Lake Cowichan to Kissinger Lake (44.4km)

 Cycle only; can be walked or ridden on horseback, but NOT recommended because of logging trucks and other traffic


Paved road and logging gravel road with numerous lakeside campsites.

The Trail


Start of the logging road at 13.5km. Use caution on the logging road as this can be very dusty and visibility may be limited during the drier months.

The trail is all paved road for the first 13.5km. Once you leave Lake Cowichan the next small town is Mesachie Lake, then Honeymoon Bay. The road is relatively flat to Honeymoon Bay. Once you hit the logging road the road rises in elevation giving you great views of the Lake and the small town of Youbou. This is an active logging road and can be busy, so drive with your headlights on to be seen in the dust and be cautious where sight lines are limited. Stay to the right and be ready to pull over if necessary. In the summer months the logging road will be very dry and dusty. In the winter months you will have great fun dodging potholes.


Turn Right to Carmanah Walbran Park at 30.6km to continue “on trail”.


Signage directing you to a left turn to Carmanah Walbran Park at 38.5km to stay “on trail”.

Do not camp outside of designated campsites. The logging companies patrol the area and do NOT allow camping on their property. Please be respectful.

Fortunately, there are numerous camping spots along the way. They are:

(1) Approximately 2 km west down South Shore Road you will find a campground on the lake with lots of tenting sites. This campground has no showers or food.

(2) Farther  along is Gordon Bay Provincial Campground which has plenty of tent sites, a lake to swim in and hot showers. Turn right onto Walton Road off South Shore Road and drive a few km’s to the campground.

(3) Caycuse campground is 24km along with room for tents and campers.

(4) At 38km, is the smaller Heather campsite, which is right on the lake with tenting sites.

(5)At 40.4km, Kissinger Lake campsite has tenting sites and a small lake in which to swim.

If you are going to head out to Kissinger Lake and northwards, get your supplies in Lake Cowichan. There is a country grocer and a few small restaurants there and nothing else on the way.


Turn off to Gordon Bay Campsite. Past this sign the trail is all gravel road.


Signage to Lakeview Campsite at Cowichan Lake.


Signage to direct you to Heather Lake Campsite at 38.8km.


Signage for Kissinger Lake tent campsite at 40.4km.


Driving Directions to and GPS Coordinates of the Trail Head

The Visitor Center is in the heart of Lake Cowichan on South Shore Road. From Highway 18 keep left at the fork in the road at the end of the highway. Proceed through town and across the bridge over the Cowichan River. About 1km down the road on the right is a small park with ample parking and you’ll find the Visitors Center.

48° 4 9.386 N 124° 3.605W

Parking  : There is ample parking throughout the town and at the Visitors Center. In the summer months, the Visitor’s Center lot fills up early,  with people excited to go tubing on the Cowichan River.


Parking lot at Visitors Center.

Endpoint of Trail 

48 55.08N 124 29.10W


As reported by Dave Scott