Visit the Somenos Marsh Conservation Area. Below you will find directions to the main access points for exploring the precious ecosystems of Somenos. Click here for a downloadable Visitors Guide to the SMCA.
Somenos Marsh Open Air Classroom (OAC)
The OAC can be accessed by car by turning into the parking lot a short distance north from the Beverly Street and Trans Canada Highway Intersection. Look for the long brown fence and kiosk. Give plenty of notice that you are turning in. There is a donation box near the entrance for donations towards the ongoing maintenance. The OAC is a place for learning, rest, exercise and wildlife watching. Flat gravel trails lead to, and out of, the elevated wheelchair accessible boardwalk structure. The boardwalk is level with secure handrails that provide support for those who need it and allow children to run free. Interpretive signs line the boardwalk providing history and natural history information. There is also a raised wheelchair accessible wildlife viewing platform.
Somenos Garry Oak Protected Area (SGOPA) and Ye’yumnuts
To access the SGOPA, take Trillium Terrace, off of Lakes Road, to its end, then turn left on York and park at the dead end. As you enter the protected area the Garry Oak ecosystem is immediately is to your right. To your left is Ye’yumnuts, a sacred ancestral place to the Cowichan people. The site is home to many rare flowers and both shallow soil and deep soil Garry Oaks. This is an important place for wildlife that have historically and continue to use the area as habitat. Please keep to the trails and walk dogs on a leash to protect the wildlife and rare wildflowers.
Drinkwater Dock (DD)
The DD can be accessed by turning right onto Drinkwater Road at the Drinkwater Road and Trans Canada Highway intersection. Then stay straight on Drinkwater Road, past the BC Forest Discovery Centre on the right, until the end of the road to find the elevated walkway and floating dock. The floating dock is great for kids fishing opportunities, kayak and canoe launching and wildlife viewing.