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Cowichan River Footpath

Marie CanyonThe Cowichan River Footpath connects all the river’s parks and makes for an excellent scenic hike along the meanders of the Cowichan River.

The footpath covers a 20 km stretch of river and is well signposted. It passes through treed areas, across meadows, or hugs the banks of the swift, winding river. Fishermen of all ages use it, fishing for steelhead and trout, but hikers are welcome, and the river is a great place for canoeing, picnicking and swimming. The footpath was constructed by the Cowichan Fish and Game Association between 1960 and 1969 with the cooperation of government, industry and private individuals. The Swinging Bridge at Skutz Falls is quite a feature, linking the tow sections of the Footpath. The down-river section on the south side is the more frequented trail and is well brushed out. The up-river section on the north side is a more overgrown trail.

Eastern (down river) trailhead:Going northward to Duncan on Highway 1, turn left onto Allenby. At the end on Allenby turn left onto Indian Rd and then right onto Vaux Rd which is just before the Glenora Community Hall. Vaux Rd becomes Robertson Rd which proceeds to the eastern (down river) trailhead at the Cowichan Fish and Game Association Clubhouse.
Western (up river) trailhead: Turn left onto the Lake Cowichan Highway 18 which starts north of Duncan on Highway 1. After approximately 20 minutes of driving you should see signs posted about Skultz Falls. Follow the signs to Skutz Falls for the eastern (up river) trailhead.

Hiking Times:

  • From western end of the trail to Mile 66 CNR Trestle, about five hours.
  • It takes about 6 1/2 hours to hike the entire length.

No vehicles are allowed on the footpath.

BEWARE: The Cowichan River is dangerous and treacherous. Some access has been allowed through land owned by MacMillan Bloedel Ltd. When hiking please observe all notices about private property and the lighting of fires. Camping is only allowed on Crown Land. The trail is well maintained but no emergency aid is readily available over much of the path. Please travel prepared and respect the areas which pass through private property.

Skutz Falls Rapids

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