The eastern edge of the Cowichan Valley is where three major rivers empty into the Salish Sea: the Koksilah River, the Chemainus River and the Cowichan River.
All three of these rivers provide the opportunity for fishing, whitewater kayaking and in the summer months, swimming and tubing in refreshing, crystal clear water.
The largest of these is the Cowichan River, which flows from 30-kilometre-long Cowichan Lake, home to the town of Lake Cowichan, the community of Youbou (pronounced “yoo-bow”), Mesachie Lake and Honeymoon Bay. Once a focus of lumber operations, Cowichan Lake is now a freshwater playground famous for its houseboating, kayaking, fishing, camping and “tubing”.
Tubing is a popular summer leisure activity that involves reclining in a large inflated inner tube and gently going with the flow downstream. From the weir in Lake Cowichan, it takes roughly three hours to reach Little Beach – a bend in the river approximately 3 kilometres from your starting point. Yes, it’s family friendly and a great way to look for eagles, kingfishers, osprey, deer and, if you bring goggles, aquatic creatures too. There are a number of companies that can provide rentals and shuttle you back to your starting point.
The Weir: 48.823454º -124.060691º
Little China Beach: 48.831617º -124.032014º