On the banks of the Koksilah River in the Cowichan Valley is a tiny (4 ha.) refuge called Bright Angel Park. Trails wind through the forest and cross a suspension bridge high above the river. Huge old redcedar and Douglas-fir lean over the river bank and at Easter time fawn lilies nod among the trees…
The Bright Angel Story
The park was created in 1958 with the donation of 1.65 hectares of old growth river bottom land by local residents, Jack and Mabel Fleetwood. Jack was of Irish descent and, as with many Irish people, believed in guardian angels. Jack honoured his guardian angel, who he believed guided him out of many difficult situations during his lifetime, by naming the park Bright Angel. May the Bright Angel who watches over the park guard you and guide you.
Bright Angel park lies within the Coastal Douglas-fir ecological zone where, in the lee of the Vancouver Island Mountains, summers are warm and dry and winters mild and wet. The park has a typical mixed forest of Douglas-fir, western redcedar [see below], grand fir and bigleaf maple. Black-tail deer, raccoon, mink, deer mice, Stellar’s jay, barred owl, bald eagle, Kingfisher, great blue heron, steelhead and mergansers are commonly found in the park and the occasional black bear and cougar wander through.
Western redcedar, chosen as British Columbia’s provincial tree, is central to the culture of the native peoples of the northwest. Often called “the tree of life”, the wood and bark were valued for many uses from dugout canoes, house planks and totems to dishes, masks, and clothing. It is easily recognized by the stringy bark, droopy branches and scaly leaves.
Hours: Dawn to dusk.
Facilities: Playground, Walking trails, Excellent river swimming, Picnic areas, Ball field, Group camping, Group picnic shelter
Booking: To book the group picnic shelter or camp site call CVRD’s Parks Department, phone number 250.746.2617 (payment by Visa, cash or cheque).
- Speed limit 15 km/hr
- Park in designated areas only
- No alcohol
- No horses
- Please leash (except in designated off-leash area) and clean up after your dog
Heading north on Highway 1, 3 km past Cowichan Bay Road intersection and just past the Cowichan Bay Volunteer Fire Hall, turn left onto Koksilah Road. About 3 km brings you to the Cowichan Station village. Cross the bridge, keep right and at the top of the hill turn right onto Tigwell Road.