On the Banks of the Koksilah River in the Cowichan Valley is a tiny refuge called Bright Angel Park.
Trails wind through the forest and cross a suspension bridge high above the river. Huge, old Red Cedar and Douglas-fir lean over the river and, at Easter time, fawn lilies nod among the trees. Bright Angel 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 Red Cedar, Grand fir and Bigleaf Maple. Black-tail Deer, raccoon, Bald Eagles, kingfisher, Great Blue Heron, Steelhead Trout and Mergansers are commonly found in the park, and the occasional Black Bear and cougar wander through.
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The park was started in 1958 with the donation of 1.65 hectares of old-growth river bottom by local residents, Jack and Mabel Fleetwood. Jack is of Irish descent, and as with many Irish people, he believes in guardian angels. Jack honoured his guardian angel, who he believes has guided him out of many difficult situations during his lifetime, by naming the park Bright Angel.
Lake amenities include a beach, swimming, a picnic area, a picnic shelter, a playground, parking, and toilet facilities.
Bright Angel Park is located at Cowichan Station, south of Duncan on Southern Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Travel 3 km west on Koksilah Road, 3 km north of the Cowichan Bay Road intersection on Hwy 1. Cross the bridge and keep to the right.
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