Category   Houseboating - Vancouver Island, B.C.
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Houseboating on Freshwater lakes in BC
By day, houseboats are the perfect vacation home base, a hub for the day's exploring, sightseeing, swimming, fishing trips, water skiing and other water sports. Later, slip your houseboat into a secluded cove and tie up for the night. Enjoy a peaceful evening with family or friends and watch the moonlight reflecting on the water as dazzling stars appear. Be the captain of your own ship as you steer your vacation through magnificent scenery and miles of secluded shoreline. Houseboating is offered in the following regions of Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast:


Sproat Lake, Port Alberni, Vancouver Island
Sproat Lake in the Alberni Valley is noted for its warm water, and is favoured for fishing, swimming and water skiing. Sproat Lake has a number of popular attractions, including a wonderful beach, and the provincial park on the lake shore is a popular family camping destination in summer.

Cowichan Lake, Vancouver Island

Lake Cowichan, Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island
Proudly referred to as the Warm Land, Cowichan Lake is one of the largest bodies of fresh water on Vancouver Island.

"Kaatza" or "The Big Lake", as it's known by its native inhabitants, Cowichan Lake is over 30 kilometres long and one of the largest bodies of freshwater on Vancouver Island. Houseboaters can cruise on crystal clear water along 150 kilometres of shoreline adjacent to the famed Carmanah Valley and the Walbran old growth forests.

This expansive water wilderness is located in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island, adjacent to the famed Carmanah Valley and the Walbran old growth forests.

Cruise the approximately 150 kilometres of shoreline on the crystal clear waters of Cowichan Lake. See the bald eagles flying and the deer roaming this magnificent area embraced by surrounding mountains covered with lush dense green forest. You can really experience the natural beauty of it all.

The 25-mile length of Cowichan Lake, with its mountain views and many sheltered bays, makes for a perfect backdrop to a most pleasurable BC cruise, guaranteeing a vacation of a lifetime with family and friends. Houseboat rentals are based at the Cowichan Lake Marina in the village of Lake Cowichan.

Nearby Attractions
Community of Lake Cowichan
Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park
March Meadows 9-hole golf course
Kaatza Station Museum
Cowichan Lake Marina - fully serviced

Recreation Sites on Cowichan Lake
Lakeview Park Campground - owned and operated by the Town of Lake Cowichan
Gordon Bay Provincial Park

Hiking around Cowichan Lake

Cowichan River Footpath winds along the scenic Cowichan River from Glenora to Skutz Falls, crossing the river there and follows the north bank almost to Cowichan Lake. The footpath takes hikers along some of the most scenic river stretches on Vancouver Island.

Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park is located adjacent to the West Coast Trail unit of Pacific Rim National Park, on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. Road access to the Carmanah trailhead is via Highway 18 from Duncan to Lake Cowichan, and a further 70 km on gravel logging roads.

Fishing on and around Cowichan Lake
Cowichan Lake is home to winter steelhead and rainbow and cutthroat trout. The best cutthroat fishing is in late October to early November. For freshwater fishing, the Cowichan River is perhaps the finest year-round trout stream in British Columbia, with its large brown trout (up to 10 lbs.) and resident rainbows and cutthroats.


Powell Lake, Powell River, Sunshine Coast

Powell Lake, Powell River, Sunshine Coast
The Sunshine Coast lives up to its name, with bright days outnumbering gloomy ones by a wide margin. One of the prime attractions of these waters is their warmth in summer months, which makes them ideal for swimming. If you like to take an early-morning plunge after a night spent sleeping under the stars, this is the place to do it! The Sunshine Coast is located northwest of Vancouver, and is split into two peninsulas, on either side of Jervis Inlet; Sechelt Peninsula and Malaspina Peninsula.

Powell Lake is located in the upper Malaspina Peninsula, north of the town of Powell River, the largest settlement along the Sunshine Coast. Here you can cruise one of Canada's most pristine lakes aboard a private floating resort.

The Powell River and Powell Lake area is the jewel of the Sunshine Coast. Powell Lake has over 300 kilometres of scenic shoreline stretching deep into mountain valleys, and is surrounded by snowcapped mountains, waterfalls and streams. There are two large rivers flowing into the lake, with one connecting to pristine Goat lake, and over 250 float homes on the lake that are very unique, and accessible by boat only. There are numerous hiking trails that lead to beautiful alpine meadows - more information below - and the world famous Fiddlehead Farm is well worth the visit.

Enjoy a houseboat by day as a home base for exploring, for water sports, swimming or fishing. By night, tie up in a secluded cove, and as evening wears on, watch the moonlight reflecting on the water as dazzling stars appear. The possibilities are endless, the choice is yours, and you are the Captain.

Powell Lake has many privately owned cabins along its shore and, except for emergencies, their floats and facilities should not be used.

Recreation Sites on Powell Lake

Swimming in Powell Lake, Powell River, BC
Approximately halfway along the southern shore of Powell Lake, east of the small unnamed island, is the Powell Lake Recreation Site. This small, rustic site has a sandy beach, toilets, tables, and provides good refuge from the afternoon winds. There are two other campsites on Powell Lake. One is situated on the Lower Powell at the beginning of the Powell Lake/Inland Lake portage, offering toilets and tables, and the other is the Regional District Campground located at the southeast end of Haywire Bay.

You'll find camping, picnicking and swimming at Haywire Bay Regional Park. One of the treats of visiting this beach is swimming the short distance to nearby Honeymoon Island.

There are more Forest Service recreation sites concentrated around Powell River on the northern Sunshine Coast than in almost any other similar-sized area in British Columbia - this is testament to the dozens of lakes surrounding the town.

Hiking around Powell Lake

The 2.5-km moderately difficult Lost Lake Trail connects the Haywire Bay Regional Park with the west side of Inland Lake. Along the way, this up-and-down, forested route passes diminutive Lost Lake, and connects with the circular 13-km Inland Lake Trail - trailhead at the Inland Lake Recreation Site. Short lakeside hiking trails also run along the shores of Powell Lake from Mowat Bay Park and Haywire Bay Regional Park.

Kinsman Park near the Powell Lake Marina is the trailhead for the Scout Mountain Trail, which leads uphill to the summit of Scout Mountain. From here, hikers can look out over Powell Lake and Wildwood.

On Goat Island, in the middle of Powell Lake, is the 5-km Frogpond Lake Trail, which leads from Powell Lake to Frogpond Lake. The trailhead is located on the east side of the creek at Cassiar Falls. Halfway along the trail is a bench with a good view of Powell Lake, Fiddlehead Farm and Tin Hat Mountain.

The difficult and steep 8-km Beartooth Mountain Trail runs from the north side of Beartooth Creek through old-growth forest to the summit of Bear Tooth Mountain. The trailhead is on the eastern side of the northern most arm of Powell Lake, above the Second Narrows.

Canoeing on Powell Lake
Powell Lake near the town of Powell River is one of 12 lakes that comprise the Powell Forest Canoe Route, located within the southern portion of the Sunshine Coast Forest District. When canoeing on Powell Lake. Paddlers should note that the lake should only be paddled in the early morning or late afternoon, as local afternoon winds are very strong. The winds usually pick up around noon and abate by 5 pm. The lakes in the area are all worth paddling, and each has its own characteristics; some are deep, others are exposed to strong winds. Kayaking and canoeing enthusiasts can weave through well maintained portages, protected lake waterways and magnificent forest reserves.

Fishing on and around Powell Lake
Powell River may be one of the world's shortest rivers but it connects with a string of lakes - Powell, Goat, Windsor - that characterize much of the inland region. Fishing for cutthroat, kokanee or rainbow trout is possible year-round, as waters in the area rarely experience a freeze in any but the coldest winters.

Houseboating in other regions of British Columbia
Houseboating - Okanagan Lake, Sicamous & Shuswap Lake, BC

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