Cowichan Lake Section

New logoFrom Lake Cowichan town the Great Trail/Trans Canada Trail crosses to the north side of the Cowichan River valley and retreats eastward, en route to Nanaimo.  But the Vancouver Island Trail leaves the Great Trail at Lake Cowichan and is routed to the west along the south side of Cowichan Lake.

The VI Trail follows along South Shore Road to the west end of Cowichan Lake passing through the communities of Mesachie Lake and Honeymoon Bay.  This is a public, blacktopped road as far as Gordon Bay where it becomes a private, gravel logging road to the west end of the Lake (beware of traffic on this busy gravel road that is often very dusty during summer months).  Over time, VITA hopes to clear sections of single-track hiking trail closer to the Lake across private forest lands owned by TimberWest Forest Corp.

Campsites are available along the south lakeshore at Lakeview Park just west of Lake Cowichan, at Gordon Bay Provincial Park,  east of Caycuse, at Nixon Creek, at the west end of the Lake (Heather Campsite) and at nearby Kissinger Lake.

To avoid hiking or biking South Shore Road, a hiker could alternatively hire/use some sort of water transport to reach the campsite at the west end of Cowichan Lake.  VITA is currently working to arrange such a service along the Lake.  If you do canoe or kayak along the lake, keep in mind that like many large B.C. lakes it is often windy and the waves are substantial, particularly from later morning through the afternoon; early morning and evening are typically the best times to paddle.

Here is a GPS file in gpx format:    Free Download