• Eat Local Cowichan Lake

Gordon Bay Provincial Park

Gordon Bay Provincial ParkFrom Highway 1, turn onto Highway 18 north of Duncan and travel 26 km west to the Town of Lake Cowichan. Gordon Bay Park is located 14 km west of Lake Cowichan (2.5 km west of Honeymoon Bay) on Walton Road which splits off of South Shore Road just before the park.

This 49 hectare provincial park of second-growth Douglas fir forest is in one of Vancouver Islandís sunniest valleys. Enjoy the sandy beach and small, placid Gordon Bay, named for an early settler who lived on the north shore.

The forest was one of the first on the island to be logged, probably because of the relative ease with which the felled trees could be skidded to the lake and floated to the mills. Look for notched stumps. Springboards were sedged into those notches so the fallers could stand on them and work above the dense shrubbery. Todayís forest floor is covered with the same kinds of shrubs that made such hard work for the fallers: thimble berry, salal and salmonberry. You can also see vanilla leaf, foamflower and bunchberry which grow closer to the ground.

bluejayAs you walk through the forest, look for deer, raccoons and red squirrels. Bird watchers often see juncos, Stellerís jays and chestnut-backed chickadees as well as mergansers and golden eye ducks. Dolly Varden, rainbow and cutthroat trout live in the lake, and chum, coho and spring salmon spawn in the lake and in its tributaries. Steelhead spawn in the Cowichan River.

Gordan Bay is possibly the most popular campsite on Cowichan Lake. The 126-site campground has potable water, picnic areas, an adventure playground, a boat launch, hot showers and more. If you wish to camp here during the summer months it is recommended that you make reservations. Interpertive programs are held during July and August. It is the perfect family camping and picnic spot.

There is a large area along the shore next to the day use area that can be hiked easily. A trail follows the shoreline in the trees or you can hike over the rocks closer to the water. There are several small beaches and nice outlooks onto the lake a few minutes away from the day use area on this trail.

Licenced drivers can use their properly licensed motorcycles, trail bikes and mini-bikes on roads and parking lots only. Please keep the operation of all vehicles to a minimum and watch for children. Speed limit is 10 km per hour.

More information is available on the BC Parks website.

Gordon Bay

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