At the southern edge of the Cowichan Valley and bordering the communities of Cobble Hill and Mill Bay is the village of Shawnigan Lake.
A popular place to live and vacation, the area is renowned for its rugged beauty and its namesake, 7 kilometre long lake that provides the opportunity for fishing, swimming and sunbathing in the summer.
The village itself consists of gift shops, galleries, and a number of places to eat, including options for gourmet pizza, seafood, sushi and more. At the Shawnigan Lake Museum you’ll learn about the famous landscape artist, E.J. Hughes, who lived in these parts and defined the region with oil paintings that now regularly sell for six figures in international art markets. Shawnigan is also known for two independent boarding schools and OUR Ecovillage, a sustainable learning community and demonstration site that hosts a Zero Mile eatery.
Nearby is the recently restored Kinsol Trestle named for the short-lived “King Solomon Mine”. Restored in 2011, it is an engineering feat, even by today’s standards and remains one of the loftiest wooden railway trestles in the world.
If you’re travelling along the Trans Canada Highway, getting to Shawnigan Lake is easy:
- Heading north from Victoria: turn left on Shawnigan Lake Road, approximately 2 kilometres past the Malahat Chalet.
- Heading south from Duncan: turn right on Shawnigan Lake-Mill Bay Road, just before you reach Mill Bay.
Shawnigan Lake: 48.653709º-123.623156º