Vancouver Island, BC, Canada.
[Cowichan Lake Business Directory]
Location: Latitude: 49°08'00" Longitude: 123°55'00"
Native Bands: Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group > Cowichan, Chemainus, Koksilah, Penelakut, Lyackson, Halalt and Samena
Name Place and History:
• The native name given for Cowichan Lake was Kaatsa. The Samena Band inhabited the upper reaches of the Cowichan River.
• The Railway
In 1910, the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway and the Empire Lumber Company of Wilmington, Delaware, opened up the Cowichan Lake timber belt to large scale lumbering development for the first time.
• The E&N Railway completed the line to the lake in 1912. With the advent of a safer, more practile means of transporting logs to the mill, the drives on the Cowichan River ended. McGargle holds the honor of heading the last river drive on the Cowichan River. It was the winter of 1909. The river was far to high for a drive. Some of these logs can still be seen to this day along some of the Cowichan River trails.
• Early logging operation at Cowichan Lake consisted of harvesting trees along or near the lakeshore with axes and crosscut saws. Once felled, the trees were cut to manageable lengths and moved into the lake by hand powered screw jacks or along skid roads whre the motive power consisted of oxen or horses. Logs were boomed into the lake to await periods of high water when they could be cut loose and drive down to the Cowichan River to Cowichan Bay. This method was used from 1885 to 1908 when Joseph Vipond drove 14 million board feet of logs down the river in the wake of an early summer rainstorm.
• Cowichan Valley Facts:
The Cowichan Lake drops 527 feet in 35 winding miles down the Cowichan River to Cowichan Bay.
The known mountains in the area are Mount Landalt, snowclad all year long and Mount Whymper, 5, 056 feet, seen from Cottonwoond Creek, Mount Wardroper, above the creek of the same name, and called after the family who settled in that part in the early days, Mount Hooper, 4,802 feet and Mount Heather, 4,412 feet.
• The Great Lake Walk
The Great Lake Walk & Ultramarathon is a 56 kilometre walk or run around Cowichan Lake on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. This event takes place on the third Saturday in September every year.
There are a number of good camgrounds in the area as well as some BC Forestry campgrounds.
Cowichan Lake Facts
• Cowichan Lake is the second largest body of fresh water on Vancouver Island. It empties into the world famous Cowichan River known for its trophy size Steelhead and Brown Trout.
Cowichan Wine and Culinary Festival
This annual event celebrates Vancouver Island wines. Three days of wine tasting, food, music and art shows. This is where the local vineyards show off thier best of the best.
• Forestry Campgrounds
Communities near Cowichan Lake:
• Duncan, BC
• Cowichan Station, BC
• Cowichan Bay, BC
• Chemainus, BC
• Bamberton, BC
• Cobble Hill, BC
• Mill Bay, BC
• Koksilah, BC