The leaves rustle as the wind makes its way through the dense forest, much like a harp player who runs her fingers through the strings evoking a beautiful melody that makes the heart sing.  You are alone with nature, fully at peace with yourself and the wonder that surrounds you.  Suddenly that pile of bills on the table in the foyer seems completely irrelevant as a modern life bristling with millions of little issues to deal with takes on an entirely new outlook.  A peaceful outlook.  Such is a visit to TLC The Land Conservancy of BC’s wonderful cabin on the Cowichan River.

Rustic Log Cabin - Cowichan River - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Rustic Log Cabin – Cowichan River – Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

As we came through the gate and began to make our way down the dirt driveway, we were entranced by the natural beauty found in this remarkable BC rainforest.  At the end of the driveway, we parked our car and were greeted by a very romantic little bridge and pathway that led us to this cabin nestled deep in the thick woods.  The magical little cabin has no running water or electricity, and the silence that greets your ears is audible.  The air was crisp and clean, the surrounding trees making for a better air filtration system than any other alternative.

Within minutes we became rather convinced that we had found paradise.

Rustic Log Cabin - Cowichan River - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Rustic Log Cabin – Cowichan River – Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

A sprawling carpet of ferns almost hides the cabin in a sea so green that Mrs. Toad and I swore we could swim in it.  The cabin seems to blend right into the surrounding grove of trees, almost becoming part of the forest it sits in.  This gives you a direct connection with the wonder that surrounds the cabin on every side.

Rustic Log Cabin - Cowichan River - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Rustic Log Cabin – Cowichan River – Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

The deck integrates perfectly with the indoors and outdoors of the cabin.  It bridges both worlds, creating a sense of seamlessness as you enjoy simple living.  The railings that encircle the deck also serve as the most perfect seating surfaces.  This gives us a chance to look inward to the deck and inside, or outward to a seemingly endless forest of giant Maple trees and a lush green undergrowth.

Rustic Log Cabin - Cowichan River - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Rustic Log Cabin – Cowichan River – Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

A wonderful little path runs alongside the back of the cabin, with a rain water cistern at the end for dish or hand washing.  You have to bring your own drinking water and supplies, but this is most definitely part of the charm and fun of true outdoor living.  At the end of this path, right by the huge cistern, is a little pathway that leads you down to the Cowichan river.

Rustic Log Cabin - Cowichan River - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Rustic Log Cabin – Cowichan River – Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

The kitchen may not have the latest stainless steel appliances, but it is completely functional and is part of the spacious open floor plan of the cabin itself.  As Mrs. Toad was readying our dinner, the breeze from outside really made her feel as if she were outside as I busily hopped around photographing the magical scenes that seemed to pop out from everywhere.

Rustic Log Cabin - Cowichan River - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Rustic Log Cabin – Cowichan River – Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

The outdoors is an intricate part of life in the cabin.  We dined this evening by candlelight and I can honestly say that the contrast between our busy daily lives and an evening here at the cabin was something that peeled away the stress, leaving us both completely relaxed.  Note the huge wood beams that are exquisite architectural details, and the antique toboggan that hangs above the door, adding a touch of quirky character.

Rustic Log Cabin - Cowichan River - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Rustic Log Cabin – Cowichan River – Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

In this great shot we can see the awesome iron beam support brackets and the fabulous old-fashioned wallpaper on the back wall.  If you look closely through the beams you can see a rainbow of colors coming through the stained glass that sits in the upper loft.  The wood stove is both beautiful as well as fully functional, adding a romantic glow to the evening.  As the evening set in, the temperature dropped to the point where there was a chill in the air even though it was in the middle of summer, a testament to the rainforest’s remarkable ability to be the world’s most efficient air conditioning unit.

Rustic Log Cabin - Cowichan River - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Rustic Log Cabin – Cowichan River – Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

This shot gives us a better view of both the jaw-dropping beams as well as the gorgeous stained glass in the loft.  Those gentle warm tones we see in the loft bathed the entire cabin in a golden glow in the morning.  It was a real highlight of the stay for us.

Rustic Log Cabin - Cowichan River - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Rustic Log Cabin – Cowichan River – Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

The enormous big-leaf Maple forest is home to many critters including deer, bear, cougar, otter, beaver, marten, mink, weasel, raccoon, red squirrel, bats, shrews and voles,  just to name a few.  This ecologically diverse place is a pure symbiosis of river, forest, land animals, fish and birds.  TLC placed a conservation covenant on the land, protecting it forever as a natural resource for many generations to come.

Rustic Log Cabin - Cowichan River - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Rustic Log Cabin – Cowichan River – Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

As we looked up at the giants towering above us, we were amazed as we considered the age of these old, old trees.  They seemed to reach for the sky, almost as if they were dancing in joy.  This was an experience that we were literally a part of, one that left a permanent imprint.

Rustic Log Cabin - Cowichan River - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Rustic Log Cabin – Cowichan River – Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

This was the very spot, a secret spot, that Mrs. Toad and I sat as we watched the powerful river flow by.  We sat here and held flippers as our worries left us to rush down the river.  Raccoon tracks in the sand revealed a path that the little bandits have created as they move up the river.

Rustic Log Cabin - Cowichan River - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Rustic Log Cabin – Cowichan River – Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

The Cowichan River is considered to be the most valuable and productive salmon and trout stream on Vancouver Island.  The river has heritage significance, running 47km from it’s head to where it meets Cowichan Bay.  This powerful and majestic river is a source of pride and beauty to all who enjoy it year-round.  It’s definitely one of our personal favorite places to frequent, as often you can find Mrs. Toad and I having a picnic in the park down at Skutz Falls and going for a walk on many of the connecting trails.  I can even remember one winter when it began to snow as we were eating our lunch in the park, and this only served to heighten the magic of the whole experience.  What a wonderful place to spend some time.

Be sure to check out Jessica Clark’s excellent video production taken at the cabin, “Video from our Cowichan River Cabin“.

If you love our nature and heritage, there are so many different ways to show your support.  Please visit “Get Involved | The Land Conservancy of BC” for all the details.  We all thank you kindly.

We really enjoy hearing from all our visitors, so please don’t hesitate to leave us any comments you may have.  It’s a true highlight for us to receive your feedback!




  1. avatar dragonflydreams88 says:

    . . . what a wonderful getaway!!! . . . thanx for sharing this inviting location!!!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Many thanks for visiting and for taking the time to leave us your comments here, that really means so much!

  2. avatar Jerry Denham says:

    What a neat little paradise in the forest. Excellent images to illustrate the trip for us Toad. Great work.

  3. This is my kind of place Toad! Pure heaven! You captured the true beauty and essence of this place! Made me feel like I was right there feeling the cool night air!

  4. This looks an amazing place Toad, not much more to say as your shots have said it for me

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Your kindness and support means a whole lot to us here, Chris, thank you for your visit and comments my good friend!

  5. What a great place to stay, I’d love to go somewhere like this.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      It was a purely magical experience! Thank you ever so kindly for taking the time to visit and leave us your awesome comments, my good friend!

  6. avatar LensScaper says:

    What a fantastic hideaway. Dense forest, a beautiful river, a cabin. What more could one need.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Your friendship & support Andy really means the world to us my friend, thank you sincerely!!

  7. avatar Edith Levy says:

    Brilliant, brilliant images. I want to move in there.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      There’s plenty of room, come on by! Thank you so very kindly for your visit today, Edith, and for taking the time to leave us your thoughts like this!

  8. Looks a great place for a getaway. The third image looks so inviting!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you ever so kindly for your visit & most wonderful comments here, Mark! We all really appreciate you taking the time to pop on by and see us today!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      What an honor to see our blog post featured on the TLC The Land Conservancy of BC website! Thank you very much for your ongoing support, and we really are looking forward to working on many more projects together!

  9. What a sweet series, looks like a wonderful place

  10. Looks like a wonderful place to relax and unwind. Thanks for sharing these terrific images. And for making all of us jealous too.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      LOL! Well, that wasn’t the intent, as a matter of fact you too can have this experience if you just come to Vancouver Island for a visit! Oh, and if you’re coming, I’d love to get together and meet you in person, Steven, maybe we could go on a photowalk together! 🙂 Thank you so much for your visit & comments here, we really appreciate it!!

  11. avatar Jim Nix says:

    Scotty, great series! I love how you’ve processed these and brought out such fine detail in the logs, nice work!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you so, so much there, Jim, coming from you my friend that means an awful lot to us!!

  12. avatar Jimi Jones says:

    Oh how I have enjoyed hopping around this lovely slice of paradise with you and Mrs. Toad. Thanks to you both for the fine hospitality and these wonderful images. It’s a fine series of shots with outstanding detail and overall processing, making one feel on the scene.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      You, sir, are both a scholar and a true gentleman! Thank you SO much for taking the time to pop by today and see us here, Jimi, and for your most wonderful comments! That truly means an awful lot to us! 🙂

  13. avatar ehpem says:

    Nice place to hide out! I love this river edge – a very peaceful place. And this cabin looks very comfortable. Well photographed too, I know how difficult the insides of these places can be to get right, they have some awfully dark corners.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      You are so right, my friend! It was very dark inside, some of the exposure times were very very long. I can’t remember the details precisely, but yeh… I could have nipped off for a bite of breakfast in some cases. LOL Thanks so much for popping by!

  14. avatar Rick Louie says:

    What an awesome cabin! Such an amazing structure with the wood beams. I love to get away from the city and if I could find a way I’d live out in nature full time. I’m envious of how deciduous your forests are and must visit again soon. Thanks for sharing, Toad!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      It’s really something else up here, Rick, no doubt about it! If ever you do come again, please let us know, we would LOVE a chance to get together in person! Thanks for your visit, my friend!

  15. avatar Sherry Galey says:

    I just love these images – so warm, so rustic, so quintessentially Canadian!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thanks, Sherry! Really happy to have met you here today, and many thanks for your kind comments! We really hope to see you here at The Hollow again soon!!

      • avatar Sherry Galey says:

        Thanks so much. You are welcome to visit me at my blog anytime. If you like food and wine, now is a good time!

        • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

          Funny you should mention that, we LOVE food and wine! I’ll be heading over in short order to check out your blog, thanks for the invitation!