Category   Cowichan Bay, Vancouver Island, BC
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Cowichan Bay

Historic Cowichan Bay in Cowichan Valley
The settlement of Cowichan Bay started in the 1850s as a Hudson's Bay Company fort. The original site was located at the flats at the top of Cowichan Bay. Cowichan Bay was the earliest development north of Victoria, with Europeans settling on the secluded Cowichan Bay to farm and trap, and eventually moving into fishing and logging. In 1862 the HMS Hecate arrived with a boatload of settlers. A store and hotel soon followed, and by 1900 Cowichan Bay was a tourist mecca with steamboats calling regularly at the government dock.

Cowichan Bay draws its name from an Island Halkomelem word meaning warm country or land warmed by the sun. The name originated because of a large rock formation on the side of Mount Tzuhalem that supposedly resembled a frog basking in the sun. Originally both Cowichan Lake and the settlement were known as Kaatza, the Cowichan word for big lake. The Cowichan Bay area and much of the southern Strait of Georgia is the traditional land of the Cowichan First Nation.

Today, the village of Cowichan Bay and the surrounding area is home to a host of artists, craftspeople, and cottage industries - including some fine local wineries.

Population: 2,575

Location: The Cowichan Valley is a 30-minute scenic drive from both Victoria in the south and Nanaimo in the north. VIA Rail travels between Victoria and Courtenay. Stops within the Cowichan area include Shawnigan Lake, Cobble Hill, Cowichan Station, Duncan, Chemainus and Ladysmith.

  • Over 200 species of birds are attracted to the feeding grounds at the mouth of the Koksilah and Cowichan Rivers.

  • Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre
    At Pier 66, join a Gulf Islands fishing or sightseeing charter.
  • The South Cowichan Lawn Tennis Club features one of the oldest lawn tennis courts in the world, second only to Wimbledon.
  • The Wooden Boat Society displays hands-on exhibits at the Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre.
  • The spectacular Cowichan River Provincial Park protects significant stretches of the Cowichan River, known as a first class recreational corridor. The park is internationally recognized for its wild salmon and steelhead trout, and for the historic Cowichan River footpath that winds through dense Douglas-fir and Western Hemlock forest. Stroll along the footpath - a sensational 20 km hiking trail following the river to Skutz Falls.
  • For a spectacular view of the region, hike up Mount Tzouhalem.
  • Hecate Park, located on Cowichan Bay Road, serves as a popular picnic and beach area for locals. The park’s boat launch provides an ideal location to launch for day fishing or cruising on pristine Cowichan Bay.

  • Cowichan Bay, Cowichan Valley
    Fishing and boating charters, as well as sailing tours are available. The Cowichan Bay Regatta is the second largest regatta on Canada's West Coast, and don't miss the annual Boat Festival in June.
  • Spring and fall present remarkable opportunities to view birds as they travel along the Pacific Flyway. Some of the protected areas where they pause and refresh themselves include Hecate Regional Park in Cowichan Bay.
  • Discover nature’s treasures by sea kayak - come eye to eye with an array of fascinating marine life. Relax your mind and soul on a leisurely tour over emerald waters among seals, cormorants and kingfishers. For those wishing to immerse themselves in the power and majestic beauty of the West Coast, guides will lead on a multi-day excursion.
  • Fish along the Cowichan River, one of the most consistent fishing rivers on the Island; a fishing/hiking path stretches 31 kilometres (19 miles) along the riverbank. Brown, rainbow, and steelhead trout, as well as vigorous salmon runs, make fishing here legendary. Chinook, coho, and steelhead that school in Cowichan Bay enter the river to spawn in November and December. There's also a steelhead run in March.

Search Premier Listings
  Deb Wilson RI (BC) - Sutton West Coast Realty, Duncan Listing Details 
Looking for an island home in the southern Gulf Islands or mid Vancouver Island? As an RI professional member with a strong background in real estate appraisal, development and construction, combined with local resident knowledge, my goal is to provide you with comprehensive real estate solutions combined with service that is performance based. Now is a good time to be purchasing, with lots of the waterfront island homes on the market.
  EMR Vacation Rentals, Vancouver Listing Details 
EMR is a fully licensed Travel Agency offering fully furnished vacation homes, condos, suites, and estates in Victoria, Vancouver, Tofino, Whistler, the Okanagan, and on Vancouver Island. We have a large inventory of unique properties to select from. This includes properties that feature oceanfront, beach front, breathtaking views, private hot tubs, luxurious settings and more. Toll Free: 0-800-520-0932 UK.
  Genoa Bay Café, Duncan Listing Details 
The Genoa Bay Cafe offers a fine selection of Pacific Rim cuisines, featuring fresh seafood from local waters, meats, produce and poultry from the farms of the Cowichan Valley, and the relaxed ambience of a waterfront setting at the Genoa Bay Marina. The Genoa Bay Cafe guarantees a unique and memorable experience. Open 7 days a week.
  Genoa Bay Marina, Duncan Listing Details 
Genoa Bay Marina offers lush tree-lined shores, towering vistas, and sheltered moorage. Our prices are affordable, and our services include Transient and Permanent Moorage, a General and Marine Store, Car and Video/DVD rental, Laundry, Showers and Washrooms, Fax service, Postal services, Internet and email access, and the Genoa Bay Cafe. Shipwright and Mechanical services are also available.
  Arbutus Ridge Golf Club, Cobble Hill Listing Details 
Arbutus Ridge Golf Club is located in the seaside community of Cobble Hill on Vancouver Island, a scenic 40-minute drive from Victoria and Nanaimo and just 10 minutes away from the cultural city of Duncan. Arbutus Ridge is rated the #1 Destination Golf Course in British Columbia and the legendary 17th hole is ranked One of the Top 18 Golf Holes on Vancouver Island.
  Cobble House Bed & Breakfast, Cobble Hill Listing Details 
Cobble House Bed & Breakfast is located in Vancouver Island's Wine Country, the Cowichan Valley, just 45 minutes north of Victoria and 60 minutes south of Nanaimo. Centrally located for exploring southern Vancouver Island in different directions, Cobble House B&B is nestled in a 40-acre private natural forest, with Shawnigan Creek flowing by along one side. Our three guest rooms are spacious, comfortable, smoke free and well equipped, all with private bathroom and comfortable sitting areas. Start your day right with a delicious full breakfast in our lovely dining room. If you want to unwind with a relaxing Vancouver Island getaway, we offer that peace and tranquility and relaxed atmosphere. Wir sprechen Deutsch. Wij spreken Nederlands.
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