Youbou is located on the north shore
Cowichan Lake in Vancouver Island's Cowichan Valley. Cowichan Lake is known is over
30 km long, and one of the largest bodies of fresh water on Vancouver Island.
Formerly called Cottonwood, it was renamed Youbou in 1914 in honor of 2 of its
employees, one was the general manager, a man named Mr. Yount and Mr. Bouten,
who was the president of the
The Empire Lumber Company purchased huge blocks of timber around the Caycuse and
Youbou areas in the early 1900s. The E&N
Railway was pushed through to Youbou in 1912 and logging began in 1913. A small mill was built at Youbou,
the Cottonwood Mill, began shipping lumber in 1918. The
Canadian National Railway was extended to Youbou in 1925. Today the population
of the Youbou area is around 1500.
The Youbou Sawmill closed in January 2001, ending 73 years of continuous
production and sawmill history for the communities of Youbou and Lake Cowichan.
This closure of the last sawmill on Cowichan Lake severely impacted the economy
of the region and the livelihood of families that had been dependent on the mill
for generations. Tourism is running the economy now. There are extensive recreational
opportunities, including swimming, canoeing, kayaking, boating, fishing, and
hiking availably and this is bringing in the tourists.
Other communities around Cowichan Lake include Alder Bay, Caycuse,
Honeymoon Bay, Mesachie Lake, and Lake Cowichan.
Location: Youbou is located on the north shore of Cowichan Lake in the Cowichan
Valley, 38 km west of Duncan and a 25-minute drive west of the
community of Lake Cowichan. The road to Youbou is a 42 km
paved highway running from Duncan to Youbou. The road beyond Youbou is a gravel logging
road that is graded and maintained by various logging companies. The
road leads to Nitinat Lake, Bamfield and Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park, the
condition of this road can be from very rough to excellent, depending on who is
logging in the area.
Arbutus Park, located in Youbou is a wonderful park filled with Arbutus trees.
The 1 acre waterfront park offers a playground, a large sandy beach, pool, first
aid and lifeguards in the summer months.
The annual Swimming Regatta is held at Arbutus Park on the second Saturday of
August. The regatta is Youbou's premier festival, with dances, a sunset cruise,
a parade, and more.
The Pine Point Recreation Site is located
west of Youbou on the north shore of Cowichan Lake, offering good vehicle and
tent camping, fishing, paddling, swimming, and hiking. Pine Point beach faces
south to provide warm sunbathing conditions.
There is a boat launch
and pit toilets.
There are many hiking trails in the Youbou
area and around Cowichan Lake and the kayaking is awesome here as is the
fishing, the wildlife viewing is incredible and you have a good chance of seeing
black bears, wolves, cougars, black tail deer, elk, raccoons, beavers and many
types of birds.
West of Youbou is the first peoples community located on Nitinat Lake,
this is a
beautiful tidal saltwater fjord, 23 km in length and 1.2 km
wide, it is located in the West Coast Trail Unit of the Pacific Rim National Park
Reserve. Nitinat Lake is considered one of the world's top windsurfing and
kite boarding areas.