FREE Attractions

Having travelled quite a bit over the years I’m well aware how quickly one’s budget can vanish. With that in mind I decided that a “Top Ten Free Attractions in the Cowichan Valley” list was needed. There’s plenty to do here, these are some of my favourites. A few more to come!

Top Ten Free Attractions in the Cowichan Valley
 

Cowichan Valley Region Wineries, British Columbia
Cowichan Valley Region Wineries, British Columbia
Visiting Cowichans Wineries – I don’t know whether this should be listed as something that is free or not. Certainly the cost to visit wineries is free, often wine tasting is free, but… how often have you gone to a winery and not bought a bottle or two of wine?The Cowichan Region has approximately 15 wineries with more on the way. A list is on my site at Cowichan Valley Region Wineries.

Maple Bay Wooden Boat Festival, Cowichan Valley, British Columbia
Maple Bay Wooden Boat Festival, Cowichan Valley, British Columbia
Maple Bay Wooden Boat Festival – Wooden boats, we all love them and at the same time hate the idea of them. Well, I’m one of the wooden boat lovers as anyone that has followed my ramblings over the past few years will understand. Wooden boats are beautiful, wooden boats have charm, wooden boats are very romantic, wooden boats are a lifestyle. Stop in at Maple Bay Marina and see what the excitement is all about. While you’re at it, have some crab cakes at the pub, very good!
 

Cowichan River Provincial Park, British Columbia
Cowichan River Provincial Park, British Columbia
Cowichan River Provincial Park – A day at one of the Cowichan River Provincial Parks locations is good for the soul. The Cowichan River itself is abundant with fish and fisherfolks and during the summer it’s great fun to watch the tubers float lazily along.
 

Chemainus Murals, Chemainus, British Columbia
Chemainus Murals, Chemainus, British Columbia
Chemainus Murals – Chemainus, “The Little Town that Did” was a mining, fishing and forestry town until hard times hit a few decades ago. The idea to paint the town with murals was born and the rest is history. Presently there are around 40 murals scaterred throughout the area and numerous outdoor sculptures. More information about the murals can be found at The Offical Chemainus Mural Web Site.
 

Totem Poles, Duncan, British Columbia
Totem Poles, Duncan, British Columbia
Duncan Totem Poles – Over 50 totem poles from British Columbia as well as Quebec and New Zealand decorate the streets of Duncan and many of it’s buildings. These totem poles are very colourful and interesting stories are behind many of them. A self guided tour starts at the museum at the train station and guided walks are given regularly.
 

Garlic at the Duncan Market, Duncan, British Columbia
Garlic at the Duncan Market, Duncan, British Columbia
Saturday Markets – Farmers’ markets are common in the Cowichan Valley with most towns having a weekend market of one sort or another. Fresh produce, great baking, arts and crafts, the list goes on. Many also feature live music. This is an excellent way to spend your morning.
 Apples, Merridale Cidery, Cobble Hill, British Columbia Merridale Cidery – Located in a very picturesque valley in Cobble Hill, the Merridale Cidery is worth the visit purely because it looks so good. Like the Cowichan Region wineries however, it’s really debatable whether the cidery id free or not. The restaurant is excellent and there’s nothing better than sipping on cider, eating good food and listening to live music.
Whippletree Junction, Cowichan Valley, British Columbia
Whippletree Junction – Whippletree Junction was started about 30 years ago with a funky collection of old heritage buildings rescued from demolition. These days the old buildings house antique shops, new furniture stores, a tack shop and others. There is a restaurant, Pioneer House Restaurant and a coffee shop as well. This place is fun to visit and has a great history.
Aerial Photo of the Kinsol Trestle, Cowichan Valley, British Columbia
Kinsol Trestle – The Kinsol Trestles is one of the largest wooden trestles in the world at 145 feet high and  615 feet long. The seven-tiered railway bridge spans the Koksilah River at mile 51 on the abandoned Cowichan Lake extension of the C.N.R, west of Shawnigan Lake. The trestle was built in 1921 as part of the railway to service the now abandoned King Solomon Copper Mines but hasn’t been used for a number of years. Presently plans are in place to restore the trestle as a continuation of the Trans Canada Trail for bicycle and foot traffic.