Mt. Tzouhalem Ecological Reserve
The big land mass located just east of Cowichan Bay is called Mt. Tzouhalem. Not only is it a great place to hike and mountain bike, it also has a little-known ecological reserve at the north end of the park that’s well worth a visit. Here you’ll see some of the finest examples of woodlands and wildflower meadows in all of B.C. The trailhead parking lot is located at the end of Kaspa Road, Duncan.
Moonlight Kayaking in Maple Bay
If you’re moved by the light of a full moon, wait until you see it glisten on the waters of Maple Bay at midnight. During every full moon, from April to September, “Wilderness Kayaking” guides kayaking tours on this enchanting body of water in the Salish Sea, just east of Salt Spring Island. Will you see wildlife? Let’s just say that the resident sea otters can be very chatty and social during a full moon. Snacks and all equipment are provided.
Witness Some Waterfalls In Ladysmith
Go take a hike! Just outside of Ladysmith is the ebullient Christie Falls, located above the Ladysmith Sportsmen Club Bush Creek Hatchery. To be sure, it’s quite a hike that results with a photo op of epic proportions. For more info and directions, visit http://pureoutside.com/node/261
“Wine is sunlight, held together by water”.
Attributed to Galileo Galilei, what this quote might have meant was, “The radiant Cowichan Valley is a great place for a wine tour.” Well, as it turns out, many of the Cowichan Valley wineries are opening up their tasting rooms for the season. Yay! By way of “Cheers Cowichan Tours”, you can choose from full-day or afternoon tours. Places to consider include Averill Creek Vineyard, Blue Grouse Winery, Cherry Point Vineyard, Damali Estate Winery, Merridale Cidery, Rocky Creek Winery, Silverside Farm & Winery, Unsworth Winery, Venturi Schulze and Vigneti Zanatta Winery. And yes, the price includes tastings.
Duncan Farmers Market
With 180 vendors, the renowned Duncan Farmers Market is spread out over several city blocks in downtown Duncan and takes place every Saturday. This local institution subscribes to a “you make it, you bake it, you grow it, you sell it” philosophy. Here, you’ll find the freshest local fruits, vegetables, baking, jams and jellies, honey, crafts, clothing and more! The 100 mile diet is more than just a fad here; in many cases the fresh consumables offered at these markets are the same as the ones served at Cowichan’s countless restaurants and bistros. Spring/Summer 9am-2pm
22nd Annual Wooden Boat Festival, Maple Bay Marina
There was a time (way back when), when any small boat worth its salt was made of hand-hewn wood. And that’s just what you’ll see at the annual Wooden Boat Festival held at Maple Bay Marina on May 20th and 21st. Now in its 22nd year, the festival celebrates the passion of owners and enthusiasts of exquisitely crafted wooden boats. Display vessels include converted work boats, sailboats, rowboats, kayaks, classic monks and Chris Crafts. There’s also the ever-popular RC model boat circuit in an oversize pool. Admission is free both days
The Cowichan Valley Wine and Arts Festival 2017
Also on May 20th and 21st is the The Cowichan Valley Wine and Arts Festival. The two day affair features eight wineries, one cidery, 30 artists and musical acts including Ed Peekeekoot, Huckleberry Holler, Eileen McGann, Christy Vanden, David K, TL Douglas, Laurel Collins and more.