Summer is here, and that means road trip season has begun! This year as you’re travelling up and down Vancouver Island take some time to explore some of Cowichan’s most iconic spots. From a towering timber trestle to floating walkways and quaint, photogenic communities, Cowichan has ample opportunities to fill your Instagram feed with colourful memories.
This summer, post photos at each of our seven iconic locations on Instagram using #ExploreCowichan and #IconicCowichan and be entered to win awesome Cowichan prizes (full contest rules available here).
If you can make it to all seven locations, you’ll be entered to win the Iconic Cowichan Getaway Package that includes two nights at the Moon Water Lodge soaking in the spectacular views and soaring eagles over the inlet, a whale watching excursion for two with Ocean Ecoventures, and a tour and tasting at Unsworth Vineyards!
Can’t make it to all seven? No worries, we have excellent participation prizes, and all you have to do is visit one of the seven locations to be entered!
Here’s our list of iconic locations, happy posting!
Malahat Summit Viewpoint
If you’re coming from Victoria, the Malahat Summit is the first look you’ll get of the Cowichan region. After winding your way out of the city, through Goldstream Park and climbing the Malahat, take a moment to breathe in the fresh mountain air at the Malahat Lookout. With views of the Cowichan Valley and the Saanich Inlet, this is your first opportunity to slow down and savour the Cowichan life!
Standing at an impressive 44-metres high and 187-metres long, the Kinsol Trestle is one of the tallest free-standing timber trestles in the world. Although hundreds of these were built all over the continent, this trestle is unique because of its enormous size, and its unusual seven-degree curve. Located in Shawnigan Lake, it is also part of the Trans Canada Trail, making it a perfect spot to stretch your legs during a summer road trip. Snap a photo of the rows upon rows of timber crisscrossing across the Kinsol River or share a photo of the views from the deck of the trestle.
With a quaint seaside strip of shops, the iconic fisherman’s wharf, and the beautiful estuary full of wildlife, Cowichan Bay is a photographer’s dream. This is a must stop location on any road trip itinerary, with a variety of restaurants, shops, activities and wildlife ready to view (and capture on camera!).
Duncan Train Tracks
The Charles Hoey, VC, Memorial Park in Downtown Duncan offers a great photo opp. The park is home to the Duncan Train station (now the Cowichan Valley Museum and Archives) and the iconic red Caboose. From June 28th – August 5th the park is also home to one of the stages of 39 Days of July, a free summer music festival. Stroll through Duncan’s shops, listen to some live music and snap some incredible pictures!
The streets of Chemainus are lined with murals. Follow the footsteps through this picturesque seaside town to take in all the art on display and learn more about the history of Chemainus and Vancouver Island. As you’re collecting your images, be sure to visit the labyrinth in Water Wheel Park.
Ladysmith’s Historic First Avenue
In 2017, Ladysmith’s First Avenue was awarded Canada’s Great Street title by the Canadian Institute of Planners. The interesting building design, landscaping, public art and roomy sidewalks make it an ideal place to pass a summer afternoon and to snap some photos.
This summer take some time to enjoy lake life in Lake Cowichan. Saywell Park is located at the foot of the lake right as you drive into town. From here tubers can launch on their float down the river, swimmers can refresh in the lake and picnickers can lay out on the lawn. For spectacular photos walk out to the new floating walkway. Accessible from Lakeview Public Beach (also a great swimming spot), drive down South Shore Road out of town and take a right on Lakeview Park Road. Or you can walk to this spot from Saywell Park by following the signs down Point Ideal Drive.