Mountain Access


North Cowichan is home to a rich mix of flow, downhill, gravel and cross country trails for mountain biking mixed in with a myriad of hiking trails taking you to amazing vistas and vantage points in our Municipal Forest Reserve.

Our key hiking and mountain biking destinations include Maple Mountain, Mount Tzouhalem and Mount Prevost. Combine this with additional hiking and equestrian opportunities possible on Mount Richards and we have opportunities close to all residents.

Weekends are busy on the mountains and trails. The busiest times are Saturdays, Sundays and holidays between 9:30am and 3:00pm. Please plan for congestion in the parking lots, and consider visiting a lower traffic launch site; Nevilane or Maple Mountain accessed via Osborne Bay Road.

Municipal Forest Reserve: Service Notices


Nevilane Parking Lot

The parking lot will be closed for maintenance from Monday, December 12th to end of day, Wednesday, December 14th.  Please alternate parking areas during this time.


Forestry Gates - Mount Prevost, Mount Sicker and Grace Road East

The forestry gates are now open.


Maple Mountain Temporary Closures

Starting Tuesday, July 5, there will be temporary trail and area closures while the Osbourne Bay water reservoir project gets is underway. Please watch for signage and personnel on site. More information about the water reservoir project can be found here .  Please refer to the attached map [PDF - 5 MB] for more details.


Grace Road Area access off of Cranko Road 

The Grace Road West forestry road accessed from the end of Cranko Road will be closed until further notice.


For more information contact:

Shaun Mason or 250-746-3124

Using the trails

The Municipal Forest Reserve is available for non-motorized recreational use, such as hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. Overnight camping, campfires, and fireworks are not permitted in the Municipal Forest Reserve at any time.


- Permitted: Class 1 (100% pedal assist, with no throttle) that have a maximum assist speed of 32km/h.
- Not permitted: Class 2 and 3 e-bikes that have a throttle. Other throttle-activated devices, such as motorized scooters (electric stand up scooters) and one wheel boards (electric skateboards) are also not permitted on municipal trails.


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Mountain Permitted Uses Description
Maple Mountain Hiking, Mountain Biking, Equestrian Located between Maple Bay and Crofton, Maple Mountain is a rich mountain for hiking, biking and equestrian.  Great sanctioned trails and awesome vistas of the area.
Mount Tzouhalem Hiking, Mountain Biking Looking east from Duncan, Mount Tzouhalem (The "Tzou") is the landmark which offers trails to the Cross, vistas overlooking Cowichan Bay and a myriad of mountain biking and hiking trails. 
Mount Richards Hiking, Equestrian Found across the road from the main access to Maple Mountain off of Osborne Bay Road.  Mount Richards is home to great access for hikers and equestrians.
Mount Prevost Hiking, Downhill Mountain Biking Mount Prevost, rising out of the western viewscape in the Cowichan Valley, is home to another cross and is destined to be our hiking and downhill mountain biking home.

Trails App

North Cowichan has released a trails app that includes all forestry roads and sanctioned trails for hiking or mountain biking.  Currently, we are featuring Maple Mountain and Mount Tzouhalem on it and it will be expanding to include the rest of the forest reserve in future years.

With the app you can:
- geolocate yourself on the mountain
- identify which trails are for hiking, biking or equine
- trail descriptions, elevations and rental

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We are working on sanctioning trails (gps tracked, inspected and maintained) on a mountain by mountain basis.  With that sanctioning, comes the posting of geo-referenced maps for each forest reserve.  Our future years are planned out as follows:

  • 2023 - Mount Prevost
  • 2024 - Mount Richards

As a result, maps with sanctioned trails will only become available on a mountain by mountain basis as we move through and work on each mountains trail network.

Maps are available below for printing or uploading to an app that uses geo-reference information. A common app being used is Avenza, which is downloadable via the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store for your smartphone.

Mountain Geo Referenced Map Download Link Original Maps
Maple Mountain printable and geo referenced map [PDF - 4 MB]  
Mount Tzouhalem  printable and geo referenced map [PDF - 3 MB] [PDF - 2 MB]  
Mount Prevost To be released in 2023 Click here [PDF - 1.1 MB]
Mount Richards  To be released in 2024 Click here [PDF - 1.1 MB]
Mount Sicker Currently not planned mount sicker.pdf [PDF - 1.2 MB]