Cover Image By Henhouse Photo Co.
Not ready for summer to end? Well, in Cowichan the summertime temperatures stick around long after the leaves begin to change. Cowichan is not just Canada’s only Mediterranean climate, but it also translates to “land warmed by the sun.’’ With this warmer weather, our visitors and locals alike continue to enjoy Cowichan’s outdoors by packing up a picnic of local food products and heading out to take in a local view.
From breathtaking views of vineyards and beautiful beaches along the sea, to laidback lakeside parks, a picnic in Cowichan is one worth sharing. Grab your basket and your blanket and check out these Cowichan picnic spots.
Pair Wine With a View at a Cowichan Vineyard
What do you get when you pair a glass of refreshing Gewurztraminer with a delicious assortment of savoury treats from Hudson’s on First? The answer? An unforgettable afternoon at Averill Creek Vineyard.
Call ahead to Averill Creek to have a picnic basket delivered for your visit. Pair with a glass and a seat on the patio with stunning views overlooking the stunning Cowichan Valley.
Averill Creek isn’t the only winery to enjoy a picnic at – head to the Southern part of Cowichan to Rocky Creek Winery for glass of award-winning wine. Rocky Creek encourages visitors to grab a glass and take a seat on their outdoor patio or in a colourful lawn chair so you can really sit back and enjoy the experience. Rocky Creek offers a selection of local cheeses from Cure Artisan Meats, as well as a marvellous view of the vineyards that you have to thank for your wine.
Sip & savour by the Sea at Kinsman Beach
Prefer a picnic by the sea? A favourite is Chemainus’ Kinsman Beach.
This spot is set perfectly along the coast, giving you an unforgettable view of the surrounding waters, particularly at sunset. It offers a number of tables set up above the beach and just behind is a playground that’s perfect for any little ones tagging along.
Once you’ve taken in the gorgeous scenery surrounding the town, head in and stroll through the streets to see the equally magnificent Chemainus murals. These murals cover the town and have played a large part in making the town of Chemainus the cultural icon that it is.
Experience the Rushing River at Bright Angel Park
Pay a visit to Bright Angel Park to experience the subtle rumble of the Koksilah river and the surrounding woods that lend some shade on a warm day.
Once you’ve finished picnicking, pack up and check out another feature of the park – the suspension bridge! This bridge is a popular spot to get a unique view of the Koksilah River running below and makes for a great photo opp.
Get the Lay of the Land in Lake Cowichan’s Central Park
If you prefer to picnic by calm waters, set up at Central Park in Lake Cowichan. Located in the heart of the town, this quaint park has picnic tables set up right along the Cowichan River, creating an idyllic spot to sit down with a good book or a great group of friends.
If you start feeling the Warmland sun you’re a minute’s walk from Deep Fried Ice Cream (yes, you read that right!), the hottest way to cool off here in the lake town.
Change Paces at Ladysmith’s Transfer Beach
Ladysmith not only offers First Avenue, recently named Canada’s Great Street by the Canadian Institute of Planners, this seaside town is also home to a spectacular beach.
Transfer beach offers grassy seating areas, a playground on the water park for the kids, and of course, a beautiful oceanside beach with stunning views of the local bay. In addition to tables, a grassy slope offers plenty of shade for those looking for a seat out of the sun.
Ready for the cherry on top? Or should we say, the cranberry on top, because to complete your picnic prep, stop in at Yellow Point Cranberries farm and pick up some of their locally produced cranberry preservatives or a crisp cranberry salad for a refreshing kick on a hot summer’s day.
Wade in the Water at Bamberton Provincial Park
Tucked away in the Bamberton Provincial Park is a scenic spot to sit down for a bite to eat with friends and family. The Bamberton beach offers plenty of seating making it easy to find a table or bench to enjoy the picturesque view of the Saanich Inlet.
Looking to have a picnic on your own private island? Well, bring a couple towels or chairs (and be prepared to get a bit wet) – during low tide a small sandbar breaks through the water just a few meters from shore, making it the perfect picnic spot.
Take in Canada’s Tallest Wooden Trestle
Last on our list of prime picnic locations is the historic Kinsol Trestle.
As you arrive and make your way to Canada’s tallest wooden trestle, take in the panoramic view (and great picture spot) of the surrounding forest and the Koksilah River running below. Then choose from one of the two picnic table landings, right below the trestle, which really gives you a whole new sense of the scale of the Kinsol Trestle.
Alternatively, take a walk down one of the trails that run along the river and set up a private picnic spot a few minutes away in the Koksilah Provincial Park to enjoy the sights and sounds of the forest.
These are just a handful of great spots in Cowichan to set up for a picnic in Cowichan. Thankfully we have no shortage of mountains, lakes, rivers, and beaches to be explored year-round, so remember to pack a few tasty local treats and a camera to capture all your adventures!