Lake Cowichan, BC, incorporated as a town in 1996, population 2974 (2011c), 3012 (2006c). The Town of Lake Cowichan is located adjacent to the Cowichan River and Cowichan Lake on southern VANCOUVER ISLAND, 26 km west of DUNCAN. The name Cowichan is an Island Halkomelem word that means "warm country" or "land warmed by the sun."
In the mid-1880s the valuable stands of DOUGLAS FIR and cedar in the Cowichan Lake area began to attract commercial interests. Logging and lumber milling quickly became the most important local industry. In the 1980s mechanization in the logging sector and the consolidation of mills resulted in fewer jobs. In response, Lake Cowichan has become a centre for tourism and recreation. The lake is a significant tourist attraction, as are nearby parks such as Cowichan River, Gordon Bay and Carmanah Walbran provincial parks. Lake Cowichan also attracts tourists travelling to PACIFIC RIM NATIONAL PARK and the WEST COAST TRAIL.