For those unfamiliar, Cowichan is a district located in beautiful British Columbia’s southern Vancouver Island. Cowichan, when translated from First Nations Coast Salish, means ‘Quw’utsun’ or ‘land warmed by the sun!’ The name is upheld by the expansive options of fun outdoor activities, heightened by the warmed months of the summer. Here are 26 of the best activities you can do to explore the area.
1. The Tube Shack
Regarded as Cowichans ‘best kept secret’ you can experience the ride of a lifetime, tubing down the Lake Cowichan! The waters are cool and chilling and as you relax in your tube you can take in all the pretty views on a fun 2.5-hour journey! The Tube Shack will get you all sorted with your tube needs, where you can rent a tube or grab a family pass to get everyone involved.
Address: 109 South Shore RoadLake Cowichan
2. Gordon Bay Provincial Park
Choose Gordon Bay Provincial Park for your next adventure! Set in one of the sunniest areas, it is regarded for getting lots of sun, keep the temperatures up! The lake is the perfect spot for swimming, fishing or water sports and the land offers hiking and short nature walks! Many families choose Gordon Bay for their camping trip, based on the quality amenities and things to do.
Address: Hwy 18, Honeymoon Bay
3. Ocean Eco ventures
Ocean eco ventures boasts the ‘highest killer whale sightings in British Columbia!’ The tours are small and intimate hosting only 12 people, and you can pick to see the majestic creatures via a ½ day whale watching, a full day viewing and even a multi-day tour.
Address: 1721 Cowichan Bay Road
4. Harbour Air
Travelling in the air by seaplane is one of the most exciting way to see the breath-taking natural beauty of British Columbia. Harbour Air also offers tours! See the iconic views of Vancouver Island from the view of a bird, landing and taking off from the ocean!
5. Helijet Charters
Experience a one of kind tour by chartered helicopter! Enjoy the captivating views of the West Coast landscape and terrains of sunny Vancouver Island.
6. Cycle Therapy
At Cycle Therapy their priority is you! They want to share their passion who enjoy bike riding outdoors. You can get your bike fixed up, or you can use their brilliant rental service or purchase your new bike. They also offer an exciting cycling club, run 4 times a week including road cycles and mountain biking!
Address: 360 Duncan St.Canada V9L 3W4
7. Next Level Riding
Has mountain biking piqued your interest? Take a lesson in the Cowichan valley with Next Level Riding. Learn the basics, progress quickly with a safety-first approach in glorious outdoor locations. There are guided rides, adult clinic, private lessons, coaching and more available with this exciting company.
8. Stoney Hill Regional Park
9. Mount Tzouhalem
Mount Tzouhalem is 7.4 kilometers or about 1.5 hours hike that will take you to the top of rock bluffs at over 500 meters high! The lookout is pretty amazing and the stroll up is full of dense forest and copious wildflowers. It’s a great family hike option.
Address:Kaspa Rd, Duncan
10. Cobble Hill Mountain Recreation Area
A favored destination for hikers, horseback riding and mountain biking. The area offers over 20 kilometers of various trails which vary from easy to very challenging. If you reach the viewpoint atop the mountain, you’ll celebrate the views of the ocean and mountains!
Address: Cobble Hill Cowichan Valley
11. Cowichan River Footpath
This celebrate walk stretches 20 kilometers of river side to take in serene views, across meadows and banks of the river. Hikers, swimming, canoeing, and fisherman are all welcome!
12. Stocking Creek Park
Go chasing waterfalls at Stocking Creek Park! A natural waterfall is the reward for finishing the short 2-kilometer walk. The walk is very pretty and memorable with lush and dense forestry. It’s a wonderful place for exploring the day away.
Address: Stocking Creek Trail, Chemainus
13. Averill Creek Vineyard
Experience the wine of Averill Creek Vineyard! Taste the extensive types of wine, purchase and enjoy a bottle and there is even an option of brining your own picnic to take in the beauty of the vineyards and the Cowichan Valley beyond.
Address: Averill Creek Vineyard, 6552 North Road, Duncan
14. Deol Estate Winery
A family owned business, the Deol Estate Winery in the heart of the Cowichan Valley and is home to 8 different grape varieties of wine. Enjoy the tasting room and picnic patio outdoors!
Address: 6645 Somenos Rd, Duncan
15. Venturi-Schulze Vineyards
At Venturi-Schulze Vineyards, they create more than wine and memories, they also create award winning balsamic vinegars made entirely from their grapes. Their practices focus on sustainability and is a beautiful place to visit to enjoy the flavors and the outdoors.
Address: 4235 Vineyard Road, Cobble Hill
16. Cowichan Bay Kayaking and Adventure Centre
Slow down and take in Cowichan Lake at your pace with the help of Cowichan Bay Kayaking and Adventure Centre. You can rent kayaks, take a tour alongside a knowledgeable guide, and arrange for adventure just for kids! The beauty is outstanding, and everyone can enjoy from beginner to pro.
Address: 4865 Bench Rd, Cowichan Bay
2. Duncan Meadows Golf Course
Duncan Meadows is infamous for ‘setting seamlessly into the landscape.’ The views and natural beauty that you enjoy alongside your game are unforgettable including lakes, ponds, rolling mountain views and dense forest. You can enjoy a 18 or 9 hole game.
Address: 6507 North Road Duncan
18. Cowichan Bay Fisherman’s Wharf
One of the most serene wharfs in the province, Cowichan Bay Fisherman’s Wharf offers spectacular scenery, cool eateries and fun people watching!
Address: 1699 Cowichan Bay Rd, Cowichan Bay
19. ORKA Adventures
Prepare for your next adventure with Okra Adventures. Okra offers you all you need including river tubes, kayaks, SUP paddle boards and canoes for you to hit the open water!
Address: 65 Cowichan Lake Rd, Lake Cowichan
20. Pacific Northwest Raptors
This educational adventure allows you to not only meet but learn about rescued wild birds of prey, including eagles. All enjoyed in the outdoors, there is a bird show, interactive meetings where you can actually have a bird perch on your arm and other activities perfect for children!
Address: 1877 Herd Rd. Duncan
21. Merridale Cidery and Distillery
At Merridale, you can spend the day enjoying the scenery while you tour, taste, learn and relax! Sip on their cold ciders or cocktails created from the precious Cobble Hill farm. Families are invited to come and stay awhile.
Address: 1230 Merridale Road, Cobble Hill
22. Fly fishing
Home to rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, brown trout and steelhead is the Cowichan River, the perfect place for a day of fly fishing. Fly fishing is a relaxing way to bag some fish as you stand at the water’s edge using a lure to catch!
23. Kinsol Trestle
Kinsol Trestle is one of eight trestles in the Cowichan Valley but Kinsol is regarded as the best and biggest as it’s the tallest free-standing trestle rail structure…in the world! It stands valiantly at 187 meters long and 44 meters high above the Koksilah River, it’s an impressive place for a walk to take in the crazy views! It is open to walkers, bikers and horseback riders to venture across.
Address: 175 Ingram Street , Duncan
24. Kenzie Fishing Charters
Celebrating over 40 years of fishing excellence, join the fun with a chartered fishing trip in Cowichan with Kenzie Fishing Charters! Fish on some of BC’s best freshwater spots with experienced guides that know the local hot spots! The trips are completely customizable and suitable for absolutely anyone! Plus, you’ll get to enjoy the company’s top of the line equipment to make your experience just that much better. What will you catch?
25. Island Houseboats
Experience the beauty of Lake Cowichan from a houseboat! Houseboats are an iconic Canadian summer vacation and for good reason! With Island Houseboat, you can rent a boat for 3 days, 4 days or 1 week. The boats are completely ready for you with the amenities including BBQs, hot tubs, slides, and more of a regular home and can house groups of all sizes!
26. Arbutus Ridge Golf Club
This award-winning golf course offers a flawlessly designed 18-course paired with stunning views of Vancouver Island, Satellite Channel and Mount Baker. There are even a few exciting places to dine or grab a drink to complete the day.
Address: 3515 Telegraph Road Cobble Hill