In early 1940s, the Hillcrest Lumber Company faced a serious problem. It had cut all the trees in the area around Sahtlam and needed a new location for its mill. In the spring of 1942 Mesachie Lake was born when the Hillcrest Lumber Company moved its mill and company houses to the shore of Cowichan Lake. In August 6, 1968 the mill closed because of a dwindling timber supply and then burned in 1970.
Today, despite doom and gloom reports that Mesachie Lake village would disappear when the mill closed the community continues to thrive. Mesachie Lake is approxiamately 10 minutes drive west of the Town of Lake Cowichan on South Shore Road. Continuing another 10 minute drive will get you to Honeymoon Bay.
The rows of quaint company built houses, tree lined roads, mountain backdrop and lake access to Bear Lake makes Mesachie Lake a fine little village. Mesachie Lake also has a baseball diamond right in the Skydome Park with a nice playground next to it.
Points of Interest
Mesachie Lake Firefighters
The Mesachie Lake Firefighters are stationed in a small building in the village. The firehall still uses the original 1946 International fire truck that was bought soon after the Hillcrest Lumber Company moved to Mesachie Lake. Since 1979, the annual Firemen’s Softball Tournament has been hosted by the Mesachie Lake firefighters in late June at the baseball diamond in Mesachie. This event was originally created to raise money for the firehall but now all proceeds are donated to Muscular Dystrophy research.
Forest Research Station
Established in 1929 by the BC Forest Service, the Cowichan Lake Experimental Station has become renown for its work in forest genetics and tree physiology. The site was chosen for its close proximity to Bald Mountain lookout tower and the presence of a considerable acreage of 20 year old “fine, thrifty Douglas fir.” More Information
During the early years of the community fruit trees were distributed to residents in 1944 by the Hillcrest Lumber Company. The company continued this policy of providing fruit trees to all new buildings for quite some time. Today, they line the streets of Mesachie and are recognized as an important heritage landmark of the community. Plaques have been erected to label the trees.
Camp Imadene is located on the shores of Mesachie Lake. It is a summer camp/year round-camp offering overnight camps, day camps, family camps, and women’s outdoor adventure. Visit imadene.com to learn more.
Although there is no public beach access at Mesachie Lake itself, Bear Lake is also located within the community and offers an excellent location to swim, paddleboard, or to kayak. Since Bear Lake is much smaller than the nearby Cowichan Lake, its waters are far less wavy and therefore easier for beginner kayakers or stand-up paddleboarders. It is connected by a channel to Cowichan Lake, so water-users still have the opportunity to journey to the larger lake.
Pacific Marine Road
Mesachie Lake is located on the Pacific Marine Circle Route. The Pacific Marine Circle Route is a route which stretches from Victoria to Duncan to Lake Cowichan to Mesachie Lake to Port Renfrew to Sooke and then back to Victoria. It is a 4.5 hour drive with no stops (but you will take stops so we recommend considering making it an overnight trip). Pacific Marine Road begins in Mesachie Lake and leads to Port Renfrew. 29 km south of Mesachie Lake is the Harris Creek Spruce, an old growth sitka spruce tree that is quite worth stopping to see.