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 company.
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.
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.
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.