Trails of Cowichan Lake
Fabulous views, stunning lake vistas, and breathtaking rainforest landscape
The trails in the Cowichan Lake area offer this and so much more. The variety of breathtaking landscapes and terrain make it the perfect place to explore for an hour or a full day.
In addition, the following trails offer further hiking and biking opportunities.
Friendship Park Fisheries Trail
Friendship Park Fisheries Trail is a network of short, unmarked wooded trails behind the grocery store on South Shore Road in Lake Cowichan. The path winds through a shady second-growth forest, offering a couple of bridges to cross tiny Oliver Creek. Friendship Park is dedicated to the people of Lake Cowichan’s twin city: Ohtaki, Japan.
From the grocery store parking lot, walk along South Shore road to the park sign and follow the trail.
Restroom in store, Parking in store lot, No signage for guidance
Cowichan Valley Trail
The Cowichan Valley Trail on southern Vancouver Island is an integral part of The Great Trail (formerly known as the Trans Canada Trail). The Great Trail is a cross-Canada system of greenways, waterways, and roadways that stretches from the Atlantic to the Pacific to the Arctic oceans. It extends over 24,000 kilometres (15,000 miles) and is now the longest recreational multi-use trail network in the world.
Access both the southeast and northeast routes from the Great Trail Western Terminus on South Shore road across from the Visitor Centre. To connect with the southeast route, turn right at Pine Street and walk uphill 3 blocks to connect with the trail again. Or use the map to find other access points.
Parking areas, Trail map signs, Campsites, Picnic areas, Historic railway trestles.
Cowichan River Footpath
Not to be confused with the Cowichan Valley Trail, this 20-kilometre woodland trail hugs the Cowichan River from Skutz Falls to Glenora Trails Head Park. The trail starts just below Skutz Falls at the forest service road bridge. It follows the bank on both sides of the river, with various offshoots providing water or beach access. A favourite route is hiking from Skutz Falls along the south bank to Trestle 66, then crossing and returning along the northern shore for an 8-kilometre loop.
Follow the signs to Skutz Falls from Highway 18.
Restrooms, Parking areas, Trail map signs, Campsites, Picnic areas, Historic railway trestles.
Bald Mountain Peninsula
Bald Mountain Peninsula park offers a trail system with over 7.6 kilometres of hiking. The Denninger Trails are named after a local scout leader who helped build the network of paths. Whether you want hilly or flat, easy or more challenging, this mountain has something to suit. The full hike from the parking lot to the end of the summit trail is about 4 kilometres in length. For descriptions of the Woodland Trail, Summit Connector, Plateau Trail and Upper Summit, click the link below.
From Lake Cowichan, follow North Shore Road. Turn left onto Meades Creek Road. Turn left onto Marble Bay Road. Just past the Woodland Shores development, turn right into a gravel parking lot (9489 Marble Bay Road).
Restrooms at Stoker Park across the street, Parking, Trail map sign, Trail guide posts, Viewing benches.
Marble Bay Trail
This fairly challenging wooded trail climbs about 125 meters to the top of Little Bald Mountain. Check out the photogenic views of Cowichan Lake and the larger Bald Mountain Peninsula before returning on the same trail for a total distance of 1.6 kilometres.
From Lake Cowichan, follow North Shore road. Turn left onto Meades Creek Road. Turn left onto Marble Bay Road. At the park sign, turn right into a gravel parking lot (9195 Nighthawk Road).
Parking, Trail map sign, No restroom