Being outside and exploring nature instills a sense of adventure in children (and adults); it encourages bravery, sparks curiosity and builds imagination. The Cowichan region is full of wild spaces and interesting walks that will keep the whole family engaged. So whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a beginner looking to spend more time outside, there are walks for all experience levels, ages and mobility in Cowichan.
The Kinsol Trestle in Shawnigan Lake is the perfect spot for parents with very young children to start exploring. The Trestle is situated along the Great Trail, that is built on the historic railway, making the pathway wide, smooth and excellent for families with strollers or little tykes on bikes. From the parking lot on Glen Eagles Road, the trek to the Trestle is just 1.2 kilometres. The area around the impressive structure has picnic tables and benches, making it a great spot to stop, snack and explore.
Cobble Hill Mountain
Older kids with longer legs will love the endless weaving pathways of Cobble Hill Mountain. The park offers 26-kilometres of single and double-track trails that allow you to create your own expedition to the summit while exploring mountain’s various viewpoints. The routes are well-marked with animal signage to spark your imagination as you traverse this unique west coast ecosystem. With so many trails to choose from, your family can have a new adventure on every trip.
Learn more about the trails on Cobble Hill Mountain via this map.
Heart Lake Loop
Spend time with your teenagers by hiking the Heart Lake Loop in Ladysmith. This two-hour hike is a challenging 6.2-kilometre loop that will really get your heart pumping. Let the teens lead the way up the grinding ‘staircase’ to the lake and remember to slow down enough to enjoy the views of Ladysmith and the Gulf Islands. Add in the Holland Creek Trail loop for more ambitious teens who can benefit from the extra 5.8-kilometres.
This route on All Trails will take you from the parking lot at Holland Creek, up to Heart Lake and back.
No matter where you choose to adventure, make sure you take time to slow down and enjoy the journey together.