Outdoor Activities in the Cowichan Valley
Both ocean kayaking and river kayaking are available in the Cowichan region. The many bays and inlets, as well as the nearby Gulf Islands, and Cowichan Lake, Vancouver Island’s second largest lake, are popular locations for ocean kayaking. The place for whitewater kayaking is the Cowichan River, recently named a Canadian Heritage River.
- Cowichan Bay Kayak & Outfitters
- Wilderness Kayaking in Maple Bay
- Kindred Spirit Kayak Company in Duncan
- Sealegs Kayaking Adventures in Ladysmith
Whale watching excursions depart from Cowichan Bay several times a day during the season. Tours with Ocean Ecoventures have a great success rate in sightings of the southern resident orca population, transient orcas, humpback whales and minke whales as well as seals, sea lions and porpoises and a wide variety of birdlife.
Vancouver Island is Canada’s premier dive destination.
The Jacques Cousteau Society rates the Island as one of the best diving locations in the world.
Two artificial reefs are located in the Nanaimo area, one in Campbell River, and two in the Victoria area. In the Cowichan Region, Chemainus has one of the newest artificial reefs, which was created when a Boeing 737 was sunk there in January 2006.
Our Cobble Hill Bed & Breakfast is the perfect location from which to explore Southern Vancouver Island!
Swimming spots in the area include Bamberton Provincial Park on the ocean, Shawnigan Lake (kid-friendly beach area) and Cowichan Lake. Duncan’s Cowichan Community Centre has a public swimming pool, as does Ladysmith.
Tubing on the Cowichan River is also a popular and fun family friendly activity during the summer.
Cobble Hill is horse country. It’s a great area for riding and trail rides for all levels of riders are available nearby.
Both fresh and saltwater fishing are exceptional in the Cowichan region. The Cowichan River is renowned for its wild salmon and steelhead trout, while Lake Cowichan has great trout fishing. Saltwater fishing can net you salmon, crab, prawns and cod.
There are many opportunities for hiking, often with spectacular views and potential wildlife encounters. The Cowichan River Footpath is a wilderness hiking trail, while the Trans Canada Trail is a highlight for both hiking and cycling. Make sure you check out the rehabilitated Kinsol Trestle! You can also hike up Cobble Hill Mountain.
Cobble House has a selection of books on hand for additional information on cycling and hiking the area.
The Rotary Clubs of the Cowichan Valley have developed a cycling route on southern Vancouver Island to promote cycling tourism.
There are several good areas for birdwatching in the Cowichan Valley.
Somenos Marsh is a fascinating wetland complex on the north edge of Duncan. A heron rookery can be found in Cowichan Bay, where trumpeter swans are a common sight in spring. Good birding can also be found along the Cowichan Bay Dockroad (or CNR Dock Road ) and another 0.7 km further on along Cowichan Bay Road in a field on the right, or by the Duncan sewage lagoons
Additional birding information for the Island can be found at Birding in British Columbia
Or just enjoy the birds at our feeder while relaxing on our deck!
Cowichan golf courses are found in Cobble Hill, Duncan, on Cowichan Lake and in Chemainus and offer a variety of scenery and challenge to any golfer.
- Arbutus Ridge Golf & Country Club in Cobble Hill
- Cowichan Golf & Country Club in Duncan
- Duncan Meadows Golf Club in Duncan
- March Meadows Golf Course in Honeymoon Bay (Cowichan Lake)
- Mount Brenton Golf Course in Chemainus
Nearby Victoria also offers an abundance of top level golf courses. One of the closest courses is the challenging course at the Bear Mountain Resort.
Further suggestions can be found at TOURISM COWICHAN