Exploring Outdoors when visiting Chemainus
One of the most popular places to visit in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island is the world famous mural town of Chemainus. Many come to see the unique shops, famous murals and live theatre. Not to be overlooked there are also some beautiful popular hiking trails in Chemainus that should be on your to do list.
The Popular Hiking Trails in Chemainus
Askew Creek Park
A local favourite located in the heart of Chemainus is Askew Creek Park. The entrance to this small treasure can be found just off the roundabout at the corner of Oak street and Chemainus road. Within the park you will find large old growth Cedar and Douglas fir trees as you meander on a well built path following over and alongside the Askew Creek. Keep your eyes open for the hidden carvings on many of the trees along the way, a fun time for small children for sure.
The Hermit Trail
A short trail trail that locals hold near and dear to their hearts is the Hermit Trail which is a small unique trail etched into the forest by a local hermit who lived there and created the spot over 15 years ending in the late 80’s. The trail features intricate laid stone and flower beds as well as steps and a quaint bench along a section of Askew Creek.
The trail can be found by starting on the Canada Trail just west of the Oak Street roundabout. Follow the trail south and down the the dip over the Askew Creek, just past here watch for two large boulders that mark the trail entrance on your right. Explore and visualize the love that was put into the forest as a legacy to how nature saved him during his last years. For locals this is a popular hiking trail in Chemainus.
Stocking Creek Park
A few kilometres north from town along Chemainus Road in Saltair , Stocking Creek Park can be found, one of the hidden gems of the region. The park is managed by the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) who does a great job maintaining the park and it’s ammenities.
Located in the bottom of a forest river valley Stocking Creek winds it’s way amongst a lush moss covered forest featuring Douglas Fir, Western Red Cedar and Giant Maple. The trail meanders along the the river until it reaches the stunning Stocking Creek Falls. The Falls feature a well built set of stairs on the west side of the river for viewing. During low flow times of the year you can cross the river and return on the other side to complete a full loop.
In Spring when the rains are the heaviest and snow from the mountains is running off as melt water the waterfall is powerful and raging. In Fall the waterfall is a more calm flow but the colors of the falling maple leaves is stunning. A real treat to visit and in 2018 the park will also be connected to the Great Canadian Trail and can be hiked or biked to all the way from Chemainus.
Chemainus Lake Park
West of town via River Road and crossing the island highway will bring you to Chemainus Lake Park which is a nice little escape into the outdoors. The park features a 2.5km loop trail around the lake that is an off-leash dog zone as well. Every season offers something nice along the trail with winter being a real treat as many of the small creeks and streams that feed the lake are flowing again with all the runoff. The lake is a well stocked and very popular fishing zone for locals with a launch for canoes and also a brand new fishing dock.
The trail is nice and wide with pretty much the most of the full 2.5km being compromised of crushed and packed rock. This provides a nice stable surface that would be good for strollers. Along the path there are several spots to take a break with nice benches conveniently located. On the east side of the lake there is also a picnic table. Chemainus Lake park is the perfect place to get away with the full family for a nice little outing. Perfect for families for young children.
Wul’aam Echo Heights Wilderness Park
Echo Heights is a terrific municipal park located off the beaten path in Chemainus. The park offers two trailhead choices; One at the end of Creegan Drive and a second one at the end of Channel Blvd which offers 3 off street parking stalls. Both trailheads have map kiosks, garbage cans and dog poop bags although their are no restrooms at either.
Echo Heights offers two loop options within the forest which is made up of second growth maples, fir and cedar trees. The trail is on the natural side and isn’t overly fit for strollers or wheelchairs but one could manage with the right amount of determination. A few stops along the trail their are beautifully made natural benches. Fall is beautiful as the maple leaves start to fall and the moss and ferns return to their lush green form.
A nice simple trail to spend an hour on with loops covering under 2.5kms or more of you want to link up variations .
Discover The Popular Hiking Trails in Chemainus
No matter what you choose to do in our local natural areas you will be plenty surprised. Don’t be afraid to ask a local as they often are eager to share their favourite spot with you. Everyone has their own favourite popular hiking trails in Chemainus.
Another great source for info on these trails and many more in the region check out the North Cowichan Parks Department webpage at North Cowichan Parks and Rec
For more ideas on things to do in the Cowichan Valley check out my post Long Weekend Adventure Ideas in the Cowichan Valley
Have fun and don’t forget your camera and #ExploreBeyondTheUsual . Remember if you have any questions or comments to leave a reply down below and I’ll be sure to answer as soon as I can.