Fall riding is a magical time in the Cowichan Valley. The moss-covered forest floor comes alive with vibrant greens. Giant Maples change colors and drop their leaves amongst the many trails. Cooler temps allow for more comfortable rides and trail conditions return to some of the best of the year. Here are a few suggestions on how to spend a day in the region on a Cowichan Valley bike ride.
The Cowichan Valley is located upon the Traditional Territories of the Quw’utsun Nation.
3 Fun Cowichan Valley Bike Rides
Maple Mountain Mountain Biking
A stunning mountain nestled along the shores of the Salish Sea between the communities of Crofton and Maple Bay. This for me is personally is one of the funnest loops on a mountain bike that I do in the Cowichan Valley.
A top highlight is the Totem arch way that welcomes you onto Story Trails which was a project built with local First Nations youth and local trail builders. Continue onwards the climb trail Xylem to the summit and then ride back down Upper Maple Syrup for techy rock descent.
Once done tackling Upper Maple Syrup use the Upper Story trails connector to ride back across to Xylem. This links you up to finish off on the newest trail in the region built by the Cowichan Trail Stewardship Society. The fun and fast blue flow trail Phloem was completed in 2019. After your ride be sure to grab the local favourite fish and chips at Osborne Bay Pub in Crofton.
Cowichan Valley Trail Gravel Bike Lake Cowichan Loop
Starting from either Glenora or Sahtlam Trailhead, the CVT follows the old railway bed to the town of Lake Cowichan. The route is a wide, flat and compacted which is perfect for riders of all skill levels. Most riders often do an out and back at 50kms but for the adventurous a 70 plus km full loop can be done from trailhead to trailhead.
Fall is a wonderful time to ride with the changing colors of the Big Leaf Maples, salmon run at Skutz Falls and of course the many wooden trestles. Before your ride be sure to stop at the Duncan Garage, they are well known for their great coffee and wide selection of gluten free and vegan food options.
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Cowichan Valley Trail Chemainus E-Bike Tour
A popular relaxing ride for the rapidly growing cycling community is the Cowichan Valley Trail starting in Chemainus. Thanks in part to to the new Citrus Cycles e-bike store in Chemainus this trail has become the go to e-bike destination. Start out at Waterwheel Park with its ample parking in the heart of this charming artisanal seaside village known for its world famous murals. After riding around to see all the murals most visitors ride the length of the Cowichan Valley Trail towards Ladysmith and back.
The route takes you past wide open vistas of Mt Brenton and right alongside Stocking Creek Park. After your ride grab a meal at the bike friendly Willow Street café or for those wanting to experience the local craft beer scene there is the popular local craft beer stop at Riot Brewing. If you find yourself at the far north end of the trail near Stocking Creek you can also stop at a local favorite Saltair Coffeeshack.
Discover More Cowichan Valley Cycling Options
Swing over to my post on Popular Chemainus Hiking Trails of which many are bike friendly or great stops along the way.
The Cowichan Valley Trail is also part of the larger country wide network of the Trans Canada Trail. You can explore their interactive website to see
For those more adventurous and want to experience the region as part of a multi day bike ride check out my bike packing story: Bikepacking the Vancouver Island to Sunshine Coast Loop
Explore the TrailForks website and all the hundreds of Cowichan Valley Bike ride options that are listed there.
For other road trip and travel ideas as well as fun outdoor activities check out my Mindful Explorer Travel Destination Page . Subscribe to the blog and of course I am always grateful for a follow on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter where I share more frequent photos and stories daily.