The Cowichan Valley Trail is a spectacular multi-use trail that is an integral part of the Trans Canada Trail route on Southern Vancouver Island. The Cowichan Valley section runs from the south end of Shawnigan Lake, west to the Town of Lake Cowichan then north to the Nanaimo Regional District. The majority of the gravel trail is wide and flat with some sections running along the roadways. The trail provides for easy cycling and walking.
Historic railway trestles including the Kinsol Trestle.
How to Get There:
For an up-to-date map of the Cowichan Valley Trail pleaseclick here.
The main access points ot the Cowichan Valley Trail are listed below and each area has parking and a formal trailhead.
Lake Cowichan Staging Area: From the Trans-Canada Highway, turn west onto Cowichan Valley Highway (Highway 18)...follow into the Town of Lake Cowichan (Highway becomes South Shore Road). Left on King George, Right on Wellington...Look for the trail information centre on the right and the trailhead kiosk on the left.
Sooke Lake Road Staging Area:From the Trans-Canada Highway, turn onto South Shawnigan Lake Road, left onto Sooke Lake Road. The Staging Area is located on the right, approximately two minutes down the road.
Glenora Trails Head Park Staging Area:From the Trans-Canada Highway, turn west onto Trunk Road, left onto Allenby Road (turns into Indian Road), Right onto Glenora Road, Right onto Vaux Road (turns into Robertson Road). The staging area is located on the left near Cowichan River Provincial Park.
Kinsol Trestle South Side Staging Area:From the Trans-Canada Highway, turn west onto Hutchinson Road, left onto Cobble Hill Road (turns into Shawnigan Lake Road), right onto Renfrew Road, right onto Glen Eagles Road, right onto Shelby Road. The parking lot is located on the left. NOTE: Public access to the trestle is only from the south side of the trestle along Renfrew Road and Glen Eagles Road.
The Kinsol, Holt Creek, Marie Canyon, and McGee Creek Trestles have been restored for hiking, cycling, and equestrian use as part of the rail / trail experience. The historic Kinsol Trestle, reportedly the highest wooden rail trestle in Canada, is now open to the public. Please click here for more information on the Kinsol Trestle and access to the site.