Shawnigan Lake B & B
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Activities

Shawnigan Lake is part of the Cowichan region. "Cowichan" means "the warm land" in the native language of the region, as it has some of the best climate in Canada. The Cowichan region is well-known for its natural beauty and offers many recreation opportunities. We hope you have an opportunity to explore some of these beautiful places during your stay with us!

Parks and Similar

This sandy beach is a five-minute walk to the east from the B&B. This beach is popular with families.
Mason's Beach
Mason's Beach

Williams River Park

This is a small creekside park with a partially shaded grassy area for relaxing and picnicking. This is a great place to go barefoot, with its refreshingly moist grass! This park is very close to Mason's Beach, near the corner of Renfrew Road and Shawnigan Lake Road.

The lush grass of Williams River Park
The lush grass of Williams River Park

Shawnigan Wharf Park
A popular sandy beach and wharf for diving into the lake. A 20-minute walk to the east from the B&B, in the village.

Kinsol Trestle
This restored wooden trestle is apparently the largest of its kind in Canada. Once used for the railway, it is now part of the Trans-Canada Trail and is a 20-minute walk from the trestle parking lot. It provides a spectacular crossing of the Koksilah River. A 10-minute drive to the west from the B&B.

Kinsol Trestle
Kinsol Trestle

Koksilah River Provincial Park
This small park is 5km to the west of Kinsol Trestle. The last section of the road to the park is a well-maintained wide gravel and dirt road. The best features of this place are the peace and the cool shade of the trees. The water is cold but some people enjoy swimming in the river. There is a trail on the north side of the river to Kinsol Trestle.

Cooling the feet in Koksilah River
Cooling the feet in Koksilah River

Old Mill Park
A quiet local park with one of the best beaches on the east side of Shawnigan Lake, popular with locals. There is also a small private lookout set on the lake, with benches, which is great for privacy and a place to relax. A fun way to get there is to walk along the old E&N rail line next to the lake, about 3/4 hour walk to the south from the B&B. 

Looking northwest from Old Mill Park
Looking northwest from Old Mill Park

West Shawnigan Lake Provincial Park
This is a small but beautiful and peaceful park set on the lake. There are large trees, a large field of grass and a place to swim. The beach is narrow and not sandy. A 10-minute drive to the west from the B&B.

West Shawnigan Lake Park
West Shawnigan Lake Park

Old Baldy Mountain
Spectacular views of Shawnigan Lake can be seen from this summit on the east side of the lake. A 10-minute drive to the south from the B&B. The apparent (poorly-named) trail entrance is on the East Shawnigan Lake Road across from the entrance to Radway Road, but it does not go to the summit of the mountain; it is a 1km long trail that ends at Baldy Mountain Road. The real trail that goes to the summit is found part way up the mountain near the end of Strathcona Heights Road, with a yellow steel gate at the entrance; this is a gravel access road which is used to maintain the communications tower near the summit. 

Cherry Point Nature Park
This is a spectacularly beautiful beach setting, especially during low tide. The park is very peaceful with a great view of the southwest end of Saltspring Island. The parking lot is small so the best time to visit is early in the morning. A 20-minute drive to the north from the B&B.

Looking east at Cherry Point towards Saltspring Island
Looking east at Cherry Point towards Saltspring Island
Manley Creek Park and Granfield Way

This is a small and very peaceful park with great natural energy and offering great shade from the sun. Granfield Way has trees on the south side with a spectacular view of the ocean and Saltspring Island on the north side. Manley Creek Park has picnic tables, beach access and lots of trees, and is entered through Granfield Way. Granfield Way passes through a fairly large and private nature conservation area. The easiest entrance to Granfield Way is near the end of Aros Road. This is a great place to cool down and relax on a hot summer day! A 20-minute drive to the north from the B&B, close to Cherry Point.

Looking east from the cool shade of Granfield Way
Looking east from the cool shade of Granfield Way

Bamberton Provincial Park
This park is a peaceful place to visit, located just to the south of Mill Bay. The park has good facilities and is popular with families. The beach is shallow, and on a hot summer day the ocean is warm enough for swimming! A 15-minute drive from the B&B.

Relaxing on the beach at Bamberton
Relaxing on the beach at Bamberton

Malahat Lookouts
The Malahat Drive is a mountain highway between Victoria west and Mill Bay. It offers spectacular views of Finlayson Arm, Saanich Inlet, Patricia Bay, Saanich Peninsula and the greater region. There are two lookouts on the east side of the Malahat drive going north. Each offers unique views. A 20-minute drive to the south from the B&B.

View from northernmost Malahat lookout
View from northernmost Malahat lookout

Spectacle Lake Provincial Park 
This is a small lake high up on the west side of the Malahat drive. The 2km trail is easy and the forest and lake are beautiful, especially on a sunny summer morning. This place makes absorbing the peace and healing energy of nature very accessible, without having to trek a long way. A hidden gem only 20 minutes to the south of the B&B.

Looking east in the morning at Spectacle Lake
Looking east in the morning at Spectacle Lake

Cobble Hill Mountain Recreation Area
The trails on the east side of the mountain are wide and well-kept. Very good viewpoints are found on the east and west sides of the summit. Good for a day hike. A 10-minute drive to the north from the B&B.

A view of Cowichan Valley from Cobble Hill Mountain
A view of Cowichan Valley from Cobble Hill Mountain

Kingburne Park
This is one of the most secluded and less frequented of the parks. The highlights of the park are deep healing peace and an excellent trail leading down to one of the best swimming places we have seen, on Koksilah River. This section of the river is like a deep and wide pond with calm and clear water.  Located at the end of Gray Lane, which is almost at the end of Kingburne Drive in Cobble Hill. A 15-minute drive to the north of the B&B for a unique experience.

Koksilah River at Kingburne Park
Koksilah River at Kingburne Park

Kingzett Lake ("The Quarry")
This is a former rock quarry and is a popular swimming spot near Thain Road, with unusually clear water. For the adventurous! This private property and should not be confused with Quarry Nature Park, also located in the Cobble Hill area. Use at your own risk. A 10-minute drive to the north of the B&B.

Bright Angel Park
This is a very peaceful and not-so-frequented park hidden away in Cowichan Valley between Shawnigan Lake and Duncan, off of Koksilah Road. It is a great place to enjoy on a sunny day on the way to Alderlea Farm CafĂ©. A 20-minute drive to the north from the B&B.

Bright Angel Park
Bright Angel Park

Maple Grove Park - Cowichan Bay Esturary Dike Walk
The giant trees at Maple Grove Park are beautiful and unusual. There is a flat and enjoyable walk going clockwise around the dike at the estuary starting at the park. The trail is incomplete; the rest of the walk is along the edge of a farm field. A 20-minute drive to the north from the B&B.

Farm field encircled by Cowichan Estuary walk
Farm field encircled by Cowichan Estuary walk

Stoney Hill Park
This park is located west across a channel from Saltspring Island and has spectacular views looking south. Located in the Maple Bay area. The picture in the heading of this page is a view from Stoney Hill. The hike can be longer than expected but the views are worth the effort! A 30-minute drive to the north from the B&B.

Osborne Bay Park
A short trail from the park entrance takes you down to the ocean. This is a humble park but a very peaceful and beautiful one, with a great view of Saltspring Island. This park is in Crofton, about a 35 minute drive from the B&B.

A quiet evening at Osborne Bay Park
A quiet evening at Osborne Bay Park

Arbutus Park at Youbou
This is a very popular, well-maintained and attractive park designed for swimming on the beautiful Cowichan Lake, about a 1-hour drive northwest from the B&B. There is a sandy beach, a well-designed wharf for swimming with a slide and lifeguards on duty. The lake environment with surrounding mountains is uniquely peaceful and expansive, especially during weekday mornings when there are fewer visitors.

Arbutus Park at Youbou
Arbutus Park at Youbou

Attractive Seaside Towns and Marinas in the Cowichan Region

Mill Bay
Has a modernized marina with bistro and our most frequented shopping centre. A 10-minute drive to the east from the B&B.

Cowichan Bay
A very popular tourist destination, with many stores and restaurants on the bay. A 15-minute drive to the north from the B&B.

Maple Bay
A beautiful quiet bay with marina, a 1/2 hour drive to the north from the B&B.

Genoa Bay
A beautiful quiet bay with marina, a 3/4 hour drive to the north from the B&B. The marina is at the end of the road with absolutely no traffic noise, giving the nervous system much-needed rest!


Miscellaneous Activities

Shawnigan Lake Museum
A really wonderful museum, small and quaint but big in content, including a small movie theatre with short films. Located in the village, a 15-minute walk from the B&B.

Alpine Stables
Trail rides of Cobble Hill Mountain, rock quarry and rain forest. Also offering lessons and riding camps.

Blue Dog Kayaking and Paddleboarding
Adventures leaving from Mill Bay at the Marina.

Coastal Bliss Adventures
Kayak and canoe tours starting from Cowichan Bay.

Ocean Ecoventures Whale Watching
Whale watching in Cowichan Bay. See Orca Whales, Biggs Killer Whales, Humpback Whales, Grey Whales and Minke Whales. Also encounter Sea Lions, Bald Eagles, Harbour Seals, Dalls and Harbour Porpoise as well as a myriad of marine birds. Tours and private charters departing daily.

B.C. Forest Discovery Centre
"The BC Forest Discovery Centre is a 100-acre, open air museum with an operational railway in Duncan, British Columbia. The Centre features forest and marsh trails with excellent bird watching opportunities. The story of BC's forest industry is shared through exhibits, heritage buildings, and logging artifacts. Special events are offered throughout the year that include family activities and workshops for adults and seniors." A 25-minute drive to the north from the B&B.

B.C. Forest Discovery Centre train
B.C. Forest Discovery Centre train