Tourism Information

The Duncan/North Cowichan Region

The Duncan/North Cowichan region on Vancouver Island offers a unique lifestyle to its visitors and residents. You can bring your family to this peaceful setting while remaining connected to the realities of today's busy life.

Traditionally, logging, lumber mills and pulp and paper have been the major economic drivers of the area, but agriculture, tourism and hospitality services are increasing in economic and social significance. From new developments like the Quw'utsun Cultural & Conference Centre, Chemainus Theatre & Wilding Heritage Farm to established attractions such as the BC Forest Museum, and the revitalization of many heritage homes, the area makes for an interesting destination and a wonderful, stable and safe atmosphere for the entire family.

Often with more than 200 frost free days in any given year, the Duncan/North Cowichan Area is well known for its magnificent softwood forests, making it an extremely productive logging area supplying not only local mills but other coastal mills as well. There are more than 20,000 hectares of forest now managed on a sustained yield basis. Tree improvement in British Columbia began in the area more than 50 years ago.

Tourism is an increasingly important part of the local economy and culture. The area is well known for fishing on the Cowichan and Chemainus rivers as they provide some of the best steelhead and brown trout fishing on Vancouver Island. Wildlife watchers and hikers alike are attracted by the excellent populations of waterfowl, deer and Roosevelt Elk as for well as the many trails available within easy access on the beautiful island mountains surrounding our valley.

Within this special setting, many attractions and cultural facilities are available including Canada's largest outdoor art gallery in Chemainus, "The Little Town That Did"; the BC Forest Discovery Centre with its 100 acres of forestry heritage and operating narrow gauge steam locomotives; the Quw'utsun Cultural & Conference Centre, sharing the culture and mystic of the local Quw'utsun people; the unique Cowichan Valley Demonstration Forest, where visitors can get a truly Forester's view; the Cowichan Valley Museum and of course the Worlds Largest Hockey Stick. Duncan's "City of Totems" includes over 60 world class, carved totem poles set throughout the community.

The Duncan/North Cowichan area is the most important agricultural area on Vancouver Island. Dairy farming is the main activity with the resulting hay and fodder crops occupying over 10,000 acres of area. Beef, pigs, sheep, poultry, deer farming and egg production also enhance the area. Other crops grown in the area include vegetables, fruits and specialty crops such as flowers and holly. Cowichan's farm gate wineries are quickly becoming well known as well.

All this and more make the Cowichan Valley a natural setting for a great day trip getaway.