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Bear Mountain Canada Cup XC Race 2016

Bear Mountain Canada Cup Event LogosGet ready for a weekend of rad riding at Bear Mountain Canada Cup XC Race!

WHENWHERE: The Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort & Spa, Victoria – View Map

The Canada Cup series is designed to provide competitive opportunities to the next generation of cyclists, transitioning from provincial race series to international competitions. The 12 km Canada Cup Trail is not for the faint of heart. Developed in partnership with The Southern Vancouver Island Nature Trails Society (NTS), the Canada Cup Trail is designed as a single track trail for advanced mountain bike skills.

Anyone can compete with categories ranging from Elite Men and Women to Masters 50+ Men and Women. Registration closes on Friday march 4th at 5pm. Register here. Come Ride the Bear or just come watch and cheer on the national team athletes as they compete for a spot on their Road to Rio!

The Bear Mountain Canada Cup XC Race Course

The course will be open for designated training times as follows:

Thursday March 3rd: 12pm – 7pm
Friday March 4th: 9am – 7pm
Saturday March 5th: 7am – 8:15am

Bear Mountain 2016 Canada Cup Race Course Map

The 2016 Canada Cup XC Race on Bear Mountain racing schedule and fees are as follows. Online registration has ended but you can still register on site until Friday March 4th at 5pm.

2016 Bear Mountain Canada Cup XC Race Categories

For more information about the race, download Cycling Canada’s Canada Cup Technical Guide.

Road to Rio Fundraiser at bear Mountain Resort“Road to Rio” Fundraising Gala

After the race, put on your party shoes and join us for the “Road to Rio” Gala. Bear Mountain Resort will be hosting the gala to raise funds for the national team’s trip to the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio, Brazil this summer. The inaugural “Road to Rio” fundraising event will feature a gourmet dinner, live and silent auctions and exclusive opportunities to engage and interact with Canada’s national team and development level mountain bike athletes.

WHAT: Cycling Canada “Road to Rio” Fundraising Gala
WHERE: The Westin Bear Mountain Resort, Victoria, BC
WHEN: Saturday, March 5th — 6:00pm to 10:00pm
WHO: Canada’s National Mountain Bike Team
TICKETS: $250 per ticket or $1,800 per table (tax receipts available for allowable portion)

I’m excited to be attending the gala for the 2016 Olympic Spirit Project, I hope to see you there in support of our Olympic Mountain Biking Team!

Buy “Road to Rio” Gala Tickets

 

Mountain Biking at Bear Mountain Resort

Bear Mountain Bike Park - logoCanada’s top mountain bike riders, including Rio-bound Catharine Pendrel, have been training regularly at Bear Mountain Resort this fall and winter. The Resort, which uniquely offers year-round training opportunities on Canadian soil, is playing a key part in Cycling Canada’s long-term athlete development plans.

As an outdoor adventure destination for the entire region, the Bear Mountain Trail System offers people of all ages and abilities access to nature and the marvelous recreational opportunities it has to offer. The resort is host to an expanding trail network, jump park, national team training centre and the annual BearTrax competition. The resort also offers bike rentals, coaching and guided rides through the Hub.

For more information about mountain biking at Bear Mountain Resort, visit the website.

Ride the Bear!

Weekend Getaway: Middle Beach Lodge, Tofino BC

You’ll find Middle Beach Lodge at the end of Mackenzie Beach Road in Tofino, BC on Vancouver Island. I headed here a few weeks ago with a group of girlfriends for a much needed weekend of beach walks, food, wine, and relaxation. Tofino is always a perfect weekend getaway destination for friends, a girls getaway or a romantic retreat.

Getting to Tofino

The Pacific Rim Highway to Tofino is twisty and windy and on this particular Friday afternoon, it was raining so hard that I literally drove through waterfalls cascading off the rock walls along the roadside. So depending what time of year you plan to travel to Tofino, be prepared for crazy road and weather conditions.

Coming from downtown Victoria on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, the trip took about 4.5 hours. My friends came over on the ferry from Vancouver (a 1.5 hour boat ride), the drive from Departure Bay in Nanaimo taking them approximately 3 hours.

Middle Beach Lodge in Tofino

When I arrived, my friends had already staked their claim to the two couches in the lounge in front of the giant fireplace of the Middle Beach Lodge public lounge. It was cozy and comfortable and when we weren’t out exploring the beach or the town of Tofino, this is where we spent the majority of our time catching up over tea or wine and relaxing. There were several couples at the Lodge, enjoying a romantic storm-watching weekend getaway.

Middle Beach Lodge Garden ViewThe View from Middle Beach Lodge TofinoMiddle Beach Lodge Lounge - Tofino Middle Beach Lodge Lounge View - TofinoDrinking Wine at Middle Beach Lodge

Our rooms at Middle Beach Lodge were small but comfortable. Our adjoining rooms both included a queen bed, in-room sink and vanity and a bathroom with toilet, tub and shower. Perfectly simple with everything we needed. But what really made the room was the view of the ocean and the sound of the crashing waves just outside the window!

A Room at Middle Beach Lodge Tofino

Hello Tofino! I’m so looking forward to spending the long weekend with you!

A photo posted by Mariska Richters (@mariskar) on

Our stay at the Lodge included a continental breakfast, including croissants, cinnamon buns, toast, meat and cheese plate, hard boiled eggs, cereals, yogurt, fruit and more. Plus, of course, your standard coffee and tea. My favourite food part about our stay was the fresh cookies they bake mid-afternoon each day. Deeeelicious! Breakfast at Middle Beach Lodge Breakfast at Middle Beach Lodge 2 We had a mix of weather conditions from stormy wind and rain to clear sunny skies. I highly recommend bringing your rain gear to Tofino any time of year, as it is on the edge of a rainforest on one side and the open ocean on the other. This combination makes the weather unpredictable and susceptible to quick change. If you plan to stay at Middle Beach Lodge, they have a healthy supply of bright yellow rain coats and rubber boots for guests to use during their stay. When we saw this, of course we HAD to wear them! So the four of us traipsed down to the beach in our yellows for a photoshoot!

Oh #Tofino! You impress me! A photo posted by Mariska Richters (@mariskar) on

Trail to Middle Beach TofinoGirls at Middle Beach Tofino 4 Girls at Middle Beach Tofino 1 Girls at Middle Beach Tofino 2 Girls at Middle Beach Tofino 3Girls at Middle Beach Tofino 5Beach Walk at Middle Beach Lodge Tofino

For more information or to make your reservation visit the Middle Beach Lodge website or contact them at 250 725 2900 or toll free 1 866 725 2900 or by email at info(at)middlebeach.com

See more photos of Middle Beach Lodge here and more Middle Beach Photoshoot pics here.

Welcome to Wits End Retreat in Victoria, BC

A while back, we were invited to stay at Wits End Retreat for our first bed and breakfast getaway together. Every aspect of our stay exceeded our expectations! From the location, to the grounds and accommodation to the food, our experience was outstanding!
WitsEndRetreat_FrontGate

The grounds of the B&B are absolutely stunning with perfectly manicured lawns, huge trees, beautiful flower gardens, herb gardens, an organic vegetable garden, fruit trees, a cozy gazebo, fountains and several several garden seating areas throughout the property.

Wits-End-Retreat-grounds Wits-End-Retreat-grounds Wits-End-Retreat-grounds

 

The open concept, garden-view room has a cabin feel with a queen size bed and fireplace on one end and a living space with love seat, comfy chair and coffee table on the other.

WitsEndRetreat-Suite

Wits-End-Retreat-BathroomWits-End-Retreat-Suite

Included with the room was a bottle of wine and cheese plate with crackers, a mini fridge stocked with cold drinks, and the best part: pastries!

Wits-End-Retreat-wine & pastries

Not far from the B&B we discovered a gorgeous white sand beach at Witty’s Lagoon, which completed the vacation feel for us! We were so fortunate with the warm sunny weather during tour stay that it almost felt tropical on the beach.

Wits-End-Retreat-Witty's Lagoon

Our morning breakfast was insanely delicious! Prepared by the chefs of Wits End Catering, we enjoyed poached pears to start followed by eggs benny with incredible local Metchosin sausage. Oh my DELICIOUS!

Wits-End-Retreat-poached pears

Wits-End-Retreat-eggs bennedict

Even though this B&B is only about a twenty minute drive from our home, we felt like we were far far away on a beautiful romantic vacation getaway. It was absolutely perfect!

Thank you to Sandy and Heather for your kindness and generosity and for sharing your little piece of paradise with us! We will most definitely be back for another romantic escape in the future!

I had read some of the glowing TripAdvisor reviews prior to the weekend and our experience fully exceeded my expectations!

You’ll find Wits End Retreat at 517 Witty’s Beach Road, Victoria BC. Make your reservation online or contact them by phone (1 250.474.1066) or email ([email protected]).

 

10 Reasons Why You Should Eat More Avocado

Avocado has got to be one of my favorite fruits. I include it in my meals nearly everyday. I put it on salads, in smoothies, spread it on toast, put it on sandwiches, add it to wraps, or just eat it right out of the skin with a spoon!

But not only is avocado delicious, it’s also very good for you. If you don’t already include avocado in your regular diet, this list of health benefits might convince you to start adding it to your regular menu.

Why You Should Eat More Avocado

10 Reasons Why You Should Eat More Avocado:

  1.  Avocado Can Lower Cholesterol – The oleic acid in avocados helps to reduce cholesterol levels.
  2. Avocados are Loaded With Antioxidants – Antioxidants help prevent disease and have even been touted to help against cancer and Alzheimer disease.
  3. Eating Avocados May Help You Lose Weight – Avocado has been known to be a hunger-squasher – the fiber and healthy fats make you feel fuller for longer.
  4. Avocados Provide Healthy Fats – Not all fat is bad for you. Avocados are packed with monounsaturated fat, which it where you get most of your calories from the avocado. Monounsaturated fat helps lessen you LDL cholesterol, which is harmful to your body.
  5. Avocados Are Good For Your Heart – Avocados help with the absorption of carotenoids (beta-carotene and lycopene), which are essential for heart health. They are virtually the only fruit that contains monounsaturated fat, making them a heart-healthy diet choice.
  6. Avocados Are Packed With Vitamins – You will find vitamins B, K and E in avocados. Vitamin B helps you maintain a healthy skin tone and metabolism, vitamin K is instrumental in bone growth and density, while vitamin E is key for strong immunity and healthy skin and eyes.
  7. Avocados Are High in Fiber – Avocados provide 37% of the daily recommended amount of fiber. They contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps you with appetite control by making you feel full, while insoluble fiber is great for cleaning out you bowels.avocado selection
  8. Avocados Are Great During Pregnancy – On top of all the other benefits of avocados, they have been known to help with morning sickness and also help your baby’s brain and tissues grow. Plus, if you’re having trouble gaining weight during pregnancy, they are a great food to load up on thanks to the healthy fats.
  9. Avocados Are Potassium Rich – Avocados contain more potassium than bananas! Potassium helps lower blood pressure and is something that most people don’t get enough of in their diets, putting them at risk of stroke and heart problems.
  10. Avocados are DELICIOUS! – Seriously! If none of the above convinced you to add more avocados to your diet, maybe the deliciousness will! They are rich and fresh and squishy in your mouth and fit in with almost any meal.

How To Choose the Right Avocado

Avocados only ripen after they have been picked, this is why you will find that most stores and markets will have mostly hard, green avocados available in their produce section.

Because of this, you will most likely not be eating your avocado on the day you bring it home from the store. Leave it on the counter at room temperature (not in the fridge) until it ripens. You’ll know it’s ripe by the color – it will change to dark green, almost black – and becomes soft when you gently squeeze it. One trick that has been known to help an avocado ripen faster is to put it in a paper bag with a banana and place it in a dark cupboard. Try it and let me know how it goes in the comments.

 What’s your favorite way to eat more avocado?

Give Wall Art This Holiday Season

A couple of weeks ago I received a request from one of my Instagram followers for prints of a couple of my mushroom images I had posted a few weeks earlier. She said she had the perfect wall art frames and would love to see my mushroom photos in them!

These are the images she chose:

A photo posted by Mariska Richters (@mariskar) on

A photo posted by Mariska Richters (@mariskar) on

And this is how the final wall art turned out:


Thank you so much @LifeOfShauna for posting a pic of the final framed wall art and for your kind words! I’m so happy and excited that you like the photos and I love that they inspire memories of your favourite childhood stories!

Give Wall Art This Holiday Season!

Are you looking for a unique gift for someone close to you this holiday season? Do you know someone who loves to travel, appreciates nature and explores the outdoors?

Check out my Instagram feed and if you see something that inspires you, please contact me for pricing and I’ll get them printed and sent off you you in a flash! And don’t forget to click follow while you’re there!

View Instagram Feed

OR

Visit the Etsy Shop

Vancouver Island Mushrooms

I went for an autumn hike up the mountain behind my house on Vancouver Island yesterday and came across tons of different kinds of mushrooms and fungi. I posted the following photos of Vancouver Island Mushrooms to Instagram and they’ve been getting a lot of attention (yay!) I’ve even had one person request prints of a couple of the images, so I thought I would share them here as well.

Do you know which mushrooms are which?

I have no idea what kind of mushrooms these are or whether they are edible or not, but they are beautiful and they have me imagining a little gnome community hiding out in the woods behind my house and that makes me smile. If you know what they are, I’d love for you to share your insight in the comments below?

Have a look and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for more great daily Vancouver Island and travel photos!

I found lots of autumn shroomies on my hike with @Roxidoo today. #mushrooms #shrooms #autumn #fall #forest A photo posted by Mariska Richters (@mariskar) on

More autumn mushrooms. #mushroom #fungi #autumn #explorebc #cowichan #fall #forest

A photo posted by Mariska Richters (@mariskar) on

More fungi! #mushrooms #fungi #vancouverisland #cowichan #autumn #forest #woods #fall #shrooms

A photo posted by Mariska Richters (@mariskar) on

[Tweet “Check out these #mushroom pics! Do you know what they are? Are they edible? #fungi #food”]

Pumpkins at Abby Lane Farm

As I drove home from the gym one morning last week I decided to take a new route and was pleasantly surprised by the beautiful fall colors at the Abby Lane Farm Stand. As I came around the corner I was faced with hundreds of pumpkins in all shapes and sizes.

Abby Lane Farm - Sign Abby Lane Farm - Sign

There were pumpkins in buckets, in bathtubs, pumpkins in wheelbarrows, pumpkins in the back of a truck, pumpkins on tables, pumpkins under tables, pumpkins on chairs, pumpkins in barrels, pumpkins on shelves, and pumpkins strewn all over the grass.

There were regular pumpkins, warted pumpkins, gourds, acorn squash, hubbard squash (warted green, red and blue), kabocha squash, buttercup squash, and spaghetti squash. I had never seen so many different varieties of squash and pumpkins all in one place!

Abby Lane Farm - Pumpkins Abby Lane Farm - Pumpkins Abby Lane Farm - Pumpkins Abby Lane Farm - Pumpkins Abby Lane Farm - Squash

About Abby Lane Farm

Abby Lane Farm consists of 56 acres of rich farmland located at 7233 Mays Road in Duncan, BC and has been owned by the same family since the 1960’s. In 1982, the farm was named after a combination of the family dog (Abby) and the Beatles song, Penny Lane, to become Abby Lane Farm. The farm was mostly used for cattle and growing hay over the years but in 2007 they started growing pumpkins. The largest pumpkin that they’ve grown to date weighed in at 1,689 lbs! 

Abby Lane Farmers pride themselves on following organic farming practices with absolutely zero pesticides and herbicides used on the farm.

With Thanksgiving and Halloween happening this month, it’s the perfect time to head out to Abby Lane Farm for a horse wagon ride and to choose your perfect pumpkin! Be sure to visit a bank machine before you go, as they are a cash only farm stand. And please leave Fido at home, there are no dogs allowed at Abby Lane Farm.

No dogs allowed at Abby Lane Farm.

How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds

When you get your pumpkin home, try roasting the seeds for a nice healthy snack.

  • Remove the seeds from the pumpkin cavity
  • Wipe them off with a paper towel if needed to remove excess pulp that may have stuck to them
  • Spread them out evenly on a paper bag and let them dry out overnight
  • Place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and light roast them in a 160-170ºF (about 75ºC) oven for 15-20 minutes *Roasting them for a short time at a low temperature helps to preserve their healthy oils.
  • After letting them cool down, sprinkle them with salt, or cinnamon sugar.

Enjoy! 

How To Get To Abby Lane Farm

The Creamery at Cheese Pointe Farm – The Savour Cowichan Festival

This past weekend marked the beginning of the Savour Cowichan Festival in Vancouver Island’s beautiful Cowichan Valley. With 40 artisan food and beverage producers participating it will be an incredible 10 days of  tastings and special events in the Cowichan Valley. Savour Cowichan runs from September 26 to October 5, 2014, be sure to check it out!

After visiting Cherry Point Estate Wines, we moved on to the Creamery at Cheese Pointe Farm.

Cheese Point Farm

The Creamery at Cheese Point Farm

Anybody who knows me knows that I am a huge fan of cheese. And wine tastes best when accompanied by cheese. So naturally after visiting Cherry Point Vineyard, our next stop was the Creamery at Cheese Pointe Farm.

Cheese Pointe Farm is family run by Hilary and Patty Abbott and features handcrafted cheese, artisan local treats and cheese tours.

I just loved the artwork on their signage and the sign at the driveway made me giggle,

“Drive Slow, we have lots of animals and a deaf cat.”

Cheese Point Farm

Unfortunately the cheese maker was away at the local Farmer’s Market, so we were unable to take a tour of the cheese making process, but I’ll be sure to go back soon to check that out. We did get a chance to sample some of the delicious local cheeses: camembert, blue cheese, squeaky cheese curds and a selection of flavoured cream cheeses. They were all simply delicious, the camembert was my favourite!

Cheese Point Farm Cheese Point FarmCheese Point Farm Cheese Point Farm Cheese Point Farm Cheese Point Farm Cheese Point Farm

Not only was the cheese delicious, the Cheese Pointe Farm itself was lovely.

Cheese Point Farm Cheese Point Farm Cheese Point Farm

Cheese Pointe Farm is located at 1282 Cherry Point Road in Cowichan Bay, BC. They are openFriday to Sunday 11am to 5pm. Follow The Creamery at Cheese Pointe Farm on Facebook.

What’s your favourite cheese?


Update: We’ve been notified that the farm at the Creamery at Cheese Pointe has been sold and will no longer be making cheese at this location. The nearest option would be Hilary’s Cheese in Cowichan Bay.

Cherry Point Estate Winery – Savour Cowichan

This past weekend marked the beginning of the Savour Cowichan Festival in Vancouver Island’s beautiful Cowichan Valley. With 40 artisan food and beverage producers participating it will be an incredible 10 days of  tastings and special events in the Cowichan Valley. The event runs from September 26 to October 5, 2014.

This past weekend I had the pleasure of visiting some of the participants, one of which was Cherry Point Estate Winery.

Cherry Point Estate Winery – About the Winery

Cherry Point Estate Winery is located in Cobble Hill, BC on Cherry Point Road (see map below). Tours are available year round but must be booked at least 48 hours in advance, and take about 45 min to complete. The tasting room is open every day from 10am to 5pm giving you an opportunity to sample their award winning wines.

Cherry Point Vineyard

Cherry Point Estate Winery – Savour Cowichan

Cherry Point Vineyard and the Amuse Bistro served Spanish Paella and Sangria to celebrate the wine and culinary festival to thank the community for their continuous support. After indulging in a wine tastings by the wine maker (the whites were my favourite), we sat and enjoyed our paella and sangria on the beautiful garden patio followed by a wander through the vineyard to sample some juicy grapes. (shhh!)

Cherry Point Vineyard Cherry Point Vineyard - Wine Maker

Cherry Point Vineyard - WinesCherry Point Vineyard

Cherry Point Estate Winery – The Wines

2009 Pinot Noir

2009 Pinot Noir

Cherry Point Wines - Pinot NoirSweetness: 0
Price: $24.00

This 2009 Pinot Noir is produced from a single vineyard block that was carefully tended to during the spring to ensure early ripeness. This wine was aged in old oak barrels for 10 months and has big cherry aromas with hints of raspberry and undertones of clean cedar. A silky mouth-feel is brimming with cherry, strawberry and raspberry flavour notes. A perfect wine to pair with smoked salmon, roast beef or any favourite west coast dinner.

2009 Coastal Red

2009 Coastal Red

Cherry Point Wines - Coastal Red 2009Silver Medal, North West Summit Competition
Sweetness: 0
Price: $16.95

A delicious blend with aromas of orange blossom, wild blackberry and spice. Juicy dark cherry and black current flavor notes with a kiss of oak are followed by a peppery, berry finish. Food friendly wine, ideal while picnicking al fresco, barbecuing or just sipping on the patio.

Bête Noire

Bête Noire

Cherry Point Wines - bette_frontOur Bête Noire is a cross varietal, cross-vintage blend of our better vintages and a wine representative of soils and climate which are unique to Cherry Point. Pinot Noir 2007, Agria 2009 (the true black beast) and Castell 2009 have been crafted together to create a wine reminiscent of the Rioja region in Spain. Rich red in colour, an earthy nearly dusty aroma introduces the wine followed by plum and spice with a savory oak finish. ThisBête Noire has a great backbone; perfect pairing with steaks and mature cheeses.

2009 Forté

2009 Forté

Cherry Point Wines - forte_2009_frontSweetness: 0
Price: $25.80

Cherry Point Estate Wines premium red wine is made with the best performing Castel, Agria and Zweigelt grapes. Forte is aged in old French oak barrels for 18 months giving the wine a supple velvety texture. This wine is dominated by a cherry aroma, with hints of plum and raspberry. The full-bodied fruity taste is suitable for pairing with all red meat dishes.

2011 Pinot Gris Reserve

2011 Pinot Gris Reserve

Cherry Point Wines - pinot_gris_2011_frontSweetness: 0
Price: $19.75

Pale yellow with a lovely citrus fruit and spicy bouquet, juicy pineapple, mandarin orange and pink grapefruit flavor notes on the palate, with a long honeyed finish; Delightful with poached salmon and white sauce, pasta primavera and crisp shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano from Italy.

2010 Coastal White

2010 Coastal White

Cherry Point Wines - Coastal White 2011Bronze Medal, Northwest Summit Competition.
Sweetness: 1.
Price: $16.95

This Germanic style blend of Pinot Gris, Siegerrebe and Sylvaner has a light straw hue and aromas of honeysuckle and fresh citrus fruit, pear and orange flavor notes are followed by a long crisp finish. Ideal for summer sipping or as an aperitif. Great with seafood, poultry and Asian dishes.

2011 Gewürztraminer

2011 Gewürztraminer

Cherry Point Wines - gewurz_2011_frontBronze Medal, Northwest Summit Competition.
Price: $23.20

This stylish aromatic white has subtle tones of lychee and peach on the nose with floral undertones and a crisp grapefruit finish typical of our terroir.

2011 Ortega

2011 Ortega

Cherry Point Wines - ortega_2011_frontDouble Gold, All Canadian Wine Competition
Silver Medal, North West Summit Competition
Sweetness: 0

This Cherry Point classic is pale straw in colour and displays aromas of grapefruit and apricot with underlying floral notes, typical of the varietal. A full palate of ripe peach lingers with balanced acidity. Pairs well with risotto, pasta and chicken.

Cherry Point Estate Winery – Wine Tour Photos

(click for larger image)

 Cherry Point Estate Winery – Location

The winery is located at 840 Cherry Point Road in Cobble Hill, BC. For more information visit the Cherry Point Estate Winery website and/or follow them on Facebook.

Kiteboarding at Nitinat Lake on Vancouver Island

Nitinat Lake is considered to be the jewel of Vancouver Island for kiteboarding. It is an ideal place for both novice and expert kiteboarders to practice their skills.

Nitinat Lake is a tidal, saltwater fjord, 23 km long and 1.2 km wide. The southern end of the lake lies in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, which also includes Nitinat Hill on the lake’s northern shore and Nitinat Cone on the southern shore.

Kiteboarding at Nitinat Lake

Kiteboarding Conditions

The wind on the lake picks up around 11am – 12 noon and brings great conditions for both kiteboarding and wind surfing throughout the day. The windy season at Nitinat (also known as Nitnat) Lake runs from May through September with the windiest months being July and August. During these months a normal day will deliver thermal winds in the perfect 18-20 knot range, and then slowly dies off in the evening. For weather and wind forecasts, visit Windfinder.com.

Every summer Nitinal Lake hosts the Windfest kiteboarding competition which attracts kiters from the USA, and more recently the world. For more information visit Windfest.ca.

(For more photos of the kiteboarding and scenery at Nitinat Lake, please visit the set on Flickr.)

Kiteboarding at Nitinat Lake

Kiteboarding at Nitinat Lake

Kiteboarding at Nitinat Lake
Kiteboarding at Nitinat Lake

How to Get to Nitinat Lake

Access to Nitinat Lake is by gravel logging road via Lake Cowichan/Youbou. It’s approximately 3.5 hours from Victoria and 3 hours from Nanaimo, and 2.5 hours from Duncan. Make sure your vehicle is equipped to handle the dirt roads, as they can be slippery and riddled with potholes.

Where to Stay at Nitinat Lake

The Nitinat Lake Recreation Site provides rustic camping, managed by the Ditidaht First Nation.  If you’re lucky, you’ll get a spot right on the lake.

The campground provides picnic tables and fire pits at $12.00 – 14.00/night – although no one came around to collect fees when I was there. 

A Few Camping Tips…

  • There is no cell service, no running water and no power at the campground.
  • Nitinat is bear country –  be ‘Bear Aware.’
  • Pack out your garbage when you leave, there is no disposal services.
  • There are outhouse facilities, but it’s a good idea to supply your own toilet paper, as they tend to run out.
  • Evening temperatures can vary during the summer from cool to tropically warm. Be sure to bring enough blankets for those cooler nights.
  • During the summer months, there is a good chance that there will be a campfire bans in effect.

The alternative to camping is the Nitinat Lake Motel. Room prices ranging from $65 – $100/night. For information and reservations, call 250-745 -3844.

For more photos from my time at Nitinat Lake, please visit the set on Flickr.

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