Friendship Park Fisheries Trail
Friendship Park Fisheries Trail is a wooded trail that is located opposite the Payless gas station on South Shore Road in Lake Cowichan. The path winds along a small creek past Palsson elementary. There are several bridges and benches. Friendship park is dedicated to the people of the twin city of Lake Cowichan, Ohtaki, Japan. The park was made possible by the cooperative efforts of many different local organizations. Every year an exchange program is held and a delegation of area students and teachers visits Ohtaki.
The Kiwanis Club sponsors Central Park alongside the river in downtown Lake Cowichan on South Shore road. There is a fountain, picnic tables, outdoor stage, and washroom facilities. The park has a nice green field and a row of fir trees next to the river which provide shade to the picnic tables. The fountain is in honour of Dr. William Carpentier who grew up in Lake Cowichan and was a physician to the astronauts of the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969. Lake Cowichan’s war memorial is located beside the stage. Lastly, a blue heron sculpture perches on a stump and watches the river flow by in the park.
Sponsored by the Kinsmen Club, “The duck pond” is located on Park Road off North Shore Road in Lake Cowichan. Here you can talk a relaxing dip into the Cowichan River just after it leaves Cowichan Lake. There are floating docks for swimmers, picnic tables, benches and a playground. There are no lifeguards on duty but the river flows quite slowly past the swimming area and is fairly shallow. The bridge in the park will take you into downtown Lake Cowichan. The year 2000 grad tree, a golden deodar cedar (native to the Himalayas), is on the opposite bank in Lake Cowichan as well.
Located at the “foot of the lake” where the Cowichan River begins, next to the tourist information booth in downtown Lake Cowichan on South Shore Road. There is lots of parking, public washrooms and picnic facilities. The Kaatza Station Museum is in the park as well and offers a look back into the history of the region. The park is named after Vera and Jack Saywell. Jack Saywell was a high school principal from 1937-64. His wife, Vera, was a kindergarten teacher. A plaque under the park’s sign commemorates both their efforts in educating area youth.
Trans Canada Trail
The Trans Canada Trail passes through Lake Cowichan on its route between Nanaimo and Victoria. This section is fairly easy hiking as it runs along abandoned railway lines whose tracks have been removed and trestles have been converted to bridges. Going east the trail runs parallel to the Cowichan River to Duncan and then north to Nanaimo. South it goes west of the Malahat Range to Sooke and then onto Victoria, BC. More information on this section of the trail is available on the BC Trans Canada Trail Homepage.