Services in Merritt and the Nicola Valley

Nicola Valley Food Bank

Not Just  a Food Bank

Serving the Community on Merritt BC Canada

One of the more important social services in Merritt is the Nicola Valley Food Bank.  Therefore this organization is instrumental in filling a gap where people have to decide between shelter or food.  There are many people in the Merritt area who do not have enough financial support or low paying jobs that can’t make ends meet and therefore rely on the Nicola Valley Food Bank located in Downtown Merritt BC Canada.

 

Nicola Valley Food Bank Shelving

Nicola Valley Food Bank Shelving–Tom Reynolds Photo

The Program of the Nicola Valley Food Bank

Of course the main function of the Nicola Valley Food Bank is to provide nutritious food to those in need.  However, there is more to the food bank than just the delivery of food.   The food bank has created many successful partnerships in both the non profit sector and the business sector. It is these alliances that  go along way to make the system work.

Sharing with other organizations

One of the organizations the Food Bank works with is Ask Wellness  which is a national program to help improve the lives of people.  One of their major focuses in Merritt is the housing component.  Many of Ask Wellness’s clients also are those of the Nicola Valley Food Bank.  By working together the two groups can see that the clients are properly fed with nutritious food.

The Merritt Soup Kitchen is another group that the Food Bank Deals with.  Sometimes one organization or other will get a donation of food that is greater than can be used immediately and therefore there is an exchange of the excess so nothing goes to waste.

School District 58 and Strong Start work with the  Food Bank to provide food for the Strong Start Program.

The Business Community is on Board

Certainly, the major grocery stores are on board with the food bank.  When Wal Mart, No Frills and Save-on-Foods have products that are reaching their “best before date” they send them to the food bank.  While these items are ending their retail life they still are OK to eat.  While these big companies are contributing greatly there are a number of other businesses that chip in such as Starbucks, Dollar Tree, Pharmasave, A&W an now Mr Mikes.

No Frills Supports Food BsankNo Frills Supports Food Bank
Dollar Tree Supports Food Bank

Dollar Tree Supports Food Bank

A&W Supports the Food BankA&W Supports the Food Bank Mr Mikes Supports the Food Bank
Save on foods supports Foo Bank

Save on foods supports Foo Bank

 
Walmart Supports Food BankWalmart Supports Food Bank Starbucks supports Food BankStarbucks supports Food Bank Pharmasave Supports the Food BankPharmasave Supports the Food Bank

Nicola Valley Food Bank Staffing and Volunteers

The success of any not for profit is in its staff and volunteers and the Food Bank is no exception.  Derlanda Hewton is the General manager and her enthusiasm and vision have filtered to the staff and volunteers.

At the time of my visit to the Food Bank, the following were the staff and volunteers.  Vanya Beck was the Administration assistant and intake person.  She has a reassuring personality that works well with the clients.

Keith Walliser is on the food desk and he brings a world of knowledge to the Nicola Valley Food Bank because of his many years in the grocery store business.  Also on staff are Edwin Feldman, inventory Clerk and Henry Krause, Driver.

Volunteers are Georgina Johnny, driver and on call, Brenda Fahlman and Rosemary McNeil, both portion control.  Finally, we have Ashley Davey.

Fund Raising

Like most non profits fund raising brings a significant amount of money (or food) for the operation of the  Food Bank.  Therefore community groups such as the Merritt Centennials put on food drives during their season.  Out right donations from people are also greatly appreciated

This year the Food Bank participated in a national fund raising event called the “Coldest Night of the Year”.  Consequently this fund raiser is catching on and should be bigger next year. The Centennials supported this event in a big way.

21-22 Merritt Centennials

21-22 Merritt Centennials-Tom Reynolds Photo

Future Plans for the Nicola Valley Food Bank

The current location of the Nicola Valley Food Bank is strategically located to serve its clientele but unfortunately it is too small to meet the needs of the organization and therefore are looking for a larger space.

They wish to add an education centre to teach things such as selecting nutritious foods, cooking nutritious foods and household budgeting.

In addition they need more space for preparing the Christmas hampers.  Each year they have had to go and find a space that is large enough for this task and be reasonably priced (free is best).

Lastly, these are ambitious goals and if you want to be apart of that apply to be on the Board of Directors or take all the action in by volunteering at the Food Bank.  Call Derlanda Hewton at 250.378.2282.

Nicola Valley Food Bank

Merritt British Columbia Canada

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Campsites and Campgrounds in the Nicola Valley

Tips That Will Improve Any Merritt Campground  Trip

Campground Summer Adventures in Merritt, Canada

When  visiting Campsites and Campgrounds in Merritt BC Canada, make your next outdoor adventure easier with these simple camping tips. Moreover, with good planning anyone can make camping a memorable outdoor experience in the Nicola Valley. Knowing that camping connects you with nature, allows you to recharge your batteries while relaxing with family and friends. Experiencing camping in Merritt BC with these useful tips will improve your any camping trip.

Campsites and Campgrounds in Merritt BC Canada

Family Camping. Photo by Robert Neil

Water skiing in Merritt BC

Water skiing. Photo by Robert Neil.

Safety In Our Campsites and Campgrounds in Merritt BC Canada

Albeit, I love to camp around Merritt BC for all the mountains, scenery and activities we will experience. But safety is always my priority while out in the backcountry. The likelihood to observe all kinds of wildlife is truly a magical experience which I encourage. However,  I ask that you treat wildlife with the respect they need and deserve. My motto is that I am a guest in their home, and very privileged to be welcomed. Moreover, try and do some research on the campground you will be visiting.  A good source of information is the Experience Merritt website for campsites and campgrounds.

Summer Adventure on Nicola Valley’s Lakes

Dream summers. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Family campgrounds in the Nicola Valley

Memories are made camping Photo by Tania Stewart.

Carry bear spray, ensure it is accessible, and know how to use it before heading out on the trails. 

BC wilderness camping

BC Camping. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Stay respectful of the “Wilderness and Others”

It is important to always be considerate of all backcountry environments when visiting our campsites and campgrounds in Merritt BC Canada. Please… always keep your campsite clean. Leaving food out will attract all kinds of wildlife, including unwanted pests such as wasps, bears and more. Importantly, wildlife is also attracted to items that have an odor such as garbage, unwashed dishes, stoves, coolers, dog dishes, and toiletries. My toothpaste even? Yes, and shampoo, deodorant, skin cream, shaving lotion, suntan lotions, and baby diapers (especially used) will attract wildlife. Very important to always wash, and put away dishes, pots, and all garbage while storing your toiletries in air-sealed containers.  

Camping in Merritt BC Canada

Bear aware. Picture by Tania Stewart.

Wildlife in Merritt BC Canada

Wildlife Goat. Photo by Robert Neil.

Bear Aware in Our Campgrounds in Merritt BC Canada

If you knew how many bears are put down every year due to our lack of understanding and carelessness, you would cry.  It is important to know that carelessness can be a death sentence for a bear and its cubs. Did you know that much of our human-sourced food is rich in calories and that it is on a bear’s wish list to sustain itself hibernating in the winter months.  Therefore, garbage foraging for a bear is like us ordering take-out. It is easy and they lose their fear of us, associating us with food. Unfortunately, eating these foods brings bears and people closer together. Over time, bears lose their natural fear of people and start to associate people with food. Save our Bears by being wildlife aware.

Campsites in Merritt BC

Summer camping! Photo by Tania Stewart.

Family campground and campsites

Camping & Kids! Photo Tania Stewart.

“WHILE OUT IN THE BACKCOUNTRY, STAY RESPECTFUL OF ALL WILDLIFE!” TANIA STEWART

Wildlife Law

Do not feed the BEARS!  Furthermore, this applies to all animals.  And did you know that feeding wildlife in a national park or historic site will get you charged under the Canada National Parks Act? Whether feeding them directly or indirectly by leaving unattended food or garbage for them to sniff out and find. So put away your food. 

Merritt fishing in the Nicola Valley

Wes David and the Fishing the Wild West TV Show. Photo credit Wes David.

Campsites in the Nicola Valley

Alleyne Lake. Photo Tania Stewart.

Wildlife Photo’s

Albeit it is exhilarating to see a moose, bear, deer, or even a fox while visiting our campsites and campgrounds in Merritt BC. Capturing that photo or video can make your day. It has made mine on many occasions. Distance and respect for wildlife are key, this is their home. Make sure to share your amazing shots to on our websites or tag us on Facebook at @experiencenicolavalley!

Birdwatching in Merritt BC Canada

Wildlife capture. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Nature Walking/hiking

Hiking on the trails while camping is the best. Being aware that the best time to set out on a hike or picnic is best served after breakfast and before the supper bell rings. Equally, just like us, wildlife/animals are active early morning and around sunset.  Furthermore, never go alone, carry a lot of water, make noise, bear spray, bug dope, and know your surroundings. 

Sightseeing in Merritt BC Canada

Hiking Trail. Photo by Robert Neil.

Give wildlife space-Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings-travel in groups

Campfires while Camping in the Nicola Valley

Always check and be up-to-date on fire bans and restrictions when visiting our valley. Call or google wildfire gov for updated information.  British Columbia is a large geographically diverse province. Therefore, decisions on when and where to implement fire bans and restrictions are made by B.C.’s six regional fire centers. Wildfire prevention starts with us and one little match could ignite our backwoods. So be mindful of your fires, cigarettes and other flammable items.

Report Fires

Important to always make sure your campfire is out. And in some cases put out a negligent camper’s fire. Always report any fire. Therefore we can continue to enjoy our great outdoors and bask in its tranquility, 

“There’s no wi-fi in the mountains, but you’ll find a not better connection.” Unknown

Mosquitoes 

Campsites and campgrounds in Merritt BC Canada are truly one of the best ways to take a vacation. But the Mosquitoes! Take along a few bundles of sage the next time you go camping. Then, when the sun is setting and the campfire is going, burn a bit of sage with your fire. Or for a longer-lasting effect, set the stage on fire and let it smolder and smoke by the edge of the campfire. Moreover, mosquitoes are repelled by sage smoke and are a lot healthier than bug spray. 

Organizing Skills

Keeping your food secure and organized is important while camping. Organizing with storage is life-saving not to mention less stressful. Using bins, and sleeping bags for storage in tents,  Keeps your site organized and odor-free. Important leave no trace you were there. 

How to Find Amazing Camping Spots

Simply go to Experience Nicola Valley  and for all the information you will need to plan your camping trip to your specific summer adventure. Looking for a fishing adventure, speed boating one or a kayaking drift. Choosing the right campsite is the first step, getting there is the fun part, and the rest is just a load of memories. 

Campgrounds in Merritt BC Canada

Camping, campsites in the Nicola Valley Canada

Weddings in Merritt BC

Wedding Planning, Venues and Destinations in Merritt British Columbia Canada

If you are looking for inspiration for your big day, look at these ideal locations for weddings in the Nicola Valley 

Wedding Venues Merritt BC – The Nicola Valley is quickly becoming a top destination spot for couples planning their dream wedding. Wedding venues in Merritt BC give you some of the most amazing natural scenic beauty, along with moderate year-round temperatures.  Albeit,  summer weddings are magical, there are more couples opting for fall and winter dates. Increasingly, more love birds are choosing the Nicola Valley as their “Dream Wedding” destination. Foregoing traditional rented halls,  couples are discovering or seeking a more earthly natural wedding ceremony. Including having their reception held at the same venue. Having that choice to hold the most important day of your life amongst some of the most beautiful scenic natural places found right here in Merritt BC. Canada

Wedding Venues in Merritt BC Canada

Wedding Venues in Merritt BC Canada. Photo credit Tania Stewart.

“Couples are planning their wedding place’s with great importance on affordability and thorough venues.”

Merritt BC Canada weddings

Brides and Bridesmaids. Photo credit Tania Stewart

Nicola Valley wedding celebrations

Nicola Valley wedding celebrations. Photo credit Tania Stewart

Unique Wedding Venues in Merritt BC

Whether you are looking to hold a rustic outdoor event or rent a historic hotel with its cowboy saloon, or a fishing lodge that caters to your needs in fine detail. or a farmer’s field, or a mountain summer camp with rustic cabins. Unique wedding venues can be found here in and around the Nicola Valley year-round. Moreover, the Nicola Valley has a few hidden gems that would make your dream day complete. Providing a historic hotel, scenic lodges summer camps with cabins, and enmities that are endless. Equally, many couples are seeking venues that enable them to have the ceremony, reception, and dance with accommodations for guests within one location. 

Wedding Planning Has Challenges

Planning a wedding is hard. From the guest list,  invitations, the choice of venue, and the honeymoon. With so many things to think about it can become very overwhelming. Considering the endless questions and doubts can bring bride anxiety to its fullest. What theme to choose,  vendors, dress styles, location, season, table settings, and more, literally can bring on Bridezilla! Most can say that the most important thing besides your wedding dress is your choice of venue location. While I can not help you with your theme, here in the Nicola Valley can offer you some magical wedding venues. Along with a few catering recommendations. 

Happy times. Photo credit Tania Stewart.

Weddings with friends. Photo credit Tania Stewart.

Wedding ceremony in merritt bc

Wedding ceremony and vows. Photo credit Tania Stewart.

Outdoor Wedding Venues in Merritt BC

There may be nothing more romantic than an outdoor wedding.  Whether you have the wedding on a lake, river, beach, mountainside or in a field. Bringing in the natural elements always lends a beautiful backdrop. Truly, the amazing outdoor beauty, the Nicola Valley has in abundance. Picture the amazing sunset that graces the mountain tops as it sets, bringing in the night stars. The romantic allure, combined with the aromas of the season out right beats any cramped hall. Even more, nature will accommodate your outdoor wedding any time of the year you choose. Worth to take note,  that with outdoor events you will need to factor in the weather. Rain, no problem, pole tents with portable fire pits will save the day. Having a backup plan is essential. 

Mountain crests, sunsets, starlit skies! The photographs will be priceless! Tania Stewart

Open Field Wedding Venues Merritt BC

Rent a field for a wedding and it can never be overcrowded, no matter the number of guests.  Outdoor wedding locations give flexibility to sitting arrangements and movements. So, if you’re thinking of a small backyard wedding ceremony idea or a big wedding, the outdoor allows space for fresh air and easy breathing.

Wedding Venues Merritt BC

Photo courtesy Douglas Lake Ranch

Historical Quilchena Hotel Resort

Exchange your vows at this historic hotel resort called Quilchena.  Ideal for a country-themed wedding while being centrally located. Its historic history makes this your ideal unique wedding opportunity. Available to rent as an un-staffed & user-ready facility for those seeking a smaller event occupancy with a spacious room. Packages include house-kept rooms, cold storage, dining areas, a conference room, ready kitchen for catering. And most of all a “Private Saloon” with bullet holes from the old western days. Wedding guests can come and enjoy what the Nicola Valley region has to offer. 

Wedding Venues Merritt BC

Western Saloon. Photo by Tania Stewart

Wedding Venues Merritt BC

Quilchena Hotel. Photo by Tania Stewart

Your Private Wedding Retreat in Merritt BC

Moreover, come and escape the city and enjoy all the scenic beauty the Thompson-Nicola has to offer.  The Historic Quilchena Hotel is a truly timeless venue for your upcoming special day. Celebrate your wedding with the turn of the century charm. Experience your event surrounded by period antiques, heritage rooms, and even a pedestal wash-sink. Moreover, maybe a ghost or two. Truly this venue will give all couples the ability to fuse their distinct personal styles with an exquisite historical hotel that makes a celebration to keep. 

Corbett Lake Lodge Weddings

Corbett Lake Lodge is located 2.5 hours from Vancouver and 15 minutes from Merritt, BC.  The lodge provides stunning backdrops along with exceptional scenic beauty. Truly the perfect setting with beautiful views, wildlife, woodlands, and grasslands makes Corbett Lake Lodge your ideal wedding destination spot. Dreaming of that rustic wedding or a simple intimate ceremony, there is no place more suitable than Corbett Lake Lodge.

Wedding Venues Merritt BC

Wedding Venues Merritt BC. Photo by Tania Stewart

Wedding Venues Merritt BC Canada.

Wedding Venues Merritt BC Canada. Photo Credit Tania Stewart

Facilities and capacity

Corbett Lake Lodge with vast open spaces and endless photo opportunities to capture all your special moments. Additionally, features a full-service bar and lounge area that can seat up to 60 people. Accommodations include cedar cabins offering views of the lake. Additionally,  full kitchens, bathrooms with showers, along with fireplaces. And if this is not enough, the team at Corbett Lake Lodge is always ready to assist. Helping you with your wedding planning. Providing excellent services to make each detail more personalized and unique. 

Merritt BC Catering for weddings. Photo credit Tania Stewart

Merritt BC catering for weddings. Photo credit Tania Stewart

Corbett Lake Lodge. Photo credit Tania Srewart

Corbett Lake Lodge in Merritt BC

Best wedding photos

Capturing beautiful memories that will last a lifetime. When planning an outdoor wedding and deciding on the location. The rule of thumb is how will the scenic background fit in with your pictures. Albeit, magnificent backdrops of nature with the sky, colors, and all-natural elements will only enhance your day. As well as keep your guests happy with open fresh air. Worth noting, that ceremonies are for a day, but the memories last a lifetime.

Unique Rustic Wedding Venue A-P Guest Ranch

A-P Guest Ranch Nicola Valley Merritt BC.  This rustic “Western Guest Ranch” is owned and operated by Andre and his wife Susan Patry. Established in 1986, this scenic ranch is nestled in a valley setting in the heart of B.C.’s prominent ranching country. The ranch is surrounded by impressive fishing lakes and thousands of acres of rolling terrain for picturesque trail riding and winter sports. Importantly Andre and their family at A-P Guest Ranch believe in providing 5-star treatment for all their guests. Along with great “Lodge Packages “(including meals & lodging). A-P Ranch also has a Bed & Breakfast. Also for those campers with tents or trailers,  there are camping facilities as well.

Love at AP Ranch. Photo credit Tania Stewart.

Love at AP Ranch.

Married at AP Ranch.

Love at AP Ranch. Photo credit Tania Stewart.

In Conclusion …

Merritt is an ideal wedding destination with small town hospitality. We have the venues, the parks, the wilderness lakes and photographers for your wedding photos. We have some great pubs  and restaurants for your bachelor and bachelorette party. Prior to the wedding we have spas and salons which can get you all beautiful for your special day. See you soon about your Merritt BC wedding. 

Weddings in Merritt BC

Wedding Planning, Venues and Destinations in Merritt British Columbia Canada

Fishing & Camping in Merritt BC

Merritt’s Top Fishing Holes

 Top Fishing Lakes & Camping Spots Within the Nicola Valley

 

Fishing & Camping in Merritt BC – Merritt’s Top Fishing Holes 2022 – Fishing & Camping surrounding Merritt BC. truly will provide you with a wide range of different species of fish when fishing in Merritt BC lakes. Along with unique desert-like temperatures and mild winters provides 12 months an extreme “Year Round” fishing destination spot.  Because most lakes are located within an hour drive of  Merritt, truly attracts a large number of anglers, campers, and even day-trippers. Furthermore,  boasting friendly locals who are always willing to help, answer questions and point you in the right direction to the best fishing holes.  Fishing & camping in Merritt BC. is your next destination spot here in Canada.

“Only problem you may face is choosing the lake!” Tania Stewart.

Fishing & Camping in Merritt BC

Lazy summer days on Lundbom Lake. Pic by Tania Stewart.

 5 Favorite Fishing Spots

Fishing & Camping in Merritt BC at Harmon Lake

With a small forested site for launching small boats, Harmon Lake is the spot for fishing & camping in Merritt BC. Known especially  for fly fishing rainbow trout, but also as a great place to camp. There are graveled camping sites for tents and motorhomes, a boat launch and parking area for day trippers. On site there are horse shoe pits, and a great family environment with a 24 – 7 site host. Harmon Lake is located in the beautiful Kane Valley, with lake trails, hiking paths, scenic views and to top it off, only 20 minutes from Merritt. Furthermore, “Dog friendly” to boot!

Fishing & Camping in Merritt BC at Lundbom Lake 

Truly this recreational spot is ideal for camping, fishing, horseback riding, ATV/dirt biking, along with swimming. Located only minutes from Merritt, hence ideal for provisions or a shop-about in historical downtown. Additionally it is dog friendly, welcomes horses along with other amenities. The most popular species you find here are Rainbow Trout. Again, please inquire where you can fish and make sure to follow local rules and regulations. Lundbom Lake’s surrounding area provides excellent outdoor recreations that will provide you with countless trails, breathtaking scenery, while being only 15m from Merritt.  This recreation site is very popular and offers a variety of sites, with sunny ones or shady ones. Importantly, many sites can accommodate fairly large units. Albeit,  this is one of my “Top Fishing Holes” in Merritt BC.

Fishing & Camping in Merritt BC.

Bring your horses! Pic by Tania Stewart.

 

Dragon Flies Merritt's Top Fishing Holes

Dragon Flies at Alleyne Lake. Picture by Tania Stewart

Kentucky-Alleyne Lakes for Fishing and Camping

Kentucky-Alleyne Provincial Park, is a beautiful lake with a surreal turquoise color. Popular for hiking, camping, fishing, and paddling. Hike around Kentucky Lake is kid-friendly and is a great hike for families. Easily accessible, located within a Provincial Park, these two lakes are ideal for anglers, hence making this a perfect place for family fishing. Interesting to note,  Kentucky is stocked annually with 8000 Pennask Rainbows. Ideal for trolling with small lures and spinning gear is the most popular method used on the lake.  Kentucky is considered to be somewhat slow, however it quite often produces large trout in the 4-5 lb. range. Furthermore great for summer kayaking, swimming, or just dipping your toes. 

Alleyne Lake Kayaking

Kayaking/fishing on Alleyne Lake. Photo by Tania Stewart

Alleyne Lake swimming and day trips

Fishing, swimming, camping! All is Good.

 

Alleyne Lake Kayaking

Kayaking Lundbom Lake. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Nicola Lake – Kokanee, rainbow trout, and burbot can be found in this large cold lake

Located 15m from Merritt makes  Nicola Lake one of the most recognized and favorite for anglers. Surrounded by mountains, deep crisp water is ideal for great fishing. Additionally for campers, Monck Park has full amenities located in a Provincial Park. With a boat launch for campers along with a sandy shaded beach, hiking trails. and a small general store. When not fishing, Nicola Lake offers a  wide assortment of recreational activities including camping, picnicking, swimming, fishing, boating, water-skiing, wind-surfing and hiking. 

Merritt's Top Fishing Holes Merritt BC.

Large deep lake. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Nicola Lake in Merritt BC Canada

Nicola Lake fishing dock. Photo courtesy Tania Stewart.

In addition to providing recreational opportunities, Monck Park protects a ponderosa pine, bunchgrass ecosystem and a volcanic rock cliff landscape.

Monck Park Beach

Monck Park Beach. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Fishing & Camping in Merritt BC.

Perfect shade for picnics. Picture by Tania Stewart.

For the Love of Fishing & Camping in Merritt BC

Swimming in Merritt BC Canada

Come and experience! Photo by Tania Stewart.

Peter Hope Lake in the Nicola Valley 

Added bonus Peter Hope Lake is located off Hwy 5A, Peter Hope is well known for fly fishing, stocked with Pennask rainbow trout that are known to put up a good fight. Bring a lot of bug dope, hence the abundance of insects. Peter Hope Lake is a popular site for fishing and camping. The campsite is located along the north shore of the lake and can accommodate motorhomes and large 5th wheels. There is a mix of sunny sites with a few shady sites also available. There are 2 boat launches available for use and a rustic playground for kids under adult supervision plus dog friendly.

Paska Lake in Nicola Valley

Paska Lake-Shirley Reynolds Photo

Brook Trout

This lake is fished year round, although most popular in fall/winter. Being aggressive and challenging will test your angler skills.  Try using small spinners, worms, or bugs that are in the area. Grasshoppers or mayflies help, although harder to locate during the summer. Being a non-native species in British Columbia, these fish are stocked in selected lakes by Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC. Furthermore they are also stocked at the fingerling or yearling stage. Interesting to note, being sterile, these fish utilize all of their energy on growth so they can also become trophy-sized fish in a short span of time.

Fishing lures in Merritt BC

Big Fishing Story. Picture by Tania Stewart.

Rainbow Trout

Albeit Rainbow Trout as being one of  the most popular fish in the Nicola Valley. While found in most lakes, during the summer months Rainbow Trout will head to the colder deep water’s. You can find them closer to the bottom of the lake. Try using bright colored spoons, half-back nymph, and small leech patterns. Spring/fall trolling lucky bugs will work. Insects, leeches, small fish, crayfish and mussels are just a few delicious treats a rainbow trout likes to munch on. And likes to live in cool freshwater.

Did you know? The rainbow trout is a member of the salmon family and can get quite large. The largest recorded rainbow trout was 25.8 kilograms! Tania Stewart.

Julie Pollard kissing fish

Kiss the Fish! Photo Julie Pollard

Ponderosa Sports Tackle

Ponderosa Sports Tackle. Pic Tania Stewart.

Kokanee Salmon

Generally found hiding amongst the weeds and shoals, these curious fish want to know what is going on in their environment. Active when windy,  camouflaging themselves in the waves. Fly rod with a small nymph or lucky bug lure is best for Kokanee, as they like to jump into the air while hooked. Prepare for the fight. Kokanee defiantly provide an excellent sport angling experience, while being a tasty treat. Kokanee are also forage for bigger fish such as Rainbow Trout, Lake Trout, and Burbot. Due to this, Kokanee are programmed to flee from larger fish. Fast aggressive flashers or dodgers moving through the water can present a threat to Kokanee causing them to take off.

Fact – These chrome beauties are a popular sport fish in BC, only second to Rainbow Trout.

Camping in Canada

My friend Joanne caught a beauty at our site.

Merritt's Top Fishing Holes

Photo curtesy of Tom Reynolds.

The average size of Kokanee in BC ranges from 7 to 10 inches, but can reach over 20 inches in healthy ideal Kokanee fisheries. They are a fragile fish and do not handle catch and release well and their mortality rate is high even when handled and released the correct way. It is encouraged to limit your catch to feeding your family at dinner, not to just fill your freezer. 

Fact- The word Kokanee comes from the Kootenay First Nation word meaning “red fish”.

Fishing & Camping in Merritt BC

Best Fishing Holes in BC

 

#merrittmatters

Nicola Valley Travel and Tourism Guides

nicola valley talk show

“Experience Community Program” is a small and rural community authentic content marketing program.  Therefore it is a product of the EH? Canada Marketing Group.  Contact us today to bring this award winning community program to your region. 

The Good. The Bad. The Ugly And the Kind.

“Sharing some acts of kindness and hoping for more.”

2021 Merritt Flood in British Columbia Canada – The community of Merritt BC Canada, has witnessed devastating forest fires, and floods in the last year. It seems this year, 2021, Merritt, and parts of the Nicola Valley, have gone through a merry-go-round of evacuation alerts, and evacuation orders. Some residence left. Some stayed behind. All have their reasons. The end result is a population in a community who are tired, worn out, confused, scared, or optimistic and, yes, some are angry too.

The 2021 Merritt Flood

During the 2021 Merritt Flood and Forest Fires, tragedy happened on all levels of devastation. There is no ignoring that. There are no benefits in comparing one heartache to another. They all hurt. Some more than others. Some life changing. I wish I could turn back time. Make this all go away. I wish my friends had their homes back. Smiling and laughing again would be another wish. I wish living in Merritt was like it use to be. Unfortunately I am no Genie. No lamp to rub just a water bottle to fill. All I have are big wishes with little answers. But I do have hope.

My Super Power

I take pride in my listening and observation skills. So, let me share my take on that. We are all our own master on what we decide to listen too and observe. We can take it all in, flip it upside down, make what we want of it. Some of us process the positive and spit out the negative or vice-versa. But what you process is up to you. Hence why, with all the sadness, I have decided to share some “warm and fuzzy” stories,  sending out some positive vibes to the community of Merritt, Princeton, Abbotsford and to our First Nation friends. I would like to share some of the kind and positive gestures I witnessed along this ugly road we travelled called the 2021 Merritt Flood in the City of Merritt BC Canada. 

8 Acts of Kindness

Because of the nature of my work online globally, and locally with Experience Nicola Valley, I see the good, the bad and the ugly of the internet. There are many sources online of nasty, negative with a big dose of nasty conversations. We all have a choice of which lens we choose to look through for every situation life presents us. Me? Well… when it comes to the Merritt Flood I choose hope. We need more stories of good people doing good things during these challenging times. Hence, why I am going to focus on the positive stories and share some “acts of kindness” I and my friends experienced during the 2021 Merritt flood.

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”
Aesop

(1) ESS and Red Cross

The evacuation had problems on many levels. Remember, no one saw this coming. Yes, there were warning signs and reports and white papers. But…  no one saw it coming on November 15th, 2021. No meteorologists, engineer, politician or scientist told us to buckle in for a massive rain storm and possible flooding. Many of us went to bed the night before expecting to wake up to another normal Monday. Well that didn’t happen. The evacuation order caught us all by surprise. Therefore people slipped through the cracks. Communication was suspect. Volunteers were stretched at ESS and the  Red Cross.  Should I stay or should I go? Yes, the process was not perfect by any means. News flash! Nothing is perfect in a blender of chaos.  

(2) Volunteers

I know why it is tough to get volunteers at times. Just watch how some people treat them, like it was their fault. All they are doing is following direction or the lack of.  A big thank you to the volunteers for taking care of us with the best tools at their disposal. I know you did your best  and you did not design the system nor the process. I also know you are a volunteer, on your time, to make our challenges as comfortable as possible. So thank you to all the volunteers in Kelowna, Kamloops, Salmon Arm, 100 Mile House, Sicamous, Penticton and those in Merritt helping the community get back on its feet again. And if I missed anybody, my apologies. But thank you again! 

Merritt volunteers

Lining up for ESS. Photo credit: Greg Girard

(3) Let Me See The Light

The 2021 Merritt Flood was a sight I would not wish on anyone. Everything changed in a blink of an eye. Before we knew it, we were evacuated and in a hotel room. Everything was new again including an Optometry Office and a LensCrafters, next door in Orchard Park Mall in Kelowna BC Canada. I needed glasses for the first time and I did not have my prescription with me. But I did have time.  Dr. Keevn Otte heard I was an evacuee from Merritt and booked me in and redid my prescription at no charge! Then Ben, at LensCrafters, set me up with my new lens and frames and he too gave me a break on price, on top of the Black Friday Special. I was seeing with my eyes, the kindness of people. 

(4) Green Plate of Hospitality

Not sure of the back story on this one but it goes something like this. Someone at our hotel, the Kanata, was out in public one day sharing how eating out all the time was getting old. Someone, was listening in. Who we do not know? The next morning 50 trays of vegetables and dip arrived at the lobby in our hotel from an unknown source, someone who did not want to be recognized, but did it out of the goodness of their heart. To that mystery person if you are reading this – thank you for your kind gesture.  Loved the mini tomatoes and green peas.

merritt flood 2021

Vegetable tray surprise. Photo credit: Melvina White

(5) Class is in Session

Have you heard of the story of Ewa Olguin, an early childhood educator in Merritt, BC, Canada? If you have not, Ewa was evacuated from Merritt like many of us. At her hotel she recognized many of the kids were from the “Strong Start” Program back in Merritt. Her place of employment I believe. In seeing the children, away from a regular routine and their homes, Ewa decided to start a 3 hour class every morning with the kids reading, playing and learning.  Thank you Ewa!

(6) Is That To Eat In or To Go?

As we stated at the beginning of this list, the littlest gesture can make a difference. How about just smiling. When you eat at one spot for days on days they get to know you. In our case it was Boston Pizza. It did not take a lot of time for them to recognize our orders and to begin greeting us with smiles, and conversations when we ate in or picked up. Thank you for feeding many of us from the 2021 Merritt flood. 

(7) Experience Nicola Valley Pivot

When people are scared, and living in a mist of confusion, information is the currency of choice. I watched as councillors were inundated daily with phone calls, text and emails numbering in the hundreds asking questions and seeking answers. Being on the front lines of the evacuation, mixed in amongst the local population, every day and hour, your sleeves get tugged on a lot.  And yet, the questions were often 2 steps ahead of the answers available to councillors. They could only share what they knew and as information was being released. But they knew communication is the currency of choice during a disaster. So they stepped up. First to video, Experience Nicola Valley was proud to pivot their platform, so they could bring daily video updates, as need be, from Councillor White, Luck and Etchart. And then… some councillors met with the evacuees in the hotel lobby daily for briefings and updates as well. It took some guts to put their face out there. But they were humble, caring and doing what was right updating us the best they can. Thank you!

(8) Friends, Family and Business Partners

When the news hit all over Canada of the 2021 Merritt Flood, I could not believe the emails that flooded my in-box from people checking in on us from all around the world. Some I have not heard from in years and a few in decades. It was a moment-of-truth to see so many people checking in on my Brother and I.  We are so fortunate to have good people surrounding us and supporting us. Thank you and we are grateful for your kindness, support and friendship. 

brothers of tourism merritt flood

Colin and I on Evacuation Order in Kelowna BC. Photo credit: Greg Girard

Social Media

If social media is your only go-too for information, well then there might be issues with that? Working in that field, I  understand the pros and cons of a platform with little rules and high engagement. It is a platform which makes its rules on the fly based on all sides of human nature, good and bad. And there is good and bad. Do not get me wrong, social media, is a beautiful thing. I have seen lives changed for the better when social media is used positively.  Social media is a treasure for small businesses to get their message out. To me it is an art form. However, at times, it is also a bloody battlefield where communication is won or lost. There is one big caveat to the social media battlefield :

“Bad news travels at the speed of light; good news travels like molasses.”
Tracy Morgan

Together, when we start commenting, and sharing and posting and tagging each other with positive stories, good news will travel faster. It takes a movement, to create a message. 

Winter Adventures coming soon to the Nicola Valley. We are open for winter. 

I Choose Hope

I have witnessed how the community is divided along many lines because of the 2021 Merritt floods and forest fires. A disaster will do that to any community. Emotions will run rampant. Loses are off the map. But I have hope because the overall dominating factor in this conundrum are the people of Merritt. They are my baseline in the equation of building back better. Many are my friends. I have been around Merritonians long enough to know they are a strong and good people. Merritt will be back. I will do everything I can to be part of that re-awakening.  

Stay safe. Be kind. 

#merrittmatters

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“Experience Community Program” is a small and rural community authentic content marketing program.  Therefore it is a product of the EH? Canada Marketing Group.  Contact us today to bring this award winning community program to your region. 

Merritt Snowmobile Club

Sledding and Snowmobiling in Merritt BC 

All snow sledders welcome to the Nicola Valley!

Are you a certified snowmobile addict who looks forward to snowmobiling in Merritt BC? Then you are on the right track if you are reading this. Sledding in Merritt BC Canada is truly a fantastic adventure for snow chasers.  They tell us. Furthermore, the local snowmobile club takes great care providing well groomed backcountry sled trails. Not to mention that the Nicola Valley offers a wintery mix of weather which is good for hitting the trails by sled.

Snowmobiling in Merritt BC Canada

Starting point. Photo by Tania Stewart

Snowbound when snowmobiling in Merritt BC 

Talking with Adam McDonald, President of the Merritt Snowmobile Club in the Nicola Valley, truly gives a person incentive to get involved in the snowmobile industry. Starting with purchasing a sled. Followed by paying club membership fees. Then comes the extreme sledding experience. Becoming an official “Sled Head” is quite the honour! Lastly, to ensure a future in the local snowmobile scene, joining the Merritt Snowmobile Club ensures that future generations will have a wide range of trails to explore.  

Merritt Snowmobile Club Out and About in Nicola Valley

Merritt Sledding. Photo by Tania Stewart

Snowmobile Club in the Nicola Valley

The Nicola Valley has been rewarded with some of the best trails on this side of the Coquihalla Summit. For this reason, the club attracts  members from all over BC and even from the USA. Notably, the local sledding club hosts 3 poker runs a year along with a chili & hot dog day. At the same time hosting a “Wind Up” banquet in April.  The participation and the list of business supporters truly speaks volumes about the Merritt Snowmobile Club. 

Sledding trails in merritt bc

Snowmobiling on Thyme Mountain – Winters in Merritt, BC, Canada

Sledding in Merritt BC 

With a membership of around 94. This club truly takes care of their members. With 4 warming sheds to warm up in, re-group, snack and take a toilette break. All provided for members to use with a supply of firewood. Additionally clubs create tourism, jobs, and support local businesses with economic benefits. Our local adventure travel website as well, has a great section on snowmobiling in the Nicola Valley.

Snowmobiling in the Nicola Valley

Snowbound Club. Photo courtesy of Merritt Snowmobile Club

“In a relationship with sledding”

Merritt Snowmobile Club in the Nicola Valley has some prime sledding areas including the “Honeymoon”, “Thyme”, with a bit of “Andes Lake”. In addition,  they have some warming sheds as well to keep you toasty on your breaks or to hide from some nasty weather. However, before you jump on your sled and ride away, learn the basic parts of your machine. Knowledge keeps you safe and secure in the backcountry. Rocky Mountain Snowmobile advises you to learn the “ins-and-outs” about your machine before heading out on the trails.  

Merritt Snowmobile Club in the Nicola Valley.

Adam McDonald in Brookmere. Picture by Tania Stewart

Merritt Snowmobile Club

Trail maps provided by Merritt Snowmobile Club. Pic by Tania Stewart

Instead of hibernating during the winter months, become a mountaineer who laughs in the face of Old Man Frost by conquering  on a snowmobile! 

Behind the scenes  with the Merritt Snowmobile Club

Merritt Snowmobile Club spends countless hours applying for funding, planning, and building trails. They also sell maps and ads, keep track of memberships, maintain groomer drags and tractors, and recruit groomer drivers.

Sledding the trails in Merritt

Outdoor fun for all ages! Photo courtesy of Merritt Snowmobile Club

Snowmobiling heading out on teh trails

Snow trackers. Photo courtesy of Merritt Snowmobile Club

Trail maintenance doesn’t end when the snow is gone. Maintenance crews at snowmobile clubs say that grooming never stops. Summer time is the time for filing grants for maintenance of machinery and talking to private landowners to see if trails can be extended out into their property. It is also a great time to check out the trails, see what changes need to be made and keep the existing trails available for snowmobilers.

Snowmobiling Merritt BC Club

Trail groomer. Pic by Tania Stewart

Merritt Snowmobile Club

Parking for all your toy’s! Picture by Tania Stewart

Club volunteers also check out the trails and review the trail signs to make sure they are readable during the snow season. Clubs enlist volunteers who put in thousands of hours to maintain the trails.

Merritt Snowmobile Club BC

Warming sheds provided by Merritt Snowmobile Club. Pic by Adam McDonald

Hard at work grooming trails. Photo by Adam McDonald

  • While snowmobiling can be a heck of a lot of fun for all. Safety is key when outdoors. Some key safety tips are:

    1- Never ride alone.
    2- Always carry a safety pack with you. Beacon’s, shovel, depth probe and a radio or walkie talkie.
    3- Additional safety packs include an air pack that can be manually pulled. Like a car air bag. Air packs are to help bring you to the surface or help create an air bubble.
    4- Always set up a meeting area. And let the family know where your group will be sledding.
    5- Always check the weather!  Avalanche Trip Planner.
    6- Carry extra essentials. Water, warm clothing, fire starter, flare guns, trail food and blankets.
    7-  Carry a GPS device that will be useful for maneuvering the snowmobile trails and knowing your exact location.

Merritt Snowmobile Club

An Oldie but a Goodie! 1992. Photo Tania Stewart

Snowmobiling Merritt BC

Snow chaser. Photo by Tania Stewart

Snow drifting on a blustery day around Merritt BC

To be sure snowmobiling thrills many enthusiasts to get out and enjoy vast scenic snow capped mountains. Many snowmobile lovers enjoy this sport to the full extent. But it can be a risky sport if proper care is not taken when you are riding the machine. Therefore, you must ensure to follow certain things for ensuring maximum safety while snowmobiling. Proper preparation with up-to-date weather reports are a no brainer. Truly safety = fun. 

Snowmobiling Merritt BC

Pre-trip inspection. Picture Tania Stewart

Follow the Trail

Dedicated trials are drawn after a thorough analysis and examination. Therefore, they prove to be safe and not exposed to any serious concerns. If you take a risk and go off  the trials at any point, then you might be inviting any unwanted danger. Following the trials is not just important for the safety of yourselves but also for the safety of other riders who drive on the trails. Study the weather and the condition of the trail. 

Merritt Snowmobile Club Canada

Team up. Photo courtesy of Adam McDonald

Merritt Snowmobile Club. Pic by Adam McDonald

Mainly safety is “Key!”

Before leaving for the ride, you need to thoroughly know the weather and the trail conditions. If they aren’t appropriate, it is advised to cancel the plan, since it will be very risky riding out in the snowmobile in extreme weather conditions.

To put it more simply, don’t go beyond your limits. Given the fact that this recreational activity gets your adrenaline pumping throughout your body, it is one of the best feelings in the world. Going at fast speeds and zipping past trees is truly something else.

Snow attire. Pic by Tania Stewart

Snowmobiling Merritt BC Canada

Round up time! Photo Tania Stewart

At the same time!

It is quite common to forget about your limits while you’re having so much fun riding your snowmobile. But you should never try to go beyond your abilities as it increases the chances of getting hurt. If you go too fast and you don’t have the skills to bring the snowmobile under control, you are putting your life in danger. Always be aware of your limits so that you can be safe while having the time of your life.

Snowmobiling Merritt Nicola Valley

My ride! . Picture by Tania Stewart

Snowmobiling Merritt  Canada

Snow Bike! Photo by Tania Stewart

Never Drink and Ride

Snowmobiling Nicola Valley

New meaning to being a “Snowbird” Pic by Tania Stewart

Several snowmobile enthusiasts believe that drinking before going out is cool. 

However, you should never indulge in this practice which only adds to the risk of meeting with an accident. Alcoholic beverages increase the chances of suffering from hypothermia. They also slow your reaction time, making it harder to avoid obstacles. On top of that, you won’t be in the right state of mind to make snap decisions. Put all these together and it becomes the perfect recipe for disaster.

Fact : Being Snowed in is not the same as  being Snowbound

Snowmobiling is surely an exciting sport but it could prove risky if you do not keep the above-mentioned things in mind while snowmobiling. Wear all the required safety gear and appropriate riding apparel for getting a safe ride. Dressing in multiple layers and wearing clothes that are best suited for your size is very important for maximum safety. Above all neglecting any of the ride policies may lead to tragedies and could prove to be extremely dangerous. At the same time wearing appropriate riding gear that will keep you safe and warm while providing a more enjoyable experience. 

Snowmobiling Merritt BC Canada

Look what Santa brought me!

snowmobiling airtime winter sports

Nothing like getting a little air while snowmobiling

Firstly,  invest in a good helmet. It is your brain after-all. Your helmet is the top one for safety, choose and ensure proper size. Select a snowmobile goggle along with the helmet to enhance your visibility via snow and dense fog. Due to variant temperatures, choose your boots well.  Warm toes make happy legs. With this in mind look for boots  made up of items like rubber, the synthetic upper portion, and waterproof bottom for successfully repelling the snow. Equally important are gloves.  They are an important element of the riding gear since they always are with the rider and ensure to keep his hand warm from the snow, water, and wind.

In conclusion

Merritt Snowmobile Club is the beginning to your perfect adventure in the outback snow covered peaks. With ideal trails for beginners and pro’s, all groomed and maintained by Merritt snowmobile club. The Nicola Valley has some of the best trails along with breathtaking scenery.   

City of Merritt-Snowshoeing

City of Merritt-snowshoeing. Photo by ?

Outdoor sledding. Photo by Tania Stewart ?

Snowmobiling in Merritt British Columbia Canada

Nicola Valley Sledding

Nicola Valley Travel and Tourism Guides

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“Experience Community Program” is a small and rural community authentic content marketing program.  Therefore it is a product of the EH? Canada Marketing Group.  Contact us today to bring this award winning community program to your region. 

Nicola Valley Parks and Playgrounds for Families 

Hiking, biking, horseback riding, mountain biking trails in Merritt

Parks in Merritt BC Canada – One of the most important things we look for when relocating to a different community in Canada besides a house, retail, safety,  are family parks. Merritt B.C. has much to offer when it comes to out-door enthusiasts. Moreover if you are thinking of moving to Merritt B.C. rest assured our community holds a certain standard to providing a wide variety of parks for all ages. Furthermore one can walk a short distance to most parks.  Truly there is a lot to experience in the Nicola Valley when considering play time in the outdoors in Merritt B.C. Canada. 

Parks in Merritt BC Canada with Experience Nicola Valley blogger Tania Stewart

Path through Rotary Park. Photo credit Tania Stewart.

Rotary Bike Park – Parks in Merritt BC Canada

The Rotary Bike Park is one of the most visited parks in Merritt B.C. Canada for mountain biking.  The community park has a bike park, skate board park, playground park, also includes a walking trail. Rotary Bike Park was originally built in 2006 while receiving upgrades in 2018. Therefore with the introduction of this bike park, the sport of mountain biking in Merritt BC got a boost.  

Rotary Bike Park

Rotary Bike Park and Skateboard Park in Merritt BC Canada

“Ride As Much Or As Little Or As Long Or As Short As You Feel, But Ride!” – Eddy Merckx

Mountain Biking Parks in Merritt B.C.

Place to meet friends. Bike Park. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Mountain biking in the Nicola Valley BC

Adrenalin jumpstart! Photo Credit Tania Stewart.

Thinking of moving to Merritt B.C.

Watch me, I will get this jump! Photo Credit Tania Stewart.

Merritt Skate Board Park

Adjacent to the bike park is a well maintained skate board park. It is for all ages, being safe, and has a community friendliness about the park. Personally I have brought my son there since he was 7yrs old. What made me love our community even more were the older kids who were always on hand to teach new tricks or help dust my son off when he bit it. Social interaction is so important for children’s development and self-confidence.  

Thinking of moving to Merritt B.C.

Helmet is key! Photo credit: Tania Stewart

Moving to Merritt B.C.

Skate Boarding for all ages. Photo credit Tania Stewart.

“Children will learn coordination, movement control and confidence at the skateboard park” Tania Stewart.

Merritt Skateboard Park

Learning the ropes at the Merritt Skateboard Park. Photo credit Tania Stewart.

Children’s Playground Park

Within this area is a playground park. It was built as part of a community and not affiliated with a school at all. The equipment is soft padded to help prevent injuries. There is a slide, swing, merry go round and more.  See… lots of activity and playground parks in Merritt BC Canada. And we are just getting started. 

Merritt bc playground park

Surrounded by “Nature!” Photo credit Tania Stewart

Nicola Valley Parks

Playground fun. Photo credit Tania Stewart.

Valley Kitchen 

Hungry? We have that covered too. Located beside the Rotary Bike Park you can feed your hunger with a great burger at Valley Kitchen. With a kid’s menu as well as drinks, ice-cream, coffee, and one of the best burgers I have ever had. One of my blogger cohorts had an opportunity to sit down and have a chat with these young entrepreneurs. Below is the short interview.  

“Playing promotes social interaction without biases while developing imagination.”  Tania Stewart

Parks in Merritt BC Canada Have Health Benefits

Albeit exercise is key for our children! Therefore, it is safe to say, being exposed to sunlight and fresh air provides a healthy dose of the “sunshine vitamin D” when playing in our parks in Merritt BC Canada.  Who would’ve of thought that swings can help provide children with physical development. Some of the skills research shows swings have include grasping, balance, landing, pushing, while getting into a rhythm of the swing. Moreover the memories that are gained at the playground are priceless as there is no limit to a child’s imagination. Moreover this is one of the few places a child has control of play with little adult interference. 

Playground in Merritt bc

Bench School Playground. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Nicola Valley park and playground

Super slides. Photo credit: Tania Stewart.

Merritt Bench Elementary School

Located at Bench Elementary School are 2 playgrounds. One for younger aged children interested in playing hop-scotch, , and a second one for intermediate aged ones interested in playing basketball hoops within a forest setting.  Although I do believe there is no age requirement to take part in the adventure and fun enjoyed on playgrounds. 

Bench Elementary School

Bench Elementary School. Pic by Tania Stewart.

Child Development Is Supported by Parks and Playgrounds

Moreover playgrounds and parks can help stimulate our child’s cognitive development while helping with problem solving skills. Going across the monkey bars truly takes thought, with space, distance with a lot of bravery. Making it across that first time gave me the confidence to tackle everything at the playground. 

 

Merritt school playgrounds.

Playground team ship. Pic by Tania Stewart.

Smith Pioneer Park  Lower Nicola

Parks in Merritt BC Canada includes Smith Pioneer Park, which is really a Thompson-Nicola Regional District community park, located in the heart of Lower Nicola.  Let me assure you that this is an amazing recreational park for all.  Firstly, the equipment will surely  keep them interested and invigorated for hours.  Secondly, adjacent to the park is a arena for horse lovers who may want to train in a safe arena.

Horse riding arena next to parks in Merritt BC

Horse riding arena. Picture by Tania Stewart.

Playground Amenities

Many of our parks in Merritt B.C. offer a person a chance to cool down or have a family picnic while enjoying the beautiful scenery.  Moreover, many recreation areas are suited for parents who would like sit in the shade, relax while your children play. All is good when one knows their children are having fun, exercising while being where they should be “outside.” Truly because of the many benefits children gain playing outside only makes the need for playgrounds that more important when looking to relocate. The  “Annual Garlic Festival” is hosted in Smith Pioneer Park in late September. 

Thinking of moving to Merritt B.C.

Playtime is paramount for a child’s imagination. Pic by Tania Stewart.

Lower Nicola Park.

Picnic in shade. Photo credit Tania Stewart.

Lower Nicola Merritt B.C.

Adventure time! Photo by Tania Stewart.

“Defending castles and slaying dragons were my playground adventures.” Tania Stewart.

Moving to Nicola Valley.

Arena for horse riders. Pic by Tania Stewart.

Fun for hours. Pic by Tania Stewart.

Rotary Water Park

So when all is said and done. A great way to cool down in those hot summer days is Merritt’s only water spray park, Rotary Park.  Located within walking distance from downtown is our only water park. Truly a place for children to cool down while parents can rest assure that this is a safe child zone. Furthermore, this park has been visited by the Easter Bunny, with an annual egg hunt, host to “Aboriginal Day”, “Canada Day Festivities” as well as “Music in the Park”. Along with having an amazing bandshell for live entertainment this park gives a unique venue for a family park.  

Merritt bc spray park - water park playground

With a children’s playground there is a small rose garden dedicated to Princess Diana.

Rotary Park Playground

Adjacent to the water park is a playground full of adventure for every age. Proving slides, swings, jungle time apparatus and more. Safely built with a child’s imagination in mind. Providing tons of fun with a short hop to the water park to cool off. 

Rotary Park. Pic by Tania Stewart.

Parks in Merritt BC slides and swings

Fun n play. Photo credit Tania Stewart.

Parks in Merritt BC

Also beside the Rotary Park flows the Nicola River.  With safety and adult supervision a world of nature can be explored. Spotting some ducks, tadpoles, occasional frogs, chipmunk or a beaver swimming by is not unusual. More than often my son and I have come across a sleeping deer. What could be better than this, nature at your fingertips.

chipmunk in merritt bc - wildlife sighting

Spot a chipmunk. Photo by Tania Stewart.

wildlife sighting and self guided tour in merritt bc

Spot a sleeping deer. Pic by Tania Stewart.

 

Catching frogs. Photo by Tania Stewart.

In Conclusion

Knowing that one of the most important things we look for when relocating to a new community are family parks and child playgrounds.  The Nicola Valley  offers everything from a water park to skate boarders, bike park, and countless playgrounds. Ideal for all out-door enthusiasts.    With a wide range of different parks that provide unique experiences in the community of Merritt enables families to enjoy the outdoors.  

Parks in Merritt BC sunsets

Merritt B.C. sunset. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Parks in Merritt BC Canada

Moving to Merritt BC for Parks 

Nicola Valley Travel and Tourism Guides

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“Experience Community Program” is a small and rural community authentic content marketing program.  Therefore it is a product of the EH? Canada Marketing Group.  Contact us today to bring this award winning community program to your region. 

Summer Outdoor Activities in Merritt BC

Summer Adventures and Activities in The Nicola Valley

Outdoor summer activities in Merritt BC , offers a wide range of sunshine fun.  200 lakes, mountain biking trails and more makes the Nicola Valley a great choice for your next destination spot in the summer. Merritt’s  slogan says it all “A Lake A Day For As Long As You Stay”.  And we have rivers too! I guarantee when it comes to experiencing summer outdoor activities in the Nicola Valley,  it will make you wish you planned for more time so to go kayaking, boating, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and viewing wildlife.   

“I don’t need therapy, I just need my boat.” Unknown

Summer Activities Merritt BC.

Gone Fishing! Photo by Tania Stewart.

Summer Activities Merritt BC

Outdoor Activities Merritt BC.

Swimming fun! Picture courtesy Tania Stewart.

Outdoor Activities Merritt BC.

Nature’s poolside, were you can find me. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Summer Activities in Merritt BC Includes Lundbom Lake 

Lundbom Lake is truly one of my favorite Summer Activities in Merritt BC. A beautiful lake which is located only 10 minutes from downtown Merritt BC. Moreover  Lundbom Lake  is a great location for camping, fishing and horseback riding. While the surrounding area also provides excellent mountain biking and ATV/dirt bike riding. Along with having sunny and shady sites. Open from Apr 26, 2019 – Oct 14, 2019. Outdoor  

Summer Activities Merritt BC.

Julie Pollard “Is that the big one?” Photo Tania Stewart.

 

Summer Activities Merritt BC.

Enjoying the dock. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Outdoor Activities Nicola Valley.

View of Lundbom Lake. Photo TS.

 

“I camp here until the end of October most years.” Unknown Tourist.

 

Kayaking on Lundbom. Photo by ehCanadaTravel.com.

EhCanadatravel

Fall camping Eh! Photo courtesy ehCanadaTravel.com

 

“Lundbom Lake is very quiet and peaceful. Little noise pollution during all 3 of our visits. That is all we have to base it on. So it works for us.” Eh Canada Travel Website

Outdoor Summer & Fall Activities in the Nicola Valley BC. Canada.

Lake Trout. Photo Greg Girard.

Outdoor Summer & Fall Activities in the Nicola Valley BC. Canada.

Lundbom Lake Fall night. Photo by Greg Girard.

“THE FISHING ROCKS! Had to get that one out.” Greg Girard.

Outdoor Activities Merritt BC

Horse back riding has to be one of the best summer  activities everyone can enjoy. A great opportunity to take in all of Mother Nature’s beauty. Trail riding is truly a Summer & Fall activity everyone can enjoy together in Merritt B.C. Offering a few choices, the Nicola Valley provides a day of adventure with nature in a saddle.  

Horse Camping at Lundbom Lake. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Outdoor Activities Merritt BC.

A-P Guest Ranch. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Fall Fly Fishing in the Nicola Valley

Fly Fishing being a popular sport, Merritt BC has it made with 200 lakes.  There is no wonder to why Corbett Lake Lodge is an anglers dream during the fall months. For all your supplies that you may need, surely drop by Ponderosa Sports located downtown Merritt.  

Summer Activities Merritt BC

Dragon Flies. Photo TS.

Summer Adventure on Nicola Valley’s Lakes

Fishing for bait. Picture by Tania Stewart.

 

Best Fishing Lakes Near Merritt

It should be noted that the Nicola Valley boast’s some of the best fishing in the World! There are over 200+ lakes in the region. Many are prime lake fishing destinations, including Garcia Lake, Marquart Lake, Hamilton Lake, Edna Lake, Mathew Lake, Morgan Lake, Roth Lake, Gwen Lake, Lundbom Lake and Lily Lake. Located just outside of Merritt, Marquart Lake is a small, clear lake which offers good rainbow trout fishing, camping and other outdoor activities nearby. 

Were to Start Planning Your Summer Activities

One place to start is our travel website Experience Merritt. Once you have your bearings than check out some of the fishing experiences on this blog site. Last, but not least, ask a local or visit Ponderosa Sport’s downtown Merritt.

 

Kennedy Lake Hike

Kennedy Lake Hike. Photo Credit: Tania Stewart

Mountain Biking Outdoor Activities Merritt BC

Outdoor adventure mountain biking on the many trails surrounding the Nicola Valley provide endless days of exploring the backcountry.  No crowds. Lots of trails. Mouth-dropping scenery. Therefore to enjoy the trails in our backcountry all you need is a water bottle, the right gear and your ride. Nature and the adrenaline rush provides the rest. In reality the Nicola Valley provides the beautiful backcountry scenery, the wildlife sightings, the remote wilderness lakes and forested rolling hills. A nature enthusiasts dream space. Questions? You can drop a line with Merritt Mountain Biking Association

Mountain Biking Fun

Mountain Biking Fun. Photo by Jordan Pinto.

Mountain Biking - Merritt BC

Scenic trails. Photo by Jordan Pinto.

Moreover Hiking/Backpacking 

Truly enjoying the fall weather while hiking in the Nicola Valley is a must. Making sure to have your compass, water, picnic basket and a camera to capture your adventure. With the City of Merritt being located in a valley surrounded by mountains makes this an ideal destination place for avid backpackers and hikers. Generally having on the average sunny warm fall days makes it a pleasant day of hiking and adventure for the whole family. Reminder to always tell someone were you will be hiking if alone.

merritt bc camping

Harmon Lake. Photo courtesy of Experience Nicola Valley Blogger Tom Reynolds.

Scenic nature. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Summarizing Outdoor Activities in The Nicola Valley

Outdoor Activities in Merritt BC truly will have you smiling and knowing that you just had the best summer.  While Merritt can boast over 200 lakes with desert-like weather truly makes this your next vacation spot. “ A Lake A Day as Long as You Stay” has been it’s local slogan for decades. Equally making this your next destination place for activities such as kayaking, boating, mountain biking, hiking, paragliding or just lazily strolling lake trails.  Truly making this your next destination vacation spot!

Summer Fun in The Nicola Valley

Come and Experience the Adventure

 

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“Experience Community Program” is a small and rural community authentic content marketing program. It is a product of the EH? Canada Marketing Group.  Contact us today to bring this award winning community program to your region. 

Merritt Honey and Bees

Experience the Buzz in the Nicola Valley

The Nicola Valley  people and groups are standing up for bees and some are making honey

Merritt Honey and Bees – Throughout the world people have taken on the fight for the survival of our “Bees”. Merritt BC Canada is no different. Every day more and more people are becoming more aware of  how important these hard working honey makers are to our survival. Not to mention, without bees, the availability and diversity of fresh produce would decline substantially, and human nutrition would likely suffer.

Lots of Merritt Honey and Bees in the Valley

 I have heard the call of  the “Bumblebee”. To say nothing to how much I love “Bees” this is my tribute to these amazing creatures through my photo’s.  Experience the sweet Buzz in the Nicola Valley knowing I have tasted the honey in it all. Therefore, I can safely say that the Nicola Valley is home to some fine Apiaries.

Experience the Buzz in the Nicola Valley

Worker bees. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Experience the Honey in the Nicola Valley

Experience the Buzz in the Nicola Valley

Bees can see all colors except “Red”

Experience the Buzz in Merritt

Bees like coffee, keeps them awake.

 Going Bee Crazy Experience the Buzz in the Nicola Valley

Nicola Valley Gourmet  honey is produced by unsprayed bees on there ranchlands surrounding beautiful Merritt, B.C.  Additionally, with the combination of climate, abundance of flowers, soil and water resources the ranch is an ideal breeding ground for honey.   

Grimshire Apiary , located in the Nicola Valley,  is one of Merritt’s producers of raw unpasteurized honey products.  However, not only do they do honey, they also have beeswax candles for sale.   

Merritt honey makers.

Bees do not sleep, Photo by Tania Stewart.

Interesting fact:  The word “honeymoon” is derived from the ancient tradition of supplying a newlywed couple with a month’s supply of mead in order to ensure happiness and fertility. 

Experience the Buzz in the Nicola with bees

Bee are sensitive to smell. Photo by Tania Stewart.

“If the bee disappears from the surface of the Earth, man would have no more than four years left to live.” Albert Einstein 

Experience the Buzz in the Nicola with bees

They have a brain the size of a sesame. Photo by Tania Stewart.

“Honeybees are important pollinators for flowers, fruits, and vegetables. They live on stored honey and pollen all winter and cluster into a ball to conserve warmth. How cozy. While worker bees forage for food (pollen and nectar from flowers), build and protect the hive, clean, and circulate air by beating their wings.” National Geographic. 

Experience the Buzz in Merritt BC.

Bees have 5 eyes. Picture courtesy of Tania Stewart.

Experience the Buzz in the Nicola

They can solve basic math problems. Picture Tania Stewart.

Experience the Bee in the Nicola Valley 

What I have found through the years observing bees is that they have such amazing personalities. As a matter of fact, in the above pictures of this bee I found on my doorstep one day, it looked like this little guy was dying.  As I approached this little bee it raised it’s arm to warn me with a defensive move. However, I was most stunned when after a couple of seconds this bee got up and buzzed off. 

Experience the Buzz with bees

The sun helps bees navigate. Pic by Tania Stewart.

Without pollinators, the human race and all of Earth’s terrestrial ecosystems would not survive. 

Experience the Buzz in the Nicola with bees

Bees can remember your face. Pic by Tania Stewart.

Bees work up quite a thirst foraging and collecting nectar. Try filling a shallow bird bath or bowl with clean water,  arrange pebbles and stones inside so that they break the water’s surface. Stones will allow the bees to land and refresh themselves. Kind of like a Bees watering well. 

“One of the largest threats to bees is a lack of safe habitat where they can build homes and find a variety of nutritious food sources.” Queen Bee.

 Going Bee Crazy

The Queen lives for 5yrs. Photo by Tania Stewart.

“Synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, and neonicotinoids are harmful to bees, wreaking havoc on their sensitive systems. Avoid all.” Tania Stewart.

About 80% world plants have been pollinated. Photo by TS.

Support Local Beekeepers and Organizations

Local beekeepers work hard to nurture their bees. Buying locally-made honey and beeswax products helps the local environment. Plus, local honey is not only delicious, it is made from local flora. Basically you are tasting your own flowers. Notably, this is said to also help with seasonal allergies!

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A single bee will produce only about 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime. Pic by Tania Stewart.

Researchers have discovered that bumble bees are disappearing at rates “consistent with a mass extinction”.

“If declines continue at this pace, many of these species could vanish forever within a few decades,” Peter Soroye warned.

 

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Bees are taught by elders in the hive how to make honey.

Save our Bees

One of the main causes to the endangerment of our bees is their habitat loss. Death of bees is then followed closely by  invasive species, and natural disasters. Recently, there has been a worldwide call for everyone to get their “Flower Power On” in support of the bee.

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The practice of beekeeping dates back at least 4,500 yrs.

Interesting Fact: Bees are not born knowing how to produce honey. The elder bees in the hive teach the young at bee school.

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During a single collection trip, a honey bee will visit anywhere from 50 to 100 flowers.

How can you help 

Plant flowers and trees, go chemical free, create bee baths and homes for native bees. With the exception of honeybees, most bees are solitary creatures. In light of this you can provide a safe haven for them with a small plot of land in your garden. Provide “Bee condos”, small tube “apartments”  which allow species like mason bees to take up residence.

Bee Condo.

Bee watering station.

In a Bee World

There is a mass global awareness with people becoming more aware of the dangers bees are facing. Education and home scientists taking on the duty to help save these essential pollinators are leading the charge. Little things make a difference too like planting flowers, trees, water stations or even building mini bee condo’s.

The first step to their survival is awareness, and understanding how crucial they are to our own exitance.  Without our pollinators this blue planet we will be at a loss. 

Merritt’s’  Apiaries

Nicola Valley Honey. 1-(250)378-5208

Miller’s Farm active apiary and have farm fresh honey year round. (250) 315-1012
 
Grimshire Apiary. Producer of raw unpasteurized honey products. (250) 378-9703, 

Nicola Valley Travel and Tourism Guides

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“Experience Community Program” is a small and rural community authentic content marketing program. It is a product of the EH? Canada Marketing Group

Merritt Planet Hair & Spa Re-Opening Covid 19 Style

Planet Hair & Spa’s Grand Re-Opening

Were You Go To Get Your Locks On!

Up-date on Planet Hair and Spa in celebration of their 25th Anniversary. 

Planet Hair has persevered by adapting and growing during these troubling times. All the while keeping their fundamental values, “Customers are #1”.  Planet Hair and Spa has re-positioned itself with a fresh new look.  While most people don’t consider the impact our clothes have on our environment, Kathy has truly thought of this. She understands, that more people are becoming aware of Textile Waste and its damage to our environment. Re-cycling with some re-thinking is what Kathy Castro is bringing to her spa! Additionally, as you are getting a great hair style, you can update your wardrobe with Vintageretro  clothes. 

Planet Hair and Spa serving the Nicola Valley, BC

Take your time, impressive selection. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Planet Hair and Spa Merritt BC.

Beautiful prom gowns! Photo Tania Stewart.

Planet Hair and Spa serving the Nicola Valley.

These “Boots” are made for walking.

 

Vintage clothing offers a chance to explore personal style. Tania Stewart.

 

Planet Hair and Spa serving the Nicola Valley, BC

My personal fav! You need to see this beautiful dress!

Accessories are a must!

 

Vintageretro fashion is still going strong in terms of clothing, footwear, and accessories. 

According to the Canadian Lock-down Orders

Due to Covid 19 Kathy Castro owner and operator of Planet Hair & Spa located in Merritt British Columbia had to close her doors . As a result many loyal clients have to suffer through a time of “nasty bedhead hair”.  Due to circumstances out of Kathy’s control, little options were available, but to try and turn a negative into a positive. Hence the re-vamp, re-decorate,  and re-paint of her salon. Having known Kathy for many years, one thing is for sure when talking about Kathy Castro, she rarely lets bad news take her down. 

 

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Kathy Castro in the Trenches!

It is important to note that Planet Hair and Spa is truly an Experience Nicola Valley venture and has always been my personal favourite place to get my “do” done.  However, what really makes my haircut experience so special is the opportunity to connect and socialize. Incidentally, I was also blessed to have Kathy as my first guest on the “Nicola Valley Talk Show“.  

WATCH NICOLA VALLEY TALK SHOW INTERVIEW

Merritt Planet Hair & Spa Re-Opening Covid 19 Style

Not only was I very fortunate to have Kathy as my first guest on the “Nicola Valley Talk Show”, I was able to see first hand the work and time that was put into re-decorating her business.  I applaud Kathy and her husband Paul for taking on this massive undertaking. Despite having to close its doors, with little warning, Planet Hair and Spa has re-positioned itself with a fresh and new look for opening day.  

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Our stations are ready for you!

Additionally re-vamping Planet Hair & Spa beauty products display 

When speaking about beauty products Kathy has traveled the world and has done her research. In all honesty, I can say that with all of Kathy’s years of experience she is able to seek out the best beauty products. The fact that Planet Hair stands by their products is just another way they stand behind their service. Kathy understands that hair care is important hence the large selection of products her shop has on display. However, Kathy does ask that all clients do not touch the products because of the COVID 19 safety protocols and, instead, ask to see them. Look, inquire but do not touch.  

Not only does Planet Hair and Spa provide haircuts, colours, and streaks. They also provide some of the best “products” to keep your hair healthy”, Tania Stewart.

To illustrate the vast range of products available 

The products available are many. Too many to list here. But, since summer is coming, they do have some suntan lotion made from hemp that is gaining some good reviews. Then there is the line of AG hair products on her shelves which will take care of your hair. Some of the brand names lining the shelves include “Designer Skin”, “Fiesta”, “Rusk“, “Reuzel” and “Nioxin“.  Whenever you are wanting to tame or inspire your curls then take a look at “DevaCurl“.  Planet Hair & Spa has many of things a person would want for hair and skin care. 

merrittplanethair

Nails are important!

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Comfort is important.

Planet Hair & Spa product wall. “Teetree” is available.

Additionally Planet Hair & Spa offers a wide range of styling items

Equally important are the styling items available like straighteners. For you newbies those are the hot curling devises we use to keep our hair style going. In fact Planet Hair & Spa is a one stop shopping place to purchase everything your hair desires. Not to mention that a coupon or beauty product would make for a great gift!

 

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Taking your appointments serious.

When re-opening social distancing is key 

Kathy has made sure your health is number one when visiting her shop in the Nicola Valley. She has her staff well trained and equipped with all the protective equipment including masks, and head visors. Social distancing will also be respected in her shop with only 3 hair stations operating at one time, which is every second chair in operation.

The separation of the chairs will provide safe social distancing. Truly making sure all clients are safe Kathy has all work stations social distanced as well as in client’s waiting room space. Moreover making your experience stress-free, relaxing while providing assurance for every one’s safety. While giving her clients the needed care and beauty treatment they have been waiting for. 

It is always a Great Experience!

planet hair and spa

Kathy Castro – Planet Hair & Spa

Everyone I talk to about Planet Hair & Spa tell me that Kathy has a way of making you feel like you are their favorite client. Whether it is your first time in her chair or your five-hundredth time having your hair done Kathy makes you feel comfortable and welcomed. What makes this hair salon and spa stand out is truly how gracious Kathy and her team are for having you as a client. 

Without a doubt Kathy is one of the most determined business minds I have been fortunate to know. A fashionista, trend setter, entrepreneur and let us not forget an amazing hair stylist.

 

CONTACT US:

Planet Hair & Spa

2040 Granite Ave,
Merritt, BC V1K 1P3

(250) 378-5558

WEBSITE

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“Experience Community Program” is a small and rural community authentic content marketing program. It is a product of the EH? Canada Marketing Group