About us

Above the headwaters of the Heritage Cowichan River lies Cowichan Lake and the communities of Lake Cowichan, Youbou, Mesachie, and Honeymoon Bay. The lake has long been known for forestry and outdoor recreation, but more access to our natural assets is key. That’s why the Cowichan Lake Trail Blazers Society is planning to enhance and develop trails for hiking and biking.
With the help of provincial funding, a group of local citizens were able to hire consultants in 2017 to help determine what activities might expand the local tourist season. Trails for hiking and biking were suggested, a detailed action plan was presented, and the Cowichan Lake Trail Blazers Society was formed.
Cowichan Lake is surrounded by privately owned forest land, so the Trail Blazers have been building relationships with private forest landowners and strengthening our governance and trail development knowledge to ensure success when we start building our world-class trail network.

We’re excited about the future of mountain biking and hiking trails and hope to show how forestry and recreation can coexist to enrich our local economy and create a healthier community.

The story of our logo


This logo symbolizes the partnership between Lake Cowichan First Nation and the Cowichan Lake Trail Blazers Society.

In their creation story, the First People of Lake Cowichan were gifted by a family of wolves with knowledge and ceremony. The two wolves in the logo flank the majestic elk in its natural habitat in this special part of Vancouver Island.

The Trail Blazers Society value their shared objective of showing how wildlife, people, and industry can adapt and work together with respect for one another.

Executive directors

  • Bob Day, President
  • Manfred Moser, Vice President
  • Fred Nipp, Treasurer
  • Julia Martinusen, Secretary

Board members

  • Rick Hill, trail planner and builder
  • Chelsea Bilsbarow, trail planner and builder
  • Betty McGonigle, director at large
  • Lynn Klein, director at large

Our mission

To develop, maintain and promote hiking and biking trails throughout the Cowichan Lake region while working with the local communities to create and enhance the support structures and services required creating sustainable, environmentally sound experiences for local residents and tourists.


To design safe and easy-to-follow trails through regular maintenance and consistent, clear trail signage.


To seek community support with regard to charitable giving, membership, grants, volunteers, and all levels of government funding to develop and maintain trails in world-class condition.

Environmental stewardship

To preserve natural forest elements through respectful engagement with the forestry industry, local communities, First Nations people, and other stakeholders who wish to protect the rugged beauty of our forests, rivers, and lakes.

Our partners