The Cowichan Valley Trail is a spectacular multi-use trail that is an integral part of The Great Trail (Trans Canada Trail) route on Southern Vancouver Island. The Cowichan Valley section runs from the Capital Regional District boundary at the top of the Malahat, north to Shawnigan Lake and the Kinsol Trestle, west to the Town of Lake Cowichan then north to the Nanaimo Regional District.
The CVRD maintains the Cowichan Valley Trail except for the portion that runs through the Cowichan River Provincial Park (Holt Creek Trestle to the Town of Lake Cowichan). This section is maintained by BC Parks. Please visit that site for regular updates as to the condition of that section of trail.
The majority of the gravel trail is wide and flat with some sections running along the roadways. The trail provides for easy cycling and walking.
The Kinsol, Holt Creek, Marie Canyon, and McGee Creek Trestles can all be found along the 122 kilometre trail and have been restored for hiking, cycling, and equestrian use as part of the rail/trail experience. Pleaseclick herefor more information on the Kinsol Trestle.
In 2017, the completion of the Capital Regional District's (CRD) Sooke Hills Wilderness Trail and the 9 kilometre extension of the Cowichan Valley Trail closed the final gap in the route of The Great Trail. The Malahat Connector links the existing trail in Shawnigan Lake south to the CRD in the Goldstream Heights area and is a non-motorized, multi-use trail that winds through second growth forests with views over Shawnigan Lake and across the Saanich Peninsula/Gulf Islands and the Salish Sea.
This trail contains steep hills and variable terrain. Hike and Ride within your limits.