Port Renfrew, Cowichan Lake, Ladysmith, Chemainus, Bamfield, BC


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Port Renfrew, Lake Cowichan, Ladysmith, Chemainus & Bamfield, BC
South Vancouver Island Communities

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Port Renfrew:

To get to the west side of Vancouver Island, from Victoria, take Hwy 14 to Sooke and then northwest to the end of the road, which is at Port Renfrew. This small quaint settlement is located at the mouth of the San Juan River and Port San Juan. Port Renfrew is the southeast end of the Pacific Rim National Park's West Coast Trail. This trail is a 77km (45.5mi) hike along the coast of Vancouver Island. This is typically west coast, with wet weather and lush forests. This whole area is heaven to hikers, hunters, anglers and beachcombers. When in this area , take in the Botanical Beach Provincial Park. Go at low tide, to see the intertidal life. It's also a good place to view the Pacific grey whales. And by taking logging roads from Port Renfrew you can travel to Cowichan Lake.
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Lake Cowichan:

North of Duncan, take Hwy 18 to Lake Cowichan. This long partially paved road cuts through from the east to the middle of the island and beyond to the west coast. Lake Cowichan has excellent trout fishing, From Lake Cowichan Village at the east end of the lake, the road splits. The road along the north shore leads to Yoobou and a logging road to Bamfield. The south shore road leads to Port Renfrew. Around Lake Cowichan's shore is a network of nature walks. The Cowichan Valley Demonstration Forest , located along the lake, on Hwy 18, provides an outdoor classroom of forest management.
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LadysmithLadysmith:

Ladysmith is 85km (53mi) north of Victoria on Hwy 1. It was the home for coal miners who worked the Extension Mines and draws it's name from Ladysmith, South Africa. In the 1930's the mining changed to forestry and now tourism is increasing in importance.

The downtown core has spruced up its image by restoring the heritage buildings, adding art galleries, gift and antique shops. Take a walk along the natural deep harbour where you can enjoy fishing, swimming or just relaxing.
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Chemainus:

Chemainus. BCLocated on Stuart Channel, just east of Hwy 1, 78km (46.5mi) north of Victoria is Chemainus.

In the early 1980's, the town was on a decline due to the closing of the sawmill. With the help of local artists , it became "Canada's largest outdoor art gallery". The 32 large murals, painted on downtown walls, depicting the history of the area, are more than just a local attraction. It's said that over 250,000 people from far and wide come to see these murals. The tourist trade has given Chemainus the economic jolt it needed.
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Bamfield

This out-of-the-way salmon fishing centre is on the southeast side of Barclay Sound. During the summer the population increases from 275 to about 2,000 people, as sports fishermen use it as a base to fish Barclay Sound and Alberni Inlet. Many others come to hike, scuba dive and canoe. This small community is well equipped to handle the increased population during the summer. The village of Bamfield itself is unique, as only one side of the Bamfield Inlet is accessible, walkways and trails are along this one side. The inlet is used as a highway. To reach Bamfield, take the unpaved road 102km (43.5mi) south of Port Alberni. Or, from Youbou on Lake Cowichan, take the 108km (66.5mi) unpaved road west. From Port Alberni you can take the Lady Rose.

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Port Renfrew, Cowichan Lake, Ladysmith, Chemainus, Bamfield, BC