Hotel Blog

posted by: Ramada Duncan on: May 27, 2019

If you’re here visiting Vancouver Island, then the perfect way to get a real feel for the West Coast lifestyle is by being out on the water paddling alongside our beloved Douglas Fir, Sitka Spruce and Red Ceader trees. Paddling through the beautiful bays and following along the shorelines is when I always get the best Island vibes. The Cowichan Valley has no shortage of beautiful spots to head for a paddle. There’s also no shortage of great companies that offer tours and rental options! Listed below are a few great spots located close by to The Ramada Duncan for an easy day trip.


Cowichan Lake

Cowichan Lake is one of my favorite spots to go kayaking, since it’s over 30 km in length you’ll hardly run out of space to paddle around.  Cowichan Lake is the second largest fresh water lake on the Southern end of Vancouver Island. Since it’s a fresh water lake, that means it’s perfect for a summer paddle that turns into a swim. The water is always as refreshing and clean as it looks, so hoping in on a sunny day will be an amazing and relaxing way to end the afternoon.

 Maple Bay

Practicing ocean safety is always a good idea, and will help beginners feel more confident and safe when paddling! Wilderness Kayaking, which is a Maple Bay based company, offers awesome workshops on rolling your kayak, ocean rescues, navigational and remote first aid, all of which are super important to know when you’re out paddling! Last summer the Ramada staff got together for a paddle in Maple Bay and it was a great team bonding experience! While you’re learning all those awesome tricks, you’ll be out in the water completely surrounded by trees and beautiful forestry, what a great place to do some ocean safety learning!

Cowichan Bay

Cowichan Bay Kayaking, as well as many other companies, offer one of the coolest tours in the Valley. Sunset, Moonlight & Bioluminescence Kayaking Tour!! If you’re not from around here or from the West Coast then this is going to be a tour worth bragging about to your friends and family back home. They start the tours just before sunset, so that way you’ll be out on the water and can watch the sky change colors as the sun goes down. You’ll start in The Bluenose Marina and slowly paddle around the bay while waiting for the first sight of bioluminescence as the night darkens. Experiencing bioluminescence first hand is a sight like no other, it’s hard to describe just how beautiful it really is, so the only way to get the right idea is to experience it for yourself!! Check out the link to their website for a schedule of summer time full moons!

Ladysmith Harbour

Kayaking in Ladysmith is always an adventure. There are many different directions to choose from, each of which offers a totally different scenic route. You can stick to the shore line and head towards the Saltair Lagoon Bridge, or go directly across the harbor and paddle around Dunsmuir and Bute Island that are filled with critters! Following along the islands if you head south you’ll come into Elliot’s Beach, which is a perfect spot to hop out and have some lunch! Launching in Ladysmith is super easy too, in the Ladysmith Marina there’s a boat launch and ramp for easy drop off access into the ocean. Another option is parking at Transfer beach and carrying your boat the short distance down to the water.  When kayaking in Ladysmith make sure you keep your eyes out for otters and seals!
When checking into the Ramada Duncan, don’t hesitate to ask your Front Desk Agent for any other recommendations or for directions! We’ve also included links to websites for more helpful information, rental options and tours that we’d recommend.

Sealegs Kayaking - Ladysmith  
Wilderness Kayaking - Maple Bay
Orka Adventures - Lake Cowichan  
Cowichan Bay Kayaking - Lake Cowichan