- Biking Paths: Tourism Cowichan
- Biking North: From Victoria
- Biking South: From Nanaimo
Sunrise in Cowichan Bay
Quiet mornings along the Salish Sea provide an ideal setting to explore the unique communities that makeup Vancouver Island’s Southeast tip. Take your time, there’s magic in the air – and if you’re lucky, herons and osprey too.
1Kinsol Trestle TrailGlen Eagles Rdcvrd.ca ·
One of eight trestles along the Cowichan Valley Trail route and is one of the tallest free-standing and most spectacular timber rail trestle structures in the world. Keep your eyes peeled for kingfishers as you walk the 1.5km trail to the trestle.
2Malahat Skywalk901 Trans-Canada HwyBook Now
This experience starts with an accessible 600m TreeWalk through beautiful arbutus forests full of birds, leading you to the gentle spiral ramp that takes you up 32m to a sightseeing lookout offering views of Finlayson Arm, Saanich Peninsula, Mount Baker, and the ultimate bird’s eye view.
3Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre1845 Cowichan Bay Rd
Explore the estuary, its watershed, and local marine and bird life through hands-on, interactive learning experiences. Located in Hecate Park.
4Cowichan Bay Kayaking and Adventure Centre1765 Cowichan Bay RdBook Now
View local marine and birdlife while paddling in Cowichan Bay with tours led by knowledgeable and skilled guides.
5Olde School Coffee3515 Cobble Hill Rd
A cozy community hub with exceptional coffee and food selections to start your day.
6The Restaurant at Unsworth Vineyards2915 Cameron Taggart Rd
Enjoy seasonal farm-to-table cuisine while taking in gorgeous views overlooking the award-winning 12-acre vineyard.
7The Eatery at Merridale Cidery1230 Merridale Rd
Enjoy the open-air patio with views of the apple orchard while eating casual farm-to-table comfort food.
8Jake’s at the Lake109 S Shore Rd
A casual dining restaurant that offers impressive views of Cowichan Lake. Serving locally sourced, house-made food with celiac-friendly options.
9Oceanfront Suites at Cowichan Bay1681 Cowichan Bay RdBook Now
All suites are family-friendly and ocean-facing; guests can rent bicycles to travel around town, or recharge in the indoor heated pool and fitness centre.
Afternoon Deep in the Valley
As you continue to explore Cowichan, opportunities abound – get inspired on your own, or amongst the locals.
10Pacific Northwest Raptors1877 Herd RdBook Now
This is your opportunity to engage in up-close, hands-on interactive learning with a variety of birds – including eagles, falcons, hawks, owls, vultures, and more.
11Cowichan River Regional ParkRiverbottom Rd W
This park protects significant stretches of the Cowichan River. You’ll find resident birds such as osprey, hawks, owls, ravens, and crows as well as many species of songbirds. Bald eagles can be seen along the river in late fall and winter.
12S’amuna/Somenos Marsh Conservation AreaEntry off the Trans Canada Highway
The wildlife-viewing facilities of the Somenos Watershed welcome waterfowl travelling the Pacific Flyway, as well as resident wildlife. Home to the annual The WildWings Nature & Arts Festival.
13Chemainus River EstuaryEntry at the end of Swallowfield Road
A 2.7 kilometre trail winding through natural fauna and a vital part of the Pacific Flyway, a resting spot for migratory birds.
14Ladysmith Community Marina611 Oyster Bay Dr
Ladysmith Harbour is the largest nesting colony of Western Purple Martin on Vancouver Island. The Ladysmith Maritime Society co-operates with the BC Purple Martin Stewardship & Recovery Program by attaching nest boxes to dock pilings. See them nesting during July and August.
15Java World Coffee & Teas5811 York Rd
A retro-styled highway drive-thru refitted as a coffee hub; this community favourite serves up organic Karma coffee, a variety of sandwiches, and delicious baked goods.
16The Farm Store at the Farm Table Inn6755 Cowichan Lake Rd
Located right at the entrance of their restaurant, this literal farm-to-table shop has take-and-bake items, soups and stocks, farm-raised meats, local milk and eggs, and many more goodies.
17Volume One Bookstore149 Kenneth St
Since 1972 this downtown Duncan staple has been full of new and used books, as well as guides by local authors about nearby trails and outdoor hotspots.
18Lake Cowichan Visitor Centre125C S Shore Rd
Seasonally open May-September
Quiet Coastal Evenings
As the sun sets on Cowichan, the dynamic food and beverage scene comes alive with a variety of family-friendly hotspots welcoming to locals and visitors.
19Owl’s Nest Bakery and Bistro9752 Willow St
Fill your pack with pre-made sandwiches and baked goods, or take a break and enjoy the Owl’s Nest’s house-made soups & entrees.
20Ma Maison10445 Chemainus Rd
Head chef Lauren Cartmel brings her worldly charm to the Cowichan Valley in this beautiful cafe and bakery, serving up farm-to-table deli-style breakfasts and lunches.
21Fox and Hounds11 High St
“Like a warm hug on a chilly day,” this British-style pub presents a welcoming atmosphere to all who enter, serving up all the classic fare you’d expect to find at a local pub.
22Chemainus Visitor Centre102-9799 Waterwheel Crescent
23Cowichan Regional Visitor Centre2896 Drinkwater Rd
24Affinity Guesthouse5155 Samuel RdBook Now
An exceptional guesthouse located right along the Cowichan Estuary, providing unparalleled easy-access to amazing birding.
25Cowichan River Lodge7461 Hudgrove RdBook Now
This boutique-style Lodge is nestled in a stunning area of natural wilderness along the Cowichan River, making for a perfect relaxing getaway or the hub for endless outdoor activities.
26Best Western Plus Chemainus Inn9573 Chemainus Rd
A classic hotel in south Chemainus is conveniently close to many local points of interest. Enjoy spacious, comfortable suites and full-service amenities.
27Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Oyster Bay12570 Trans-Canada Hwy
As you continue North on the trail, this pet-friendly stop has all the amenities of home – just minutes from your next birding adventure.
28Kiwi Cove Lodge5130 Brenton Page RdBook Now
Set on a 10-acre oceanfront kiwi vineyard and estuary, this purpose-built lodge B&B offers 12 rustic rooms, a common room for games, and a gazebo in the kiwi grove.
Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre
Cowichan Bay Kayaking and Adventure Centre
The Restaurant at Unsworth Vineyards2921 Cameron Taggart Rd, Cobble Hill, BC V0R 1L6, Canada
The Eatery at Merridale Cidery1230 Merridale Rd, Cobble Hill, BC, Canada
Oceanfront Suites at Cowichan Bay
Cowichan River Regional ParkSkutz Fall parking lot trail head, Riverbottom Road West, Lake Cowichan, BC, Canada
The Farm Store at the Farm Table Inn6755 Cowichan Lake Rd, Lake Cowichan, BC, Canada
Lake Cowichan Visitor Centre
Owl’s Nest Bakery and BistroOwl's Nest Bakery and Bistro, Willow Street, Chemainus, BC, Canada
Chemainus Visitor Centre102-9799 Waterwheel Crescent, Chemainus, BC V0R 1K0, Canada
Cowichan Regional Visitor Centre
Cowichan River Lodge
Best Western Plus Chemainus Inn
Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Oyster Bay
The Central Vancouver Island Bird Trail