islandparent Things To Do Play Chillin’ in the Cowichan Valley

Chillin’ in the Cowichan Valley

Walk Among the Totems

Duncan, aka “The City of Totems,” has over 40 beautifully carved totems scattered throughout the city, just waiting for you to take a self-guided walking tour. Follow the yellow footprints or take a virtual tour with an interactive map. Take as long as you want; stop along the way for a drink, treat, lunch, or to browse the toy shop. downtownduncan.ca

Change Your View of the World at Hand of Man

Step inside this 17,000-square-foot museum of some of the most interesting personal collections in the world. Every bit of wall space is covered with a treasure, artifact, oddity, or piece of culture and history. Don’t be surprised if the owner curator Jim Shockey joins you and starts talking about his incredible world-wide adventures over the last 40 years. This museum is a rarity and treasure all to itself. handofmanmuseum.com

All Aboard at the BC Forest Discovery Centre

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Take a trip through the past, present and future on 100 acres! Forestry and logging take an important place in history and our present-day-lives, all captured in the Forests Forever interactive exhibit. No visit is complete without a locomotive ride across the spectacular grounds and over the Somenos Lake trestle. Plan on lunch from the concessions or bring your own picnic. bcforestdiscoverycentre.com

Gear Up for Biking

Bring your bikes and ride the trails! Hundreds of kilometres of trails for all levels of ability. Enjoy the lush forests, the vistas, waterfalls and the adrenaline. Camps and clinics for kids 8–14 are available at Next Level Riding nextlevelriding.ca. Need a bike rental to get started? Check out Cycle Therapy in Duncan to get on a bike and start seeing the sights of Cowichan from a whole new perspective. cycletherapy.ca

Cool Down on the Cowichan River

Dive into the fun of tubing down the Cowichan River with a leisurely but exhilarating floating experience. It’s Vancouver Island’s best kept secret for cooling off in the slow-moving, crystal clear waters of the Cowichan River. Jump in with your own floatie or give the guys at The Tube Shack a call for licensed and insured tube rentals and complimentary shuttle back to Lake Cowichan. cowichanriver.com

Spend the day at Transfer Beach

One of Ladysmith’s gems, Transfer Beach is a seaside park that will keep the little ones entertained for hours. Swimming, spray parks, playgrounds, and sheltered picnic areas—all surrounded by flora and fauna, viewpoints and lookouts. Pick up a game of basketball, horseshoes or sand volleyball then grab a bite and drink at the concessions and food trucks. This beach has it all, and is centrally located right off Trans-Canada highway. ladysmith.ca

Let Your Spirit Soar with The Raptors

The Raptors, 10 minutes north of Duncan, invites you to meet some of the coolest birds in the world. Check out the flying demonstrations featuring eagles, hawks, owls and vultures. Want to get closer? Take a walk through the woods with a hawk, hold a falcon on your glove, meet an owl face to beak, or spend an entire day immersing yourself in the world of raptors. pnwraptors.com

Fall in Love with Stocking Creek Falls

This gentle waterfall is situated just north of Chemainus in the seaside community of Saltair. Part of the Cowichan Valley Trail, this easy path to the waterfall is full of wildlife, birds, trees, flowers and fresh air. Pick a salmonberry along the way and count all the owls in the tall trees. Enter Stocking Creek Park from Chemainus Rd. cvrd.bc.ca

Explore the Cowichan River Footpath

The lower stretch of the footpath, from the Cowichan Fish and Game Association clubhouse to Skutz Falls, is a well-maintained trail, beautiful at any time of the year. You’ll also find many excellent picnicking spots. There is a 2.4-km circle route to Holt Creek and a 6.4-km circle route with good picnic spots. Maps can be picked up at Duncan Visitor Information Centre.

Hunt for Fairies at Merridale Cidery & Distillery

Explore Merridale’s 20-acre apple orchard in Cobble Hill and learn about apple trees, indigenous plant life and little known facts about Cowichan. This tour also highlights “Merri and Dale”—the magical apple blossom faeries living on the property. Pick up a “Mystical Orchard Adventure Map” to search for faeries, dryads, hobgoblins, gnomes and elves or download it at merridale.ca.

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