an adventure day and rent paddleboards, kayaks or canoes from Kaatza adventures which are situated right on the waterfront at the end of the dock that goes over the most beautiful clear water. You won’t be able to wait to get in that water! Lake Cowichan is known as Kaatza by The Cowichan First Nation who are skilled canoeists and are excited to share their knowledge with visitors to the rental centre. A beautiful spot and lots of fun!
Pat Porter Active Adult Living Centre
11. Tubing
A staple summertime activity in the area.  On a hot day, the Cowichan river calls people to relax and enjoy the scenic float down the river. Take a few hours and kick back with friends and family. Tube rentals are available on the river, as well as coolers to attach for food and drinks. A perfect way to spend a hot day!
The Public Brewhouse and Gallery
12. The Cowichan Bay Marina
The historic, seaside Village of Cowichan Bay is located in one of the premier sailing & cruising areas in the world. The Gulf Islands and eastern shores of Vancouver Island are unique in the boating world. Wilderness and rugged west coast beauty are combined with a well-developed infrastructure for marine tourism.
The Public Brewhouse and Gallery
13. Chemainus Murals
Once a thriving fishing, mining and forestry hub, the town of Chemainus reinvented itself in the 1980s by capturing its history in a series of large, striking murals painted on the walls of the town. That shrewd decision inspired the town’s well-earned description, “The Little Town That Did”. Today, there are 44 amazing murals and various sculptures, which can all be viewed on foot and makes for a fun and informational day.
The Public Brewhouse and Gallery
14. Malahat SkyWalk
Malahat SkyWalk is a wheelchair and stroller-friendly, fully accessible 600m TreeWalk through a beautiful arbutus forest leading to a spectacular gentle spiral ramp that takes you up 32m to a sightseeing lookout offering views of Finlayson Arm, Saanich Peninsula, Mount Baker and the distant Coast Mountains. The views from the lookout—250m above sea level—are spectacular.
The Public Brewhouse and Gallery
15. Whale Watching
One of the musts when visiting the island is a whale-watching tour through the Gulf Islands. Going with a guide not only provides a better experience it also ensures you see wildlife that would typically be difficult to spot if on your own, including orca and humpback whales, porpoises, and bald eagles. There are multiple options and providers to choose from. Don't forget your camera!

Cowichan Valley on the Map

© 2022 - Current by Loralee Burns, 460 Realty, 102 - 626 1st Ave, Ladysmith, BC. All Rights Reserved. All information provided is deemed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed. It is represented subject to errors, omissions, changes, or withdrawal without notice. MLS® property information is provided under copyright© by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board and Victoria Real Estate Board. Not intended to solicit properties currently listed for sale.