A tiny farming village located in the Cowichan Valley, Cobble Hill is surrounded by picturesque landscape.
If you enjoy quaint historic sites, stop by the local bakery, post office and market in Cobble Hill. Stroll through the village to browse through antique shops, boutiques and art galleries. Since 1909, residents and visitors have been able to enjoy the old-fashioned Cobble Hill Fair and Exhibition.
The town features many hiking trails and paths that cover the hills and forests of this area, which is well known for its mountain biking opportunities. Not to mention the world famous Kinsol Trestle.
The trestle is one of eight along the Cowichan Valley Trail route, and is by far the largest and most spectacular. The Kinsol Trestle is one of the tallest free-standing and most spectacular timber rail trestle structures in the world. At 187 metres in length and standing 44 metres above the salmon bearing Koksilah River, the Kinsol is an incredible structure.
More recently, Cobble Hill and surrounding areas have become famous for their wonderful vineyards
, which have garnered many awards for their local wines.
If you are looking for a breathtaking view, head up Cobble Hill Mountain to Quarry Regional Wilderness Park. Just a short distance away is Cherry Point Nature Observation Park...bring along your beach shoes to explore the sandy shores. For virtually year round golf, enjoy an 18-hole championship golf course at Arbutus Ridge Golf Club.
Nestled in a lovely valley along Shawnigan Lake is the village of the same name, well-known for its arts and crafts shows.
In the rural lakeside community of Shawnigan Lake there is lots of outdoor recreation. It’s great for swimming, fishing, boating, sailing, wake boarding, water/jet skiing as well as great nature viewing. Shawnigan Lake is home to two Provincial Parks, Memory Island Provincial Park and West Shawnigan Lake Provincial Park. You can also access the Kinsol Trestle, which is the largest Howe truss, bent pile trestle left in the world. It’s the trestle you see when you visit the front page of my website. Shawnigan Lake is an excellent spot for kayakers and canoeists to paddle around the numerous shoreline marshes, an island park and to view the intriguing old lakeside cabins.
The Shawnigan Lake Village has some great restaurants as well. There’s a French restaurant there called “Amuse” that serves a 5-course meal with wine pairing. I haven’t been there yet myself but have been told from several people that the food is excellent and it’s a great place for a romantic evening.
At the south end of the Cowichan Valley you will find Mill Bay. It is about a 30min drive to Victoria. Mill Bay was founded in the late 1800’s by an industrialist who used it as a power generating station for his saw mill, hence the name “Mill Bay”.
There’s lots to do in Mill Bay! Golfing is just a few minutes away at Arbutus Ridge. There are wineries, lots of fishing opportunities, biking, hiking, boating, kayaking, sailing, etc. There’s also a 25 minute ferry ride that takes you to Brentwood Bay where you can visit the world renowned Butchart Gardens.
One of Mill Bay’s best places to visit is Bamberton Provincial Park. It’s a 225 meter long sandy beach perfect for those summer picnics with the family. There’s gorgeous views across the inlet and lots of beautiful Arbutus trees too! Along Mill Bay road there’s also a long stretch of beach that is “postcard” perfect and wonderful to walk along or take the dog for a walk.
Need moorage? No problem, there’s a full service marina right in the heart of Mill Bay close to all the shops and amenities. Also you will find Brentwood College School, known for its scholastic excellence and progressive education programs.
Mill Bay is a great place to live and many Victorians choose to live in Mill Bay and commute to Victoria simply because the real estate values are more affordable in Mill Bay in comparison. New subdivisions offer beautiful homes in a fabulous location. Lots of possibilities there!