Located on southern Vancouver Island, Shawnigan Lake is a picturesque 1,327-acre lake that stretches for 7 kilometres. Known as a favourite weekend getaway spot among locals and tourists alike, the crystal-clear water boasts an average depth of 39 feet, perfect for swimming or lounging on a boat. The shoreline marshes offer unique ecosystems to explore while fishing enthusiasts can try their luck with trout and bass.
Shawnigan Lake Village is a charming little town located on the eastern shore of Shawnigan Lake. The village boasts two small general stores, three restaurants, and two coffee shops to cater to all your needs. Whether you are looking for a cozy spot to grab some breakfast or a scenic location to have dinner with your loved ones, Shawnigan Lake Village has got you covered.
Apart from its eateries and cafes, the village also houses an excellent museum that showcases the region’s rich history and culture, also has several beaches that are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, or simply relaxing with a good book.
The shoreline marshes add to its charm with their lush green vegetation and diverse wildlife. Visitors can explore the many hiking trails around the lake or take a leisurely paddle along its crystal-clear waters. For those looking to stay overnight, there are plenty of options available including lakeside cabins and an island park which offer serene views of the water and surrounding landscape.
In fact, winter at Shawnigan Lake offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to explore the great outdoors. Snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and ice fishing are popular activities during this season.
Provincial Parks in Shawnigan Lake
Memory Island Provincial Park, West Shawnigan Lake Provincial Park, Koksilah River Provincial Park and Shawnigan Hills Athletic Park are four beautiful destinations that showcase the natural beauty of British Columbia. Each park offers its own unique experience for visitors to enjoy.
Memory Island Provincial Park
Nestled at the southern end of Shawnigan Lake on Southern Vancouver Island lies a hidden gem known as Memory Island Provincial Park. This small island is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including small mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, plants and fungi. To reach this stunning park requires a short 1-km paddle across the crystal-clear waters of Shawnigan Lake.
The area spans over 2.26 acres and has been established since August 23rd, 1945. This day-use only park is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy canoeing or kayaking as it offers easy access to launch your boat onto the water. The peaceful surroundings offer an ideal setting for picnics while taking in breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
Managed by the Cowichan Valley Regional District, this park is dedicated to preserving natural habitats while providing visitors with a serene space to unwind.
West Shawnigan Lake Provincial Park
Nestled on the western shore of Shawnigan Lake lies a hidden gem that is sure to delight outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. West Shawnigan Lake Provincial Park is a popular summer recreation area in British Columbia, Canada that boasts breathtaking views and serene surroundings.
Getting to this little park may require some effort as visitors need to paddle for about 1km before reaching it, but the journey is definitely worth it. Managed by Cowichan Valley Regional District, the park ensures that visitors have access to clean washrooms and other necessary amenities during their visit.
This small day-use park boasts breathtaking views of Douglas fir forests and offers visitors a peaceful sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of city life. The lakeside beach is perfect for swimming, paddling, or fishing with your family on a warm summer’s day, while those looking for outdoor activities can hike along one of the many trails that wind their way through the forest.
One of the standout features of this park is its well-maintained play area, which makes it a perfect spot for families with children. Kids can safely run around and have fun while parents watch over them from nearby benches or picnic tables.
Koksilah River Provincial Park
Koksilah River Provincial Park is a hidden gem located just 4 km west of Shawnigan Lake on southern Vancouver Island. Spanning over 230 hectares, this park was established on May 10, 1959 and is known for its scenic surroundings of the Koksilah River and Canyon.
The small day-use area within the park provides picnic tables and washroom facilities making it a great spot for families to spend quality time together while enjoying outdoor activities. Hiking enthusiasts will be delighted by the variety of trails available, from easy walks along the riverbank to more challenging routes through forests and hills.
Koksilah River Provincial Park is a hidden gem that has officially opened its doors for day-use activities. Nestled amidst the lush green forests of British Columbia, this park offers an array of adventures that will surely leave you mesmerized. The park offers hiking, fishing, swimming, picnicking, scenic views, Canoeing, Kayaking, Cycling and mountain biking.
Shawnigan Hills Athletic Park
Nestled on a plateau on the north side of Shawnigan Lake lies the stunning Shawnigan Hills Athletic Park, offering an exquisite setting for outdoor enthusiasts. This park is perfect for families with young children as it features a lovely open area to walk around and a nice playground that provides endless entertainment.
The park is also great for kids who enjoy triking around or playing games in wide-open spaces. Sports enthusiasts will appreciate the regulation size softball field which provides plenty of room to practice their skills or engage in some friendly competition.
The running track surrounding the sports fields is perfect for anyone looking to get some exercise while jogging or walking laps – all while enjoying scenic views from every angle!
Hiking/Walking Trails in Shawnigan Lake
Shawnigan Lake is a hidden gem for hiking and walking trails, offering stunning views of nature’s beauty. The area boasts numerous trails that cater to all levels of hikers, from easy strolls to challenging hikes through the rugged terrain.
Fern Grotto and Kinsol Trestle Trail
Trail Length- This is a 6.6-km out-and-back trail that takes on average 2 hour 10 minutes to complete.
Difficulty Level- Easy trail
The Fern Grotto and Kinsol Trestle Trail is a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you prefer hiking, mountain biking, or running, this trail offers something for everyone. It’s open year-round!
Walking through the forest provides a refreshing break from city life as you take in the sights and sounds of nature. The trail itself is well-maintained and easy to navigate, making it accessible to people of all ages and fitness levels. As you hike along the trail, keep your eyes peeled for local wildlife.
Burnt Bridge and Wild Deer Creek Loop
Trail Length- This is a 2.6-km out-and-back trail that takes on average 54 minutes to complete.
Difficulty Level- Easy trail
The Burnt Bridge and Wild Deer Creek Loop is a must-do for anyone who loves hiking, mountain biking, or running. This trail offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and lush greenery. It’s open year-round, so you can experience its beauty no matter what season it is.
One of the great things about this trail is that it’s not too difficult, making it perfect for all skill levels. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just starting out, you’ll find yourself enjoying the beautiful scenery without feeling overwhelmed. As you make your way through the winding paths and gentle slopes, keep an eye out for some of the local wildlife.
Silvermine Trail Full Loop
Trail Length- This is a 5.6-km out-and-back trail that takes on average 1 hour 26 minutes to complete.
Difficulty Level- Easy trail
The Silvermine Trail Full Loop is a popular destination for hikers, mountain bikers, and runners alike. This trail is open year-round, making it the perfect spot to enjoy nature no matter the season.
One of the best things about this trail is that it offers an easy hike that’s suitable for all skill levels. Even beginners can navigate this path without much trouble! Plus, even on rainy days, you shouldn’t encounter too much mud or slippery terrain.
As you make your way through the Shawnigan Lake Private School property, you’ll be surrounded by beautiful wooded areas and plenty of natural beauty. While there are some paved roads along the way, most of your journey will take place on a peaceful dirt path.
East Bonanza Bluffs Loop
Trail Length- This is a 4.3-km trail that takes on average 1 hour 10 minutes to complete.
Difficulty Level- Easy trail
The East Bonanza Bluffs Loop is an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts who love hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. The trail offers a picturesque view of the surrounding landscape, complete with lush greenery and towering trees that provide ample shade from the sun.
The best part about this trail is that it’s open year-round, so no matter what time of year you decide to visit, you can always enjoy its natural beauty.
While the trail can get a little muddy after rainfall, it only adds to its charm. You’ll feel like you’re truly out in nature as you navigate through the dirt paths and cross over streams.
Bonanza Bluffs Loop
Trail Length- This is a 1.9-km trail that takes on average 45 minutes to complete.
Difficulty Level- Easy trail
The Bonanza Bluffs Loop is a trail that has something for everyone. Hikers, horseback riders, and mountain bikers can all enjoy the scenic views and challenging terrain along this trail. What’s great about this particular trail is that it’s open year-round. No matter what season it is, you can always explore these bluffs.
Fern Grotto Loop
Trail Length- This is a 9.2-km trail that takes on average 2 hour 45 minutes to complete.
Difficulty Level- Easy trail
The Fern Grotto Loop is a must-visit destination for hikers, horseback riders, and mountain bikers. With its stunning natural beauty and well-maintained trails, the loop offers an ideal outdoor adventure for people of all skill levels. Whether you’re looking to explore the lush vegetation or take in the breathtaking views from atop hillsides, this trail has something for everyone.
Camping in Shawnigan Lake
Camp Pringle is not just a camping ground, it’s an institution with a history spanning over 70 years. Situated on the shores of Shawnigan Lake and spread across 20 acres of second-growth forest, this campsite offers visitors the perfect opportunity to connect with nature while also enjoying all that modern amenities have to offer.
Owned by the Pacific Mountain Region of the United Church of Canada, Camp Pringle has been serving generations of campers from all walks of life.
Nestled in the picturesque setting of Shawnigan Lake, there are a plethora of activities to take advantage of both on land and water. For those seeking adventure on the lake, kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding and swimming offer endless hours of fun in the sun.
For those who prefer dry land adventures, Shawnigan Lake has plenty of options as well. The climbing wall will challenge even the most experienced climbers while the low ropes course is perfect for families looking to bond over teamwork exercises.
Fishing in Shawnigan Lake
Shawnigan Lake is a hidden gem located in the heart of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. With a surface area of 5.37 km², it’s not only one of the largest freshwater lakes on the island but also a haven for anglers seeking an abundance of fish species. Smallmouth Bass, Yellow Perch, and Rainbow Trout are among the common catches found in Shawnigan Lake. The best view of Shawnigan Lake can be found from the water itself.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Shawnigan Lake is undoubtedly during the summer months. The warm weather and long days provide ample opportunities for outdoor activities such as swimming, boating, hiking, and cycling. The lake itself is a popular spot for water sports enthusiasts, with options ranging from kayaking to wakeboarding.
However, visitors should not discount the beauty of Shawnigan Lake during other seasons. In the fall, the changing leaves offer a stunning backdrop for hikes and drives around the area. Winter brings snow-covered trees and peaceful serenity – perfect for cozying up indoors or going on winter walks in nature.
Springtime in Shawnigan Lake is particularly special as it marks the start of salmon spawning season at nearby rivers. Watch these fascinating creatures swim against strong currents from viewing platforms located along Cowichan River provincial park trail.
Tips for a Great Trip
One of the best things about going on a trip is making memories that will last a lifetime. To make sure you have an unforgettable time in Shawnigan Lake, here are some tips to help you plan your trip.
Firstly, research the area before you go. Find out what activities and attractions are available so that you can create a list of things to do during your stay.
Secondly, pack smart. Bring clothing appropriate for the season and any activities planned. Make sure to bring comfortable shoes for walking around town or hiking through the surrounding forests.
Thirdly, immerse yourself in local culture by trying new foods and interacting with locals whenever possible.
Lastly, don’t forget to take lots of photos! Capture all those special moments spent with loved ones exploring this beautiful destination.
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Shawnigan Lake FAQ
where is Shawnigan lake?
Shawnigan Lake is located on southern Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.
how deep is Shawnigan lake?
The lake has max depth of the water is about 52m.
how big is Shawnigan lake?
Shawnigan Lake is a remarkable natural wonder that stretches across an impressive 1,327 acres. The lake boasts a length of 7 kilometres and spans about 1.5 kilometres in width.
what fish are in Shawnigan lake?
The lake is home to various species of fish including Smallmouth Bass, Yellow Perch, and Rainbow Trout.
are dogs allowed at Shawnigan lake?
Pets allowed at Shawnigan Lake!
is Shawnigan lake open?
Shawnigan Lake, one of the most beautiful lakes in British Columbia, is open to public access year-round.
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