Duncan – BC Forest Discovery Centre

The second leg of our BC Coastal Circle Tour is in Nanaimo, so we said goodbye to Sidney and the Saanich Peninsula. We did some research before the trip to find some things to do along the way, since it’s a rather monotonous drive otherwise. We considered visiting Bamberton Beach for its sandy beach and dig for clams, but clam fishing was closed due to red tide.

When we stumbled across BC Forest Discovery Centre, we were happy to find that a train ride took guests around the whole site, which would be a big hit for the boys.

After 1 hour of driving and plenty of napping for the boys, we arrived at the Discovery Centre. Very luckily, we even got the only EV charging spot to get some free juice.

The train ran every 30 minutes, so it was very convenient visitors. It took us through some installations and a short trestle over a small lake.

The centre boasts an area of 100 acres, but the artifacts were concentrated around the two stations that the train stopped at, the Alderlea Station at the entrance and North Cowichan Station.

BC Forest Discovery Centre Map.
Boys fascinated by the bright red trucks

A small building housed a great model rail and town.

Some heavy machinery had interpretive signs for extra educational points.

With a mixture of antiques, artifacts, and models, with forested walks, it’s a pleasant area to stroll through.

Back at the entrance building, there were multimedia presentations on modern forestry practices too, connecting the past and the present very effectively.

Overall, the BC Forest Discovery Centre is worth a stop and a visit. It’s right off Highway 1 which is super convenient. We spent about 2 hours here, and we explored about 60% of the grounds. It also shares a parking lot with Cowichan Regional Visitor Centre, with very clean washrooms and some of the most friendly staff we’ve met.

This is a part of our 2022 BC Coastal Circle Tour. Read on!

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