North of Shawnigan Lake is the rolling farmland and craggy hillsides that comprise the community of Cobble Hill.

To get there, divert west from the Trans Canada Highway and get yourself on the winding country roads which will take you past working farms, vineyards and orchards. All the while you’ll be transported back a century or two when local farms fed the whole Cowichan Valley. Midway along Cameron Taggart Road is Merridale Road, which will lead you to Canada’s first estate cidery.

Once you drive past the centre of Cobble Hill, don’t blink, or you’ll miss the small community that’s home to a number of shops and the site of the annual Cobble Hill Fair, founded in 1909. Near the fairgrounds is a trailhead from which you can hike or bike to the summit of Cobble Hill Mountain and enjoy sweeping views of the Gulf Islands and beyond.

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