Tuck Lake Trail

The Tuck Lake Trail section of the Trail links the west end of Cowichan Lake to the Runners Trail at Francis Lake.

At the west end of Cowichan Lake, hikers can utilize one of two campgrounds, Heather Campsite located on the water at the west end of Cowichan Lake and the other a kilometer or two west at Kissinger Lake, just off the gravel road that heads west to Nitinat Lake and Port Alberni.

To reach the Tuck Lake Trail, walk west from Kissinger Lake along the main road for about 300 metres.  Shortly after a gated logging road on your right, watch for orange trail markers.  At that point, an old grade goes straight ahead through shaded deciduous forest and cuts across to the Nitinat Main logging road.  Bear to your right onto the logging road and continue for 2.4 km to the Tuck Lake trailhead where you will see a VI Trail sign and a red gate on your left.   (If you go an additional 1.3 km to a road on your left that leads northwest through an open gate and a “Trespassers !!” sign, you have gone too far.  However, this is a useful route in the rainy season when the Nitinat River is in flood, as there is a bridge down this road which can be used to cross the river).  From the trailhead/trail sign walk logging roads west through old cut blocks and plantations to and along a marked trail to a ford of the Nitinat River, which during the summer months is knee-deep.

From the Nitinat River, the Trail continues northwest across Crown lands (TFL), over Parker Ridge and northwards down to and past Tuck Lake, and then to the west past Parker Creek and up steeply towards another ridge (Worthless or Nadira Ridge).  At the top of the hill the trail hooks up with an old grown-in road that continues to Nadira-700 that merges with Nadira Main.  Past the high point, the route descends Nadira Main and then via trail towards Carmanah Main, for much of its way upslope of the Little Nitinat River (crossing back and forth across the Little Nitinat).  The trail then turns northwest, eventually alongside the Francis Lake shoreline to its western end where there is a pleasant gravel beach and primitive campsite – a great place for a swim after a day on the trail.


Here is a GPS file in gpx format:   Download

Total distance: 26038 m
Max elevation: 519 m
Min elevation: 13 m
Total climbing: 1418 m
Total descent: -1395 m

Updated May 2022