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Lake Cowichan

Lakefront Homes, Lake Cowichan, BC
"Kaatza" or "The Big Lake", as it's known by its native inhabitants, is over 30 km long, one of the largest bodies of freshwater on Vancouver Island.

Regularly visited by angling aficionado King Edward VIII, the lake was soon heralded as Canada's Fly-Fishing Capital. To that distinction, modern outdoor enthusiasts add boating, water-skiing and windsurfing.

Whether your are coming to enjoy the pristine waters of Lake Cowichan, Nitinat Lake and the Cowichan River, or whether you visit the ancient forest of the Carmanah Walbran, hike the West Coast or Juan de Fuca Trails, you will find it easy to satisfy your desire for adventure.

The town of Lake Cowichan is the gateway to some of the most spectacular camping and hiking available on Vancouver Island. Other communities such as Honeymoon Bay, Mesachie Lake, Skutz Falls, and Youbou are within easy reach by road. All have access to scenic Cowichan Lake, one of the largest fresh-water lakes on the island. The south arm of the lake is a heat trap, boasting the highest average summer maximum temperatures in Canada - over 24 degrees Celsius!

Population: 3,118

Location: Lake Cowichan is located on Highway 18 on southern Vancouver Island, 17.5 miles (28 km) west of Duncan.


  • Kaatza Station Museum & Archives in Lake Cowichan
    Visit the Kaatza Station Museum & Archives, a community heritage museum housed in an old E&N Railway Station. Displays include a store, post office, mine shaft, logging display, and a 12' high mural depicting pioneer life at Lake Cowichan in the 1920s. Also on site is a renovated 1925 school house with a 1940s era classroom display. The museum is located in the village directly behind the Visitor Centre.
  • Visit a working forest and learn about forest management at the Cowichan Lake Forest Research Station on Forestry Road in Mesachie Lake, established in 1929 by the BC Forest Service. Over 200 examples of "international" trees imported from all over the world are studied here, and the experimental station has become renown for its work in forest genetics and tree physiology.
  • Stroll along the Cowichan River Footpath, a sensational 20-km hiking trail following the scenic Cowichan River from Glenora to Skutz Falls. Originally built for anglers, the Cowichan River Footpath is now a popular spot for hikers and naturalists.
  • Cowichan River Provincial Park is a 750-hectare area stretching almost 20 kilometres, from the village of Lake Cowichan to Glenora, just south of Duncan. This spectacular Provincial Park protects significant stretches of the Cowichan River, known as a first class recreational corridor. The park is internationally recognized for its wild salmon and steelhead trout, and for the historic Cowichan River footpath that winds through dense Douglas-fir and Western Hemlock forest.

  • Maple Tree at Caycuse on Cowichan Lake
    Photo: WebStorm Solutions
    Visit Gordon Bay Provincial Park - the rewards for being here in April and May in advance of the summer crowds include having your choice of campsites and witnessing the spectacular display of wildflowers that begin blooming in April.
  • One of the best places to launch a boat when fishing in Cowichan Lake is at Gordan Bay Provincial Park. There are dozens of parking places next to the ramps from which anglers pursue rainbow and cutthroat trout and dolly varden char. Springtime is best for trout fishing, before the lake really warms up.
  • Experienced wilderness paddlers and windsurfers can explore Nitinat Lake and the smaller lakes in the Nitinat Triangle canoe route. Follow the road along Cowichan Lake's northern shore to this outdoor adventureland.

  • Lake Cowichan Visitor Centre
    The Trans Canada Trail starts in the heart of the town of Lake Cowichan and continues down the river, winding its way to Duncan. This is one of many hiking trails that visitors can take, from easy to difficult, there is a trail for every level and interest.
  • Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park is home to some of the world's largest spruce trees. Take a side trip to this old-growth forest, located southwest of Lake Cowichan, and view first hand the pristine wilderness that has made British Columbia so famous. The Carmanah Valley is accessed from various directions via the Caycuse River Bridge, and can be reached by vehicle from Lake Cowichan.
  • East of Lake Cowichan is the town of Duncan, the civic centre of the Cowichan Valley. Since 1985, Duncan has transformed itself into the "City of Totems", a unique urban forest with distinctive hand-carved cedar poles from local native artisans on public display in parks and downtown streets.
  • The nearby small community of Mesachie Lake was a mill town from 1942 to 1968, and has since been transformed into a tranquil place to live or escape to.
  • The Cowichan Valley ranges north across the Malahat Ridge from Victoria through the Cowichan and Chemainus Valleys to Nanaimo, including a cross-island trip to Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park.
  • The Pacific Marine Circle Tour is an excellent way to explore the historic West Coast of Vancouver Island. The wilderness route traces the coastline from Victoria through Sooke and Port Renfrew, continuing onto the Cowichan Valley and looping back down the Trans-Canada Highway via Duncan to Victoria.


Search Premier Listings
  EMR Vacation Rentals, Vancouver Listing Details 
EMR is a fully licensed Travel Agency offering fully furnished vacation homes, condos, suites, and estates in Victoria, Vancouver, Tofino, Whistler, the Okanagan, and on Vancouver Island. We have a large inventory of unique properties to select from. This includes properties that feature oceanfront, beach front, breathtaking views, private hot tubs, luxurious settings and more. Toll Free: 0-800-520-0932 UK.
 
  Honeymoon Bay Lodge and Retreat, Honeymoon Bay Listing Details 
Honeymoon Bay Lodge and Retreat in beautiful Cowichan Valley offers 17 beautifully appointed guest suites, full dining experience, health and wellness facilities, saltwater hot tub and infra-red sauna, and versatile meeting spaces. All in a spectacular West Coast setting, 90 minutes from Victoria or Nanaimo. Ideal for artistic and musical events, workshops, group retreats and intimate weddings.
 
  Owner Direct Vacation Rentals, Kelowna Listing Details 
Looking for a Vacation Rental? Why spend more and get less with a hotel? We offer privately-owned, condos, apartments, bed and breakfasts, chalets, cottages and cabins throughout British Columbia for rent - nightly, weekly or monthly. Owners set their own competitive rates. Great value and selection.
 
  Waterfront West Real Estate, Courtenay Listing Details 
Waterfront West is the first and only marketplace dedicated exclusively to buyers and sellers of waterfront and water view real estate in British Columbia. Advertising Realtors' listings, private sales and developments, we are pioneering the market for this prime real estate. Featuring private and brokered sales, waterfront developments and a complimentary Buyers' Club.
 
  Deb Wilson RI (BC) - Sutton West Coast Realty, Duncan Listing Details 
Looking for an island home in the southern Gulf Islands or mid Vancouver Island? As an RI professional member with a strong background in real estate appraisal, development and construction, combined with local resident knowledge, my goal is to provide you with comprehensive real estate solutions combined with service that is performance based. Now is a good time to be purchasing, with lots of the waterfront island homes on the market.
 
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