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Cowichan Valley Rail Trail

122 Km

From coast to coast to coast, the Trans Canada Trail connects over 15,000 communities across Canada along its 24,000 km route. The Cowichan Valley Trail is an integral part of the Trans Canada Trail route on Southern Vancouver Island. Whether ascending the Malahat Connector to enjoy panoramic views from Malahat Ridge, traveling across the Historic Kinsol Trestle near Shawnigan Lake, visiting the western-most point of the Trans Canada Trail in Lake Cowichan, or rambling along the E&N rail trail corridor between Ladysmith and Chemainus, the Cowichan Valley Trail offers experiences for all to enjoy

Features and Attractions
Shawnigan Creek Bridge: Yos Totem Pole
Historic Kinsol Trestle: Heritage Wooden Rail Trestle
Glenora Trails Head Park: Washroom, Picnic Area, and Potable Water
Stocking Creek Park: Waterfall

The Cowichan Valley Trail is an ideal way for pedestrians, equestrians, and cyclists to enjoy the scenery and charm of the Cowichan region. Though the trail passes through many communities with a wide range of amenities and services, it is important for you to be self-sufficient and ready for all weather conditions. Be sure to have enough water and food for your trip, as well as appropriate clothing, footwear and equipment based on your mode of travel.

The Kinsol, Holt Creek, Marie Canyon, and McGee Creek Trestles can all be found along the trail and have been restored for hiking, cycling, and equestrian use as part of the rail/trail experience. Please click here for more information on the Kinsol Trestle.

Supporting Resources:

Cowichan Valley Trail Brochure – includes suggested day trips along the route
Malahat Connector Trail Map – for connecting to rail trails south of Malahat Mountain
Trail Etiquette

Cowichan Valley Trail Conditions:
The majority of the gravel trail is wide and flat, providing easy access for pedestrians, cyclists, and equestrians. Some sections include steep hills and variable terrain, such as the Malahat Ridge Connector section to Greater Victoria. Always hike and ride within your limits.

For More Information:
For more information on the Cowichan Valley Trail, visit www.cvrd.ca/parks or call (250) 746-2660. The Cowichan Valley Regional District (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 Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. Please visit that site for regular updates as to the condition of that section of trail.

Visit www.tourismcowichan.com for up-to-date information on restaurants, accommodation, and events in the Cowichan region to complement your trail experience.

Trail Features

Accessibility
This trail is accessible for everyone.
Biking
This trail is accessible by bike.
Bridges
This trail has at least one bridge.
Bus
This trail is accessible by city transit.
Food & Drink
This trail has food & drink options.
Hiking
This trail is accessible by hiking.
Loop
Trail is a loop
Motorized
May Have Motorized Vehicles
Parking
Free parking at the trailhead.
Pet Friendly
This trail is pet friendly.
Restroom
This trail has a restroom for public use.
Water
This trail has water fountains.
Wifi
This trail has wifi access points.

Trail Difficulty

Easy
1 out of 5 Trail Condition good. Updated surfaces with light grade. Family Friendly.
Moderate
2 out of 5 Trail Condition good with light grade. May encounter rough trail surfaces and vehicles. Be prepared with proper trail essentials.
Challenging
3 out of 5 Trail Conditions can vary from good to needing improvement. May encounter fairly rough trail sections, Sand, Rock, Potholes, debris and may encounter vehicles. Can have long sections without any amenities. For the more adventurous user. Be prepared with proper trail essentials.
Difficult
4 out of 5 Trail Conditions can vary from good to poor. Will encounter rough sections along the way, steeper grades at parts and will most likely encounter vehicles. For adventurous users. Will have long sections without any amenities. Be prepared with proper trail essentials.
Very Difficult
5 out of 5 Trail conditions will vary and you will encounter poor conditons with rough sections, potholes, and steeper grades. You will encounter motor vehicles and long stretches of trail without amenities. This is a long section of trail requiring multiple days. Be prepared with proper trail essentials.

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