The Honeymoon Bay Ecological Reserve (formerly the Honeymoon Bay Wildflower Reserve) provides a small circuit of easy walking trails revealing an abundance of spring wildflowers such as pink fawn lilies, bleeding hearts, violets and white trilliums from April through to the end of June. Located on South Shore Road, approximately 2.5 km west of Honeymoon Bay village. Keep left when the road divides at Walton Road and pass March Meadows Golf Course.
Visit a working forest and learn about forest management at the Cowichan Lake Forest Research Station on Forestry Road in Mesachie Lake, established in 1929 by the BC Forest Service. Over 200 examples of “international” trees imported from all over the world are studied here, and the experimental station has become renowned for its work in forest genetics and tree physiology.
Small Towns of Canada: Listen to Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s episode on the Cowichan Lake community of Honeymoon Bay, British Columbia (Radio Canada, Programme E-249), which describes how Honeymoon Bay got its name, and other interesting tidbits of information. Produced in 1963 and hosted by the Museum of Canadian Music.
Cowichan River Provincial Park is a 750-hectare area stretching almost 20 kilometres, from the village of Lake Cowichan to Glenora, just south of Duncan. This spectacular Provincial Park protects significant stretches of the Cowichan River, known as a first class recreational corridor. The park is internationally recognized for its wild salmon and steelhead trout, and for the historic Cowichan River footpath that winds through dense Douglas-fir and Western Hemlock forest.
River viewing points at Skutz Falls and Marie Canyon are prime locations to watch spawning salmon in the fall. Marie Canyon day-use overlooks the Cowichan River as it surges through a spectacular sheer rock canyon. Skutz Falls offers magnificent views of river rapids and a man-made fish ladder. Skutz Falls is accessed from Riverbottom Road, or from the Cowichan Valley Highway. The trail leads downstream into the sheer-sided 2-km long Marie Canyon.
Stoltz Pool has a picnic site overlooking the Cowichan River from a grassy area nestled in a grove of old big leaf maple trees. The Burma Star Memorial Cairn, a replica of the Kohima Monument in Myanmar (Burma) is located here. The cairn was erected by the Burma Star Association to commemorate and tell the story of Major Hoey and the Allied Second World War campaign in East Asia.
Stroll along the Cowichan River Footpath in Cowichan River Provincial Park, a sensational 20-km hiking trail following the scenic Cowichan River from Glenora to Skutz Falls. Originally built for anglers, the Cowichan River Footpath is now a popular spot for hikers and naturalists.
Visit Gordon Bay Provincial Park – the rewards for being here in April and May in advance of the summer crowds include having your choice of campsites and witnessing the spectacular display of wildflowers that begin blooming in April.
Golf: March Meadows Golf and Country Club on South Shore Road in Honeymoon Bay offers a challenging semi-private nine-hole course and the original home of Canadian LPGA golfer Dawn Coe-Jones. Par 36, rating 71.4, slope 123. Vancouver Island Golf Vacations.
Hiking: Mesachie Mountain Trail is a 1-hour easy hike one way, providing excellent views from the top. To reach the trailhead, go north on Forest Road and cross bridge. The trail to Mesachie Mountain is to the right.
Gravel roadways from Cowichan Lake provide access to Bamfield and Port Renfrew, trailheads for the world-famous West Coast Trail.
Experienced wilderness paddlers and windsurfers can explore Nitinat Lake and the smaller lakes in the Nitinat Triangle.
Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park is home to some of the world’s largest spruce trees. Take a side trip to this old-growth forest, located southwest of Honeymoon Bay, and view first hand the pristine wilderness that has made British Columbia so famous. The Carmanah Valley is accessed from various directions via the Caycuse River Bridge, and can be reached by vehicle from Lake Cowichan and Honeymoon Bay.
To the east of Honeymoon Bay is the small community of Mesachie Lake, and the nearby village of Lake Cowichan is the gateway to some of the most spectacular camping, hiking, and fishing available on Vancouver Island.
The Cowichan Valley ranges north across the Malahat Ridge from Victoria through the Cowichan and Chemainus Valleys to Nanaimo, including a cross-island trip to Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park.
The Pacific Marine Circle Tour is an excellent way to explore the historic West Coast of Vancouver Island. The wilderness route traces the coastline from Victoria through Sooke and Port Renfrew, continuing onto the Cowichan Valley and looping back down the Trans-Canada Highway via Duncan to Victoria.
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