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Lake Cowichan,, is a town located on the east end of Cowichan Lake and, by highway, is 27km west of Duncan, British Columbia. Lake Cowichan is a growing community. The town of Lake Cowichan was incorporated in 1944. The Cowichan River flows through the middle of the town. Lake Cowichan is well-known throughout Vancouver Island for its outdoor recreation, which includes swimming, kayaking, boating, and camping in and around Cowichan Lake, British Columbia's second-most pristine lake, tubing down the Cowichan River, one of Canada's only Heritage Rivers, also known for its world-class trout and salmon fishing, and for serving as the main gateway to the Pacific Coast of southern Vancouver Island, providing easy access to seaside communities such as Bamfield and Port Renfrew, known for their beautiful beaches with turquoise waters, as well as Nitinat Lake, which is home to some of the highest-rated windsurfing in the world, and Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park, home to the world's largest Sitka Spruce trees. Lake Cowichan is only three hours from Vancouver, two hours on the world-renowned BC Ferries ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo, and a one-hour drive from Nanaimo to Lake Cowichan. Lake Cowichan is also close to Canada's best known hippie destinations; the surfing capital of Canada, Tofino, home of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, and Salt Spring Island, the art and gay capital of Canada; both of these communities are known to be the homes of very open-minded people. Lake Cowichan is surrounded on all sides by the Pacific Northwest Temperate rainforest, which is the most rare ecosystem on Earth, containing the largest, tallest, and oldest trees in the world outside of California. This ecosystem also has the warmest climate in Canada. For this reason, Lake Cowichan is often visited by hikers who enjoy trekking through the rainforest any time of the year up the high mountains which surround both the lake and the community, offering spectacular views of the ocean and Mount Baker, a volcano located in Washington. Lake Cowichan is located within a fifteen-minute drive of the Garry Oak ecosystem, which is the only region in Canada with a subtropical Mediterranean climate. This climate experiences the warmth of the Pacific Coast, but without the immense rainfall that most of Vancouver Island endures, as the Olympic Mountains and the mountains of Vancouver Island, known as the Insular Mountains, block most of the rain from falling in this area, creating a rain shadow effect. This Mediterranean ecosystem, which has temperatures similar to coastal California, exists on the eastern side of Vancouver Island from Campbell River south to Victoria, the Gulf Islands, and the Sunshine Coast. Lake Cowichan is home to the western end of the Trans-Canada Trail, which is by far the longest network of trails on the planet. Lake Cowichan is full of flourishing, unique businesses, as well as a notable art scene, giving the town a laid-back atmosphere, which attracts visitors from all over the world, although, fortunately, it never seems to feel too crowded, even during peak season. Youbou, a small community located fifteen minutes northwest of Lake Cowichan, is home to North America's only remaining hand-set bowling alley. The Cowichan Lake Region is also home to some of the most reasonably-priced real estate in British Columbia, which is a major factor in bringing families into the community, whose children can attend Lake Cowichan School, which has an alternative approach to learning, being among the first schools on Vancouver Island to adopt a self-paced curriculum.Make your own Lake Cowichan vacation itinerary, with a little help from those that know the place like the back of their hands, by using our Canada online trip itinerary planner .
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Top Lake Cowichan tours
Viator Exclusive: 2-day Victoria and Butchart Gardens Tour with Overnight at The Fairmont Empress BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $476
Best things to do in Lake Cowichan
Side trips from Lake Cowichan
The Butchart Gardens
Visit for: 3h
Goldstream Provincial Park
Visit for: 6h
Victoria Butterfly Gardens
Visit for: 1h 30min
Englishman River Falls Provincial Park
Visit for: 3h
Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park
Visit for: 3h
Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park
Visit for: 2h 30min
Places to visit with Lake Cowichan
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Recently planned trips to Lake Cowichan
8 days in Vancouver Island BY A USER FROM CANADA June, culture, outdoors, beaches, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in Lake Cowichan BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Victoria & Lake Cowichan BY A USER FROM CANADA March, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 17 days in North Vancouver & Vancouver Island BY A USER FROM CANADA March, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 16 days in Vancouver Island & North Vancouver BY A USER FROM CANADA March, popular PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in Lake Cowichan BY A USER FROM CANADA December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Lake Cowichan BY A USER FROM CANADA October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in Lake Cowichan BY A USER FROM CANADA November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in Lake Cowichan BY A USER FROM CANADA September, kids, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: September, kids, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 11 days in Lake Cowichan BY A USER FROM CANADA August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 11 days in Lake Cowichan BY A USER FROM CANADA August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Shawnigan Lake & Lake Cowichan BY A USER FROM CANADA September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium