Although the club's primary emphasis is on hiking the trails of the Cowichan Valley, from time to time the club does venture to other locales. All hikes are led by experienced leaders who know the trails being hiked. All hikes are pet free. The club hikes year round with hikes that vary in skill level/endurance from average to advanced. The club usually meets Wednesdays at Saywell Park in Lake Cowichan (next to the Visitor Information Centre) to begin each hike.
In order to maximize fun and safety on the trail, the club follows the following guidelines:
• All hikes are pet free
• Registration with the hike leader at the start of the hike is mandatory
• Hiking boots and appropriate clothing are essential plus a pack with water, snacks, lunch, first aid supplies, a whistle, etc (click here for a suggested packing list)
• When car pooling to hike locations, there will be a suggested gas donation to the volunteer drivers (click here for suggested volunteer remuneration)
• For safety reasons, when on the trail participants are expected to follow directions of the hike leader(s)
• Hike leaders will determine the route of the hike
• Hike leaders may at their discretion terminate the hike for safety reasons (e.g.: inclement weather or deteriorated trail conditions)
• You are expected to hike within the group (e.g.: branching off the hiking route on your own is not permitted)
• If you need to leave the hike before it terminates, you must co-ordinate this with the hike leader and arrange for at least one other person to accompany you back to the trail head
• Leave nothing on the trail except your footprints
You may participate in two ways; as either a full-time member or on a drop-in basis. Yearly membership dues are $25.00, while drop-in costs are $3.00 per hike.
Full time membership offers you the following benefits:
• Emailed pre-hike description of hikes
• Savings on hiking fees
• Free attendance at hikes organized by The Cowichan Hikers in Duncan
• Invitation to quarterly planning meetings
• Invitation to all social events
Members are encouraged to contribute to the club by volunteering to lead or co-lead hikes, suggesting new trails, or other ideas for hikes. Help with social events which are held from time to time is also appreciated.
For more information on the Retreads Hiking Club, to register or to inquire about membership expiry dates contact Cowichan Lake Recreation at 250.749.6742 ext 0.