Winter Adventures in Merritt & Nicola Valley, BC, Canada

SNOWSHOEING MERRITT BC

WINTER FUN EXTRODINARE

IT’S FUN TO SNOWSHOE OUTSIDE

While the season for snowshoeing Merritt BC is winding down there is still time to enjoy the sport at the higher elevations near Merritt.  If you can’t make it this year be sure to file a “remember this activity” in your calendar for next year.

In general the season runs from December  through March but can be a bit iffy on either side of this range so make sure you check out the conditions before you head out.

THE SNOW IS GREAT FOR SNOWSHOING IN MERRITT, BC

Merritt’s climate is semi arid and the winters are reasonably mild therefore snowshoeing is relatively limited in town.  However, we can be assured that we will receive enough snow to get in a few weeks snowshoe fun.  For example, this year we had a very large snow storm that dumped 40 cm in one day.  Clearly a great amount snow.  The nice thing about it , it is light and fluffy.  To get an idea of what this looks like, take a look at my backyard after the storm.

Ready for snowshoeing Merritt bc

After the snow storm

WHERE IS THE BEST PLACE FOR SNOWSHOEING IN MERRITT BC

The best place for snowshoeing in Merritt, BC is on the Crown Land at the top of Pineridge Drive.  Besides snowshoeing, this area is used for x-country skiing and snowmobiling as well.

I fortunately live at the edge of this great playground so it is very accessible to my wife and myself.  We slap on our shoes and head out.  It is so enjoyable tromping through the woods on a sunny day.

Snowshoeing in Merritt BC

Snowshoeing in Merritt, BC

OTHER AREAS CLOSE BY FOR SNOWSHOEING IN MERRITT, BC

Iron Mountain is just off highway 97C as you head to the Okanagan, about 2 kilometers from the intersection of highway 5 and 97C.  The Nicola Valley Explorers will often spend an afternoon in this area.  As part of the southern interior grasslands this area is quite flat and is great for all abilities.

Hamilton Hill on Iron Mountain Merritt

Hamilton Hill on Iron Mountain

Kane Valley is definitely a good place to snowshoe.  However, at one time the trails were laid out by the Nicola Nordic Ski Club under an agreement with the Ministry of Forests.  Now that  snowshoeing has grown in popularity the ski trails were starting to get damaged, particularly the groomed portions of the trails. 

KANE VALLEY SNOWSHOE TRAILS

To  try and limit this problem the Nicola Valley Explorers have put in a number of trails just for snowshoeing.  Technically these trails are available at no cost but the trails are situated to take advantage of the ski club’s shelters and outhouses.  Therefore it would be wonderful if you put money in the ski box to help offset their costs.

HARMON LAKE SNOWSHOW TRAIL

One of the snow shoe trails starts at the east end of Harmon Lake at the Forestry Interpretation site and follows Harmon  Lake shoreline as it heads for Secret Lake(not really a secret, everybody knows about it). 

Secret Lake Trail

Secret Lake Trail

You can find other trails in Kane Valley that are accessed through the Ski Trails parking lots.  Make sure that you follow the snowshoe trail signs to avoid damaging the ski trails. 

OTHER SNOWSHOE TRAILS

There are many other places in the region to do this activity such as Helmer about 15 minutes north of Merritt. Also Check out Logan Lake. Check out Experience Nicola Valley Blogger, Kyle Schell for his take on snowshoeing in the area.

THE BIG DEAL ON SNOWSHOEING MERRITT BC

In this blog I have tried to give you a feeling for snowshoeing in our area.  Actually I am just one of several people that blog about Merritt and the Nicola Valley.  With over 200 blogs our group has provided a great picture of our area and what there is to offer. Because there is so much information you might want to check out  these blogs which can be found at experiencenicolavalley.com.

In addition,  this program for community marketing was developed by the “Brothers of  Tourism”, Greg and Colin Girard. The principles behind the award winning travel site Eh? Canada Travel.

Therefore if you are interested in finding out more about our region or other areas of the country take a trip to the websites.  You are sure to find travel tips you won’t find anywhere else.

SNOWSHOEING MERRITT BC

WINTER FUN EXTRODINARE

 

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 Ice Fishing – Fishing Nicola Valley

A Lake A Day As Long As You Stay

A day ice fishing with friends and cousin at Marquart Lake

Merritt Ice Fishing is a great example of why we cherish our year-round fishing destination and winter wonderland. With over 200 lakes to choose from in and around Merritt and the Nicola Valley. We chose Marquart Lake. Who would ever think you would be able to catch a fish through a 10 inch hole and a 12 inch thickness of frozen ice.  I am sure the ice was thicker at some of the lakes higher up the mountains but this lake was perfect for a newbie.

Merritt Ice Fishing Prize of the Day

Cousin Guide Jay with his prize

Merritt Ice Fishing in The Nicola Valley

For one, who has only fished in an open body of water, the anticipation and excitement of trying to catch a fish through a 10 inch hole in 12 inches of thick ice was an experience like no other. Although fishing is is a great outdoor sport that is relaxing and fun, ice fishing is a unique experience adding a whole new dimension to excitement and pleasure. I didn’t exactly get to experience catching a fish myself, on this first ice fishing expedition but I did see evidence, that pulling a fish up through that 10 inch hole is how it works. It is a little difficult to put this experience into words, but I can definitely say this. I can see a healthy addiction blossoming real fast.

Ice Fishing through the hole

The Hole That Holds Anticipation

Let’s Go Fishin’

Jay and Dana my cousin fishing guides picked me up and we were on our way. The weather was overcast and snowing, although beautiful when we arrived at Marquart lake, About 10 minutes east of Merritt, BC. Situated on the Lundbom Lake forestry road.

Once we stopped, the cousin guides took 2 big sleds out of the back of the truck. They started loading it with stuff that made me wonder of we were going fishing for a week. Although they had  filled me in a little about the process of ice fishing. They forgot to tell me about the getting ready part. Like what has to happen before you get to the lake.

2 Sleds of gear for ice fishing

The Cousin Guides, Jay and Dana with 2 sleds of gear.

Answers To The Before Fishing Questions

They started out with. “Don’t let the cold stop you from having a fun filled day of fishing.” Ice fishing is a safe winter sport but it does involve a bit of preparation. All you need is some safety tips and tricks, a bit of basic equipment, some warm gear,  and you’re in business.

First Things First

Along with a fishing license, some minor safety equipment and tips are first on the list. It is important to learn to check the thickness of the ice.  Use a spud bar (a long piece of steel, about 4-5 feet in length with a tapered point at the end,) or an auger to check the thickness. If you are able to hit the ice twice in the same spot with a spud bar and the ice remains solid, you know it will be safe to step on it in that area. If you can break through it, the ice is to thin. Continue testing as you walk out onto it. Don’t ever assume all ice is safe because it can be inconsistent thicknesses throughout the lake. Watch for rotten ice. You can spot rotten ice by its discoloration, cracks, holes and any water flows underneath it may have.

Some basic rules to follow for ice thickness:
  • A minimum of 4 inches for people
  • At least 6 inches for snowmobiles and sleds
  • A minimum of 7-12 inches for light cars
  • At least 14-16 inches for full sized trucks

Bare Bone Gear For Fishing

According to the cousin ice fishing guides you will be needing some unique gear and some gear with a different twist:

  • Ice fishing Rod – 24- to 36-inches will make sense for an ice jigging rod when  you hover over an eight to 10 inch hole in the ice. 
  • Reel – popular ice fishing reels are spinning and inline. Even though spinning reels may be the most common, that doesn’t mean they’re the best. As the inline reels continue to gain ground, they will easily become the go to reel for ice fishing.
  • Rod Holder – Rod holders are a handy little gadget. There are a couple of choices. Some fit conveniently on the rim of a five-gallon bucket. The  stand-alone model  elevates your rod and reel just off the ice for easy positioning over the hole. Try both designs and decide which one best suits you.
  • Lures – Trying to find the fool proof lure is nothing less than a process. You have to try various lures to figure out what will work for you. I was told the three best places to get the lures you need to try or need for Merritt and the Nicola Valley was from Ponderosa Sports , Gun Fishing located in Merritt. Lucky Bug Lures  Products and information can be found in above sporting stores as well as on-line. You will need some hooks, split shot weights and a bobber (optimal).
  • Bait – Worms, Corn, Maggots, Krill, Shrimp.
  • Staple Tackle – line clippers, fish grabbers, pliers, hooks, sinkers, weights etc…

Ice Fishing Must Haves

  • Auger and Ice Scoop – Ice auger is what you use to cut the hole in the ice. Gasoline or battery powered augers takes the physical labor out of hole cutting and allow you to cut more holes than you would by using a hand Auger. Augers come in a variety of sizes to create holes ranging from four inches to 8 inches in diameter or larger. Make sure you have a strainer-type ice scoop, to scoop ice shavings and snow out of the holes.
augers in action in merritt

Cousin Guide Dana checking the ice and drilling a hole

Some Handy Extras

Ice fishing exposes a unique set of weather challenges for both the fisherman and his or her equipment. Let’s just say, ice fishing is one of those sports where preparation is just as important as the action of fishing itself.

  • Ice Fishing Shelter – it’s vital to your comfort, and even your survival, when you’re out in cold for extended periods of time. Of all the gear that you need on an ice fishing adventure, your ice tent may be the most important.
The Nicola Valley Eskimo hut

Cousin Fishing Guide Jay Setting up The House

  • Seat/bucket – Five-gallon buckets are a must piece of equipment. You can use them to carry gear, rest rods, and store your fish. The bucket caps are designed for your seating comfort while you patiently sit and stare at that rod watching for the big hit. The cap also doubles as storage for tackle storage.
  • Propane Heater – When ice fishing, a propane heater is sort of a must-have item for your tent. It takes the chill out of the air and lets you sit and watch that rod in comfort.
  • Comfy Chair – You’re likely going to be sitting for a large part of the day if you’re ice fishing. So your best bet is to choose a chair that is easy to carry, offers custom options when it comes to comfort, is sturdy enough to withstand 200 pounds in weight and can collapse easily for transport.
  • Sled –  An ice fishing sled is often overlooked. Sleds are a rugged and light polyethylene tub designed to haul all of your fishing gear and glide over ice and snow. Pick a size that should be able to  carry everything you need to go fishing. You might need 2 but 1 should be good if you choose the right size.

Electronics for Ice Fishing

One of the advantages to having fishing electronics is to help you find fish faster and mark hotspots for future trips. Having the cream of the crop equipment on the ice makes for a more comfortable, successful on the ice/water.

  • Fish and Depth Finder – Knowing how to use a fish finder for ice fishing is an essential part of your electronic gear. The first step is keeping the hole free of slush and finding bottom by using your depth finder. After you find bottom, slowly drop your lure down the hole. You should be able to find and see your lure as you slowly lower the lure. As you continue to lower the lure further down the water column, it will be easier to find. Reason being the depth-finder cone angle widens as the depth of the water increases. One advantage to using a sonar while ice fishing is you can move until you find or see fish. You are not going to catch fish that are not below you. Fishing without a Fish Finder is like looking for the needle in the haystack.
  • Underwater Fish Camera – An underwater fish camera is an essential tool to be able to  get a full picture of your fishing conditions. Underwater fishing cameras are great for ice fishing. Giving you a real-time video of fish and terrain, they also provide a better view of the lake bottom, including weed beds, and any fish swimming by. 
Reading the depth finder

Using the Fish Finder Checking Depth of Water and looking for fish

Dressing For The Fish

One thing I figured out real quick is that Mother Nature isn’t one of the most hospitable hosts I’ve ever come across. Assuming I was dressed pretty warm with a few layers. I was starting to freeze in about 3 hours. This encouraged me to do some investigating about exactly how to dress for ice fishing.

Cousin Guide Jay said, “Who do you think you’re dressing for? The fish don’t hold fashion shows.”

keeping warm fishing

Dressing for the ice fishing occasion

Ice Fishing Dressing Tips

  • Base Layers – Base layers keep your bodies warmth close to the skin. Long underwear is the most basic base layer and works fine. New advanced fabric base layers are lightweight and very thermally efficient.
  • Outer wear – Despite fishing from an ice shelter. Proper pants and jackets are important,  The best ice fishing jackets and pants are Insulated, windproof, and waterproof. 
  • Headwear – At minimum, you should wear a quality stocking hat. Even better are fur or fleece lined hats with ear flaps. Balaclavas are even better, as they have complete face and neck coverage.
  • Gloves – Fingers need protection from the cold and wind. Ice fishing gloves are waterproof, and have flip open finger covers to make dealing with fishing line easier. Gloves that have wrist coverage and can slide up underneath your jacket sleeves are ideal.
  • Boots – Insulated, waterproof boots are best for ice fishing. Keeping your feet warm is key to keeping the rest of you warm.
The End Of The First Merritt Ice Fishing Experience

Ice fishing is definitely a magical, social, exciting fun filled adventure that tends to get overlooked as a winter activity. Up until now I didn’t have a clue about ice fishing. This experience has opened my eyes to what a healthy, natural outdoor sport it is. A simple sport that you don’t need a boat for and little gear to get started. While this is true at the beginning, I can see adding the bells and whistles as you get hooked on ice fishing.

With Merritt having A Lake A Day As Long As You Stay it is inevitable that Merritt, BC is an Ice Fishing Destination.

Fishing Contest – Enter before March 30th, 2021

Ice Fishing Contest - Wes David ice fishing with Wes David

ICE FISHING PHOTO CONTEST
Win a $100 Gift Certificate for fishing gear and an opportunity for your photo to be used showcasing our Nicola Valley ice fishing season on the Fishing the Wild West TV Show with Wes David (30+ Million Viewers).
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More Information and Entry Form:
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Merritt Ice Fishing Destination

Fishing Nicola Valley

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Winter Activities – Logan Lake

There are many winter outdoor activities in Logan Lake, BC. Snowshoeing, ice-fishing, ice skating, walking or hiking; the only thing to stop you is time!

Love Logan Lake!

Having a Budget Working For You

Winter Activities – Logan Lake – As a financial consultant serving Logan Lake, Merritt , Ashcroft and Cache Creek, I’ve learned to reduce expenses when I can. Remember, income minus expenses equals discretionary income! As a father of 7 children, it’s a skill I’ve put into practice many times. Which brings me to this thought, “how can I share my knowledge in ways everyone can participate?” Not that we never spend money, but we choose when to spend. I look at a budget not as a slave master, but as giving permission to ourselves to allocate funds and spend them guilt free. 

Even dragged this one out to come and play!

There is No Better Time to Enjoy Our Great Outdoors

Winter has brought some much needed rest to the Schell family. We spent our time together resting and playing as a family. We really tried to fill our time with naps, laughing which each other and enjoying some winter outdoor activities here in Logan Lake, BC. As I write this edition, we are in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. Jennifer and I have really been striving in this time to keep our family healthy to ensure our immune systems are in tip-top shape. However, a walk outside has been a great stress relief at times and a way to work on our mental health as well!

Find a Challenge to Get Through The Winter With Healthy Habits

This winter I’ve been working through a challenge called 75Hard. It’s a 75 day challenge to build or reinforce healthy mental and physical behaviors. I’ve used it to maintain healthy positive habits in the darkest and coldest days of winter. To impact my family the least, I’ve tried to get my first workout done before my wife and kids get up for their day. One of the pieces to 75Hard is a 45 minute outdoor workout, everyday. This has given me the challenge to find winter outdoor activities in Logan Lake to fill this need. 

Skating on the Lake!

Out for an icy winter walk!

Healthy Outdoor Activities for Children

Some mornings, as I lace up my boots I look up to see young faces eager to join me on my morning treks. How can you say no to that!? With temperatures reaching as low as -30′ Celsius over the past few weeks, staying warm is important. After spending 45 minutes outside with me, I’ve needed help getting warm again. Luckily, Jennifer helps them warm up with recipes like her festive white hot chocolate that she has made before. 

No Need To Spend a Fortune, Focus on Fun, Cheap or Free

We have focused on what we can do as a family that is fun and cheap or fun and free! There are many winter outdoor activities in Logan Lake, BC. Snowshoeing, ice-fishing, ice skating, walking or hiking; the only thing to stop you is time! Just inside the city limits are many snowshoeing and cross country trails as well, of which I have yet to adventure on.

Ensure You Stay Safe While Enjoying Outdoor Activities

We as a family have enjoyed the hiking trails around Logan Lake, even the lake itself. However, this is not something I would advise alone at night but as a group during the day. The trails can be dark, and at times, quite slippery. There has even been a cougar around town for the winter. So many deer have decided to call Logan Lake their home, which seems to have brought some predators into town. 

These guys are quick learners on the skates!

Don’t Spend A Fortune, Focus on What You Already Own

We have been focusing on ice-skating on Logan Lake as ice skates were something our family already had. The initial investment of buying skates was already complete. Simply ensuring the crew had fresh tape on the hockey sticks was all that was needed. I also purchased arctic hiking boots from Cabelas in Abbotsford. I was growing tired of trekking around in big winter boots, I would recommend these for sure!

Not All Adventures Start in Logan Lake! What To Do If You’re in Merritt, BC

Sometimes I find myself in Merritt, BC with time to kill and I’m looking for things to do. If you are stuck for ideas, give my friend Tania’s blog a read for Winter Activities in Merritt, BC! It’s nice to have a community of friends in this time to share ideas and laughs with!

Catching a Logan Lake Winter Sunrise

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Outdoor Winter Activities

Adventures for the Family in the Nicola Valley

Winter activities enjoyed by all 

We in the Nicola Valley enjoy our outdoor winter activities despite the dark colder days of winter. Albeit, Canadian winter’s can be long and enduring. Although with a bit of incentive everyone can enjoy a winter day like no other.  Beating the winter blues with outdoor winter activities in the Nicola Valley.

Winter Outdoor Activities

Nicola Valley. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Outdoor Winter Activities Like Footprint Tag

Play tag as you normally would…but stepping only in others’ footprints. It should be noted to not have Bigfoot play with you. A slight size advantage there right? As a night time game, we would suggest using glow sticks or flashlights so it makes it even more challenging and interesting. 

Foot print tag. Photo courtesy of Sheldon Quewezance.

Night time tag or hide n seek! Photo by Tania Stewart.

Golfing in the Winter Snow 

Snow golf anyone? Take some time to smooth out a fairway and a green. Take an open can and plant it in the snow. This becomes the whole in one shot! Make sure to color your golf balls and tee’s. Truly easier to find in the snow. Indeed this is how we do golfing during Canadian Winters.

Winter Bocce Ball 

Bocce ball Covid style. Say what! How cool is this to play in the snow.  Bocce ball sets can be found at local Canadian Tire. Truly a ton of laughter will be heard.  

merrittBC

Bocce Ball.

Outdoor Curling Rink?

Due to Covid19 many avid curlers are without a rink to go to. Build a rink in your own back yard or on a lake. Come together as a family and throw some rocks. Good time safe bubble sport with social distancing. 

outdoorwinteractivities.

Outdoor curling rink. Photo courtesy of Pixel.

Other Winter Outdoor Activities

Go on a winter photo scavenger hunt.  This is how you start. Take a picture of an outside recognizable feature. Within the agreed radius. Each participant sends picture to all participants and the hunt is on to locate feature. Clearly it could be a tree or a street name, or even a snowman down the road. Importantly it is an outdoor adventure that is full of fun. Furthermore this winter outdoor activity could include you community. Social distancing while connecting and having fun. Winner’s photo will be shared on social media. 

Winter Outdoor Activities.

Scavenger Hunt. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Merrittwinteractivities.

Winter Games. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Outdoor Winter Activities for the Whole Family in the Nicola Valley.

Build a snowman or snow fort. How about a snowball fun fight? Round up your neighbors and have a friendly winter competition. Divide and conquer. Snowball fight bring it on! Follow up the fun with a creamy hot chocolate and a backyard winter BBQ.  

 

Feeling Artistic?

Host a snow sculpture competition within your neighborhood. Firstly find some  judges. Snowmen consist of three large snowballs of different sizes with some additional goodies for facial and other features. Common accessories include branches for arms and a rudimentary smiley face, with a carrot used for a nose. Clothing, such as a hat or scarf, may also be included for all!​

Winter Beauty is ours to enjoy! Photo from Tania Stewart.

More Outdoor Winter Activities

Ice fishing is considered one of the most recognized  Canadian winter activities. While some fishermen prefer to stay out in the open, most prefer a shelter.  Equally some people like to go big with luxury fish shacks that have heaters, stoves, beds and even T.V’s. My idea of ice fishing! Experience ice fishing in the Nicola Valley.

Ice Fishing

Ice Fishing Nicola Valley.

merritt ice fishing

Enjoy the solitude ice fishing in the Nicola Valley. Photo by Greg Girard.

There are numerous small lakes that are pure gems for ice fishing enthusiasts. Connect with the great outdoors and spend quality time with friends and family while on your Nicola Valley Ice Fishing Adventure. Safety first when you head out on the ice.

Ice skating and Pond Hockey.

Ice skating is truly a Canadian winter activity. Whether being a backyard rink or a frozen pond. Many Canadians can proudly say they spent many a winter days learning to skate and play on outdoor rinks. Apart from the usual sport, how about elevating it. Alternatively adding “Bowling” into pond skating. Set up some pin’s and bowl with skates on. Keep score and have a bawl with this. 

Merritt Cross Country Skiing 

Truly  cross-country skiing is one of the best ways to enjoy a crisp winter day. The Nicola Valley offer’s superb trails. Cross country skiing in the Nicola Valley starts and ends on the Kane Valley xc ski trails. With over  50 kilometers of groomed trails ideal for wilderness Nordic skiing. Consequently, the trails are well marked with signage, decorated with shelters (warming huts) and there are washrooms on site too.

merritt cross country skiing - kane valley

Cross country skiing on the Kane Valley Trails. Photo by Greg Girard

“First of all remember these 2 words – Kane Valley. That is all you have to do to get your next xc ski fix in the Nicola Valley.” Greg Girard.

Additionally, there is also sledding, snow tubing, snowshoeing, fat biking and winter hiking, as well as, stargazing. Merritt BC offers some of the best stargazing without big city light pollution. Truly ideal to stargaze. Each year the Merritt Astronomical Society hosts a large and roomy Star Party.  

Perfect Stargazing outside Merritt BC.

Snowshoeing 

Snowshoeing is the new winter hiking. Utilizing and exploring the same summer trails. Equally provides a winter perspective to the scenery. Lastly, snowshoeing trails are available in the Kane Valley region of the Nicola Valley. Plan a day picnic while  snowshoeing within Merritt’s beautiful backcountry. 

merritt snowshoeing

What a great day to go winter snowshoeing in Merritt. Photo by Pixel Bay

While there is always “Skijoring”

Skijoring,  is a winter sport that originates in Scandinavia, where it has been practiced for centuries. Laplander’s skied on Nordic skis holding the reins attached to reindeer. Subsequently by the mid 1950’s, skijoring found its way to North America. This time ranchers would attach a long rope to the saddle horn while being pulled on ski’s down a straight-away. Important to note the rider determines the pace and route for the skijoring adventure, while the skier attempts to hold on. Extreme maybe? Fun is what I  would say!

Horse Skiing. Photo “YouTube”

 
In Conclusion it is “Fun”

Despite the dark colder days. Nerveless we can all enjoy outdoor winter activities, especially when living in the Nicola Valley. Albeit Canadian winter’s can be long and enduring. Although with a bit of incentive everyone can enjoy a winter day like no other. Who is to say we can not enjoy summer activities during winter months. Playing summer games during the winter months can be hilarious as well as a lot of fun.  Ideally the point is to get outside with family and friends and have a lot of fun with a barrel full of laughs. And if feeling really brave try out Big Foot tracking. Enjoy all activities outdoors during our winter months in the Nicola Valley.

Winter Outdoor Activities.

Big Foot Tracking in the Nicola Valley. Photo Tania Stewart.

Merritt, BC, Canada

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Merritt British Columbia Canada Top Travel & Adventure Guides

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Circle Tours from Merritt BC

Similkimeen Okanagan-Part One

One of many tours starting from the Nicola Valley

 

There are many circle tours from Merritt, BC because of its location.  Incidentally, there are four highways that pass through Merritt which gives you eight directions to go in.  The length of the tours depends on what you want to see and do.  For example, one of my favourite trips is from Merritt to Princeton, then to Penticton, Summerland, Peachland and then back home.

The American Plan

If you use the American Plan you can do this tour in one day.  The American Plan you say?  Actually this is my own interpretation of an American Tourist based on an incident I witnessed at Cathedral Grove in MacMillan Provincial Park on Vancouver Island.  Believe it or not while we were there an American family pulled up in front of  the large Cedar tree that is a feature of the park.  They all stood in front of the tree, had their picture taken and were off.  Needless to say this is probably not how you want to experience the park but if you are in a hurray I guess it works.  I  don’t know if the American Plan is a “thing”.

Planning Circle Tours from Merritt BC

Any way, the tour I am reporting on consists of about four to five hours of driving time and you then need to consider the time you want to spend in each area. For example, if you intend to spend two hours in the four main centres you are looking at an additional eights hours and your day will consume upwards of thirteen hours.  As you can see this is probably too much to do in one day.

The First Leg-Circle Tours from Merritt BC to Princeton

The first leg of the journey is about one and a half hours as you leave Merritt on Highway 97c, commonly known as the Okanagan Connector.  Some of things along this route you will want to come back to explore are the Corbett Lake Lodge, Kane Valley, Laurie Guichon Grasslands interpretive Site and Lundbom Lake.

Circle tours from merritt bc  - great rainbow trout

Fishing at Corbett Lake

At the junction of Highway 97c and highway 5A you turn right to make your way to Princeton.  The area around Aspen Grove has some great fishing lakes.  However, if you’re more into kayaking this is a great area.  Further along the road is the turn that leads to Kentucky-Alleyne Provincial Park.  Unfortunately you won’t have time to stop there if you want to complete this tour in a timely manner.  In fact you should put this on your list of things to see when you return to the area.

Lake Near Aspen Grove

Lake Near Aspen Grove

Kentucky Lake Hike

Kentucky Lake Hike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This leg of the trip is beautiful as you pass numerous lakes surrounded by the hills.  additionally, one of these lakes is the entrance to the AP Guest Ranch.  Yet another point of interest to return to.

AP Guest Ranch Circle Tours from Merritt BC

Experience Nicola Valley Bloggers visit AP Guest Ranch

While there are several other lakes along the way, the province has established a Provincial Park at Allison Lake.  On the one side of the highway is the campground and on the other side is the day use area.  This is a nice spot for a refreshment break.

BCThe Town of Princeton is upgrading its look

After leaving Allison Lake you will arrive at the Town of Princeton.  Collectively this is one of the four towns I recommend stopping at on this circle tour from Merritt, BC.  In recent years the town has taken to upgrading its appearance.  As you can see in the picture below they have added a very attractive gateway,

Princeton Circle Tours from Merritt BC

Princeton Entrance

As well as City initiatives, the businesses are also getting into the act upgrading their store fronts.

Ulpgraded Facade

Upgraded façade

By the way, this is where we ate lunch.  As a matter of fact, the food was really good as the ingredients were all local when possible.  After you eat you can explore the downtown shopping with some quaint shops you won’t find any where else.

Other Activities in Princeton.

Of the many things to do in Princeton I like to walk the part of the Trans Canada Trail (now called The Great Trail) that goes trough town along the Similkimeen River.  They have built a cool pedestrian bridge that crosses the river.

 

Pedestrian bridge

More of the Circle tour from Merritt, BC to come

This part of the tour would take up about four hours at a minimum.  However, you can shorten the time and plan to return another day.  The next leg of the journey is up the Similkimeen Valley to Penticton.  Hopefully, you will stay tuned for the next blog on the rest of this Circle Tour from Merritt, BC.

Circle Tours from Merritt BC

Similkimeen Okanagan-Part One

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“Santa Claus” and Christmas in Merritt BC

A Nicola Valley Christmas with Santa from the North Pole

“Twas the Night Before Christmas and all through Merritt …”

Christmas in Merritt BC Canada is coming up and Santa Claus is busy looking over his naughty & nice list in preparation for the big night. It has truly proven to be a very difficult year for keeping off the Naughty List too. Therefore Santa is checking it twice to find out who has been naughty or nice. In doing so, Santa was very pleased with the children of the Nicola Valley, as well as, the Experience Nicola Valley Bloggers in their efforts of bringing good cheer into the homes of Merrittonians throughout the year.  

Christmas in Merritt BC

Santa checking the Naughty and Nice List twice from Santa’s Village in the North Pole

Mrs. Claus started Christmas in Merritt BC 

Christmas in Merritt BC started with Mrs. Claus accompanied by some poking and prodding from the Elves. One night talking with Santa, Mrs Claus was sharing some of the things she was reading about in the letters from Nicola Valley children. Meanwhile, the snickering Elves nearby hanging the Reindeer stockings were encouraging Mrs. Claus to take a Nicola Valley vacation. So she looked it up on ExperienceMerritt.com to learn more. She was hooked. 

Mrs. Claus Pays It Forward 

Mrs. Claus wanted to get a positive feel for Christmas in Merritt BC Canada. So she visited  the “Walk of Stars”, the Downtown Shops and some of the children, who are now adults, operating small businesses in Merritt during Covid 19. On her list was Blacks’ Pharmacy, Miss Vicki’s Petal and Plants, Planet Hair and Spa, Community Futures Nicola Valley and the City of Merritt Mayor, Linda Brown. 

Christmas in Merritt BC Must Go On

The Elves, the reindeer, Santa and Mrs. Claus all realize first hand how the children miss meeting with Santa Claus due to Covid19. Because of the pandemic Santa could not do his annual rounds visiting all the children throughout the world. Santa decided, based on the feedback from Mrs. Claus’ visit to the Nicola Valley, that Christmas in Merritt BC must go on!

christmas in merritt

Santa and Mrs. Claus discussing Christmas in Merritt BC

Interview with Santa and Mrs. Claus

Santa and Mrs. Claus agreed to provide Experience Nicola Valley a 1/2 hour interview on our community talk show called Nicola Valley Talk. Lucky me! I, Tania Stewart, was the host of that episode on Nicola Valley Talk which had Santa and Mrs. Claus as a special guest! They shared so many things during our interview about Santa’s Village, the North Pole, the reindeer, the mischievous Elves and Xmas Eve. Watch the interview below. 

Letters from Nicola Valley Children

After much consideration Mrs. Claus and Santa, along with their 90 thousand elves, decided to grant the Nicola Valley Talk Show an additional episode so they could answer the letters from Nicola Valley children live online. In addition, they would invite a few children online to talk and chat with Santa on a video call live from the North Pole in Northern Canada. We received letters and some video submissions too, making for great stories and answers.

We all know that  Mrs.. Claus runs the show in the North Pole. Without her,  Santa would truly be lost. Of course Mrs. Claus did all her research on the ExperienceNicolaValley.com and ExperienceMerritt.com websites! Notably she searched Merritt BC  Things To Do on Google and the Experience Nicola Valley and Experience Merritt websites came up 3 times on the first page! 

“They must be the community experts Experience Nicola Valley Bloggers. And I was right!” Mrs. Claus.

Meanwhile back at the North Pole 

Then there are the Elves who are dedicated and work tirelessly to make sure Christmas is special. In our discussions, we met the two head Elves, Alex and Daniel.  These two had it all together. Therefore they were in charge of feeding the Reindeer, building toys, and assisting Mrs. Claus with the banking so to provide Santa with his cookies.  

christmas in merritt bc elves

The Head Elves, Alex and Daniel, helping out at the North Pole.

“In the light of  all the work that Santa’s Elves do throughout the year. They are just so jolly and full of spunk.” Melvina White

To point out these are the 5 most asked questions from children as well as adult’s to Santa Claus. 

  1.  -“Do you remember when Santa and you got me a XXXXX when I was 6?”
  2. – “Is Xmas cancelled because of COVID?”
  3. – “Can the reindeer really fly?”
  4. – “How does Santa get down the chimney?”
  5. – “Are there really such things as Elves?”

Santa in 2021

We sure do hope to have Santa back next year on the show to answer and chat live with Nicola Valley children. 

Christmas in Merritt BC Canada

Nicola Valley Bloggers

 

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Winter Activities in Merritt BC

Outdoor Winter Activities in The Nicola Valley

Getting outdoors and enjoying the crisp cold air is exhilarating to say the least.

Winter activities in Merritt BC – Albeit we all want to hunker down during the winter months and hibernate, sit back and wait for spring. Truth be told Winter is one of my favourite seasons to become more active and enjoy Outdoor Winter Activities in the Nicola Valley. Although nothing compares to swimming in a lake in the summer, ice fishing on that very lake in the winter is an “AHA moment”. Winter Activities in Merritt BC is an outdoors enthusiasts dream scape. Here in the Nicola Valley there is a winter activity for everyone to enjoy. Get outside and Experience Nicola Valley!

Winter Activities in Merritt BC.

Snowshoeing in Merritt.

 Winters in Merritt, BC, Canada

Snowmobiling on Tyme Mountain – Winters in Merritt, BC, Canada.

Let us begin with cross-country skiing and snowshoe winter activities in Merritt BC.

Importantly and ideally the best place is” Kane Valley” for xc skiing and snowshoeing. It is only located 18 kms south of Merritt, BC, Canada. ExperienceMerritt.com points out that the Kane Valley enjoys a base elevation of 1160 metres (3800 feet). The timbered valley has a micro-climate that can provide ideal Nordic skiing conditions. The snow is generally dry, seldom more than 1 to 1.5 metres deep, and the air temperature is usually between 0 and -15 degrees Celsius throughout the winter. The best winter access to the ski areas is along the Kane Valley road which joins Highway 5A/97C near Corbett Lake, 18 kilometers south of Merritt. 

Winter Activities in the Nicola Valley.

Cross country skiing Kane Valley. Photo by

merritt cross country skiing - kane valley

Cross country skiing on the Kane Valley Trails

Snowshoes are welcome also at Kane Valley. Outdoor Winter Activities in The Nicola Valley.

Snowshoeing winter style. Photo by Bonnie Kittle.

Furthermore with Covid19 and self-distancing there has been an increase with people getting back outdoors and enjoying nature. Albeit cross-country skis can be cumbersome to younger children, snowshoes are much easier to navigate and you will forget you are wearing them.  

Now let us look at Snowmobiling. Outdoor Winter Activities in The Nicola Valley.

Snowmobiling is an outdoor winter activity everyone can enjoy in The Nicola Valley. While experiencing the crisp air and boundless trails. Snowmobiling in the surrounding  Nicola Valley is an outdoor enthusiasts dream. Snowmobiling in Merritt BC can be the ride of your life, as stated by EH Canada Travel.

“Come and experience a snowmobiling paradise in Merritt BC, Canada. From rolling hills, groomed trails to immense peaks our snow-covered landscapes offer a variety of snowmobiling adventures for all ages, abilities and desires.”

snowmobiling on Helmer Lake

One of the great winter activities around Merritt, BC.

Snowmobiling on Tyme Mountain - Winters in Merritt, BC, Canada

Snowmobiling on Tyme Mountain – Winters in Merritt, BC, Canada.

Ice Fishing truly an Outdoor Winter Activity in The Nicola Valley.

Ice fishing is not for the weak at heart. In other words having to deal with the wind, cold, wet feet and even picking the wrong drilling spots can be trying for some. However, ice fishing is a winter delight for many who enjoy fishing as a hobby. This is an activity anyone can enjoy, whether being a beginner or a pro. On the other hand, when the fish are not biting, make it a family day of fun with a hotdog roast and gooey smores. Lastly, make sure to check the depth of the ice. Safety is key! Need more information on ice fishing, go to “Getting Started for Ice Fishing.

Where to Ice Fish in the Nicola Valley?

Nicola Lake located 13km from Merritt is a favourite for ice fishing. Chicken Ranch Lake, another lake, offers great fishing for Brook Trout. The fish average in size around 1 lb but can reach up to 3 to 4 lbs. Alleyne Lake (near Merritt) fishes Kokanee. Generally speaking ice fishing usually starts in mid December as the colder weather brings over 6 inches of hard ice. Along with the fish still feeding because of the high oxygen levels in the water. Ideal ice fishing time!

Photo courtesy of Freshwater Fisheries Society.

What about Tobogganing? Truly a Winter Activity enjoyed in Merritt BC.

Surely one of the best tobogganing is just before Lundbom Lake. With easy access for cars this is an ideal place with some amazing hills to toboggan down. It is an outdoor adventure with a picnic. A historical fact – the toboggan was originally used as transportation by the Inuit and First Nations groups of Canada. Moreover do not forget the hot chocolate! 

Star Gazing outdoor winter activities in The Nicola Valley.

Star Gazing during the winter months in the Nicola Valley is ideal. Because it is a smaller community there is little-to-no light pollution to cover the stars at night. In effect the Nicola Valley is one of the best location for avid star gazers. Thus if you are a pro star gazer or a beginner this is your destination place.  

Star Gazing. Photo by Alessandro Viaro.

Winter Activities in Merritt.

Photo courtesy of Calwaen Liew.

Winter Activities in Merritt BC.

Winter Moon. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Even more there is Winter Hiking! 

Hiking Kentucky Lake.

Okay now let us talk about winter time hiking. Merritt is situated in a valley surrounded by mountains with an abundance of mountain trails. Makes for an ideal spot for all levels of hiker’s who like a challenge or just a hour stroll.

In addition the Nicola Valley offers trails that wrap around majestic lakes. Check out Kentucky Lake which offers a scenic hike around it’s lake. Assuredly the Nicola Valley has a wide variety of hiking trails available for all hiking abilities. Iron Mountain located just off highway 97C,  enjoys a 4k trek to the top. Worth the views.

Winter Hiking. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Hiking trails in Merritt. Photo courtesy of Tania Stewart.

Tom Lacey Memorial Trail. Located close to downtown Merritt. Truly a fun family hike. Then there is Sugarloaf Mountain which starts at Lundbom Lake. Follow the access road to Hamilton Lake, gives  you the most direct access to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain,

Winter in Merritt BC 

Winter activities in Merritt BC are numerous.  Getting outdoors and enjoying the crisp cold air is exhilarating to say the least. As previously stated winter in the Nicola Valley offers ice fishing, tobogganing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, hiking, and star gazing. Further more Merritt has numerous Hotel accommodations for travelers along with a great selection of downtown shops with fine eateries for all. Let us bring back skating on lakes what about outdoor hockey with masks.  

Winter in Merritt, BC, Canada

Nicola Valley Bloggers

 

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Arts in Merritt on the Move

New Location for the Nicola Valley Community Arts Council

The Arts Will Grow

After 15 years at the Old Courthouse Gallery on Nicola Ave (Hwy8), the Nicola Valley Community Arts Council and the Old Court House Gallery have the arts on the move in Merritt, BC.  In 2005 the Old Courthouse was purchased by a local doctor  with the idea of  turning it into a cultural space,  which would provide a home to the Nicola Valley Community Arts Council, a music society and a dance studio.  However the Council has decided it is time to move on.

Old Courthouse Gallery

Old Courthouse Gallery – Bev Veale Painting

The Old Court House Gallery

The Old Court House was a major step forward for the Arts Council because for many years they had no permanent home.  At this time,  their major project was the Performing Arts Series which brought many great musical concerts to town. The visual arts were handled by the Nicola Valley Visual Artists where Community art displays were generally relegated to their annual Art Show which was held at the Merritt Civic Centre. It was therefore, not necessary to have a permanent home Fortunately the Courthouse allowed the Community Arts Council to have a bigger presence in the community.  For example, the current Arts Gallery Director, Jano Howarth gives a summary of the many activities carried out at this venue.

Arts in Merritt BC on the Move

The Courthouse building was sold and so that made the future use of the building uncertain. Consequently the Arts Council determined that the time was right to investigate a new location. Ultimately they were looking for a space that had high visibility, in the downtown core and large enough to provide gallery space, program space and an artisan shop.  As a result their search led them to the Jackson Building (for the old timers, the Post building for us newbies) at the corner of Voght and Nicola. 

Arts in Merritt BC

Arts on the Move – New Home of Nicola Valley Community Arts Council

The New Home Fits the Bill for Arts in Merritt

Location was one of the primary considerations in the move.  As such this makes  the building on the corner of the main

entrance to downtown at the corner of Voght and Nicola, the perfect location.

Gallery Space, Program Space and an Artisan Shop

The New Gallery

The new gallery is bright and airy and therefore is a great space for showing  off the Artists’ work.

The New Gallery for arts in merritt bc

The new Gallery

 

Program Space

Space for programs was important as this is an area that the Council wants to expand on.  Currently the picture shows the size of the room that will be used for programs but does not reflect the current condition of the space as this was taken before the move was complete.  However,  you can see that there is ample space.

New Activity Room

New Activity Room

Artisan Shop

The Artisan Shop has benefited from the new location.  While in the Old Courthouse it was tucked away in a back room and was out of site, in the new space it is front and centre and therefore, has more space to display the contributions of over 20 Nicola Valley artisans and crafters.

Artisan Shop for arts in merritt bc

Artisan Shop

Therefore the new location looks like it will be a great success for the community at large and in particular our local network of artists.

Arts on the Move – The First Show

Consequently, the opening show in the new space features Jean Kiegerl and Twin Willows Glass Arts.

Meet Jean Kiegerl

Jean Kiegerl

Because of  her leadership and with a strong group of volunteers the Arts Council has flourished. Currently, her legacy is  being carried on by the new Arts Council president, Mischelle Pierce.

 Jean is also a family friend, as  my wife and her spend many hours together painting and collaborating.  As a result, I like her work so much I have one of her originals hanging in my hall.

Quiilchena Falls-Jean Kiegerl Painting

Quilchena Falls – Jean Kiegerl Painting

 

Jean has produced work in water colours, acrylics and now oils which she prefers.

“I love the vibrant colours you can get with oil paints”—Jean Kiegerl

Clearly this can be seen in her painting of the red sports car that is on the poster for the show.

Red Car

Red Car-Jean Kiegerl Painting

Twin Willows Glass Arts

Glen and Susan Parkinson are the creative minds behind Twin Willows Glass Arts. They have been producing great work out of their studio for more than eight years.  Incidentally they work in a variety of styles which includes, leaded stained glass, fractured glass on glass mosaics and fused glass.

Panda-Twin Willows Glass Arts

Panda-Twin Willows Glass Arts

Arts on the Move in Merritt, BC will be a Success!

Lastly, with this new location, a heightened enthusiasm by the volunteers and with a high visibility location the future looks bright.

Old Courthouse Gallery Contact Info

Nicola Valley Arts Gallery

2051 Voght St, Merritt, BC

New Hours Wednesday to Saturday

12 noon to 6 pm

Sunday 12-4pm

(beginning Oct 21st)

nicolavaleyartsgallery@gmail.com

Phone 250-315-3437

Or text 250-315-3437

 

Arts in Merritt BC

Nicola Valley Art Gallery is Born

 

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Fall and Winter Outdoor Activities in the Nicola Valley BC. Canada 

The whole family can enjoy outdoor activities in Merritt BC

Merritt outdoor adventures and attractions

Outdoor Activities in Merritt BC does not have to stop with the end of summer. Because of our favorable climate, along with long hours of sunshine and little precipitation throughout the year, we are truly blessed with many Merritt, BC Canada outdoor activities. This alone makes the Nicola Valley a destination place during the fall months as well as the winter months. In addition, Merritt is the gateway to the Interior of B.C, due to the Coquilhalla Highway and only a three hour drive to five international airports, giving Canadians and world wide visitors quick access.

Outdoor Activities Merritt BC.

Fall color’s. Tania Stewart.

Lundbom Lake in the Fall. Photo courtesy of Greg Girard.

Fall is a fresh start. “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall”—F. Scott Fitzgerald.

The Sights, Smells and Sounds of a Merritt Autumn

Every thing is so crisp. Watching Autumn colors fall to the ground,  jumping in leaves as a child and those blustery fall winds bringing in Ole Man Winter brings even more promise of fun to be had. All is good in the Nicola Valley. Playing outdoors throughout the Nicola Valley has always been seasonal. Time to bring this back. Experience the Nicola Valley!

Hiking surrounding Nicola Valley Mountains.

Outdoor Activities Merritt BC.

Fall mountain biking. Photo Merritt Mountain Biking Association.

To Say Nothing of Hiking on a Crisp Winter Day 

Having a dry climate, the Nicola Valley’s is frequently under the lights of the sun.  Get yourself outdoors now as breathing in that fresh air helps you combat those upcoming winter blues.  Family fun time, alone time, or taking a hike with your dog… why not make outdoor activities during the fall and winter months a season of exploration.

winter hiking in merritt

Winter hiking in the Nicola Valley. Photo by Experience Nicola Valley.

Sunny winter day of hiking. Photo by Tania Stewart.

In a way Winter is the real Spring – the time when the inner things happen, the resurgence of nature. Edna O’Brien.

Despite the Temperature Change Life Goes On

Following the summer heat, Merritt’s cooler fall weather is truly a welcome reprieve. Clearly with having some of the best and  sometimes under-appreciated hiking trails, it is impossible not to be challenged even if you are a seasonal hiker. Without a doubt hiking trails for beginners will treat you to Fall colors, as well as, trails for the extreme will treat you to views over looking forests of Fall colors.  

Kentucky-Alleyne Provincial Park will amaze with it’s beauty!

Colours of Kentucky Lake

Colours of Kentucky Lake. Photo courtesy of Tom Reynolds.

Kentucky-Alleyne Provincial Park Hiking Trail. Photo by Tom Reynolds.

Iron Mountain

The main trail carries over 4 kilometers to the top of Iron Mountain, with 2 lookouts that gives you a scenic view. There are also many shorter hikes and mountain biking trails  available within Merritt that make for a great way to exercise the legs. There are a wide variety of recreation trails available in and around Merritt for each season and all abilities. Five prominent mountains surround the city of Merritt, each with its own extensive network of trails. 

Hiking Trails Merritt BC. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Tom Lacey Memorial Trail

Swakum Mountain is located close to downtown Merritt. This trail is truly a family hiking and mountain biking destination. Starting at the top of the Flagpole Access Road. Were you will be greeted with amazing priceless views of the Nicola Valley farms and the City of Merritt before you even begin hiking. Allow yourself about 1 – 3 Hours of family fun within nature. Connecting with many other trails, Swakum Mountain gives you the choice of how long or short your hike will be.

 

Whether snow shoeing, fat biking, xc skiing, snowmobiling or hiking, the Nicola Valley during the winter is an ideal destination place. Lots to do. No crowds, Amazing scenery. Top notch trail networks. Due to these crazy times, outdoor adventures have become even more popular.

Merritt XC Skiing and Snowshoeing

The Nicola Nordic Ski Club is based in Merritt, BC. and maintains the Kane Valley Ski Trails. The Kane Valley lies twenty minutes south of Merritt. It’s an hour west of Peachland and an hour north of Princeton. A Nordic experience at Kane Valley is an ideal day trip. You can enjoy the area for days, because 50km of fantastic classic skiing on wilderness groomed trails provide ample diversity. Bring on Old Man Winter!

 

merritt cross country skiing - kane valley

Cross country skiing on the Kane Valley Trails

merritt snowshoeing

What a great day to go winter hiking in Merritt. Experience Nicola Valley Photo.

Winter Hiking. Photo by Tania Stewart.

In Conclusion

Outdoor activities in Merritt BC. does not stop with the end of the summer. As a result of having a favorable climate along with long hours of sunshine and little precipitation throughout the year… the Nicola Valley is open for adventure all year! See you on the trails and/or in the back country sun, snow or ice. 

Outdoor Activities Merritt BC

Fall and Winter Adventure sin the Nicola Valley

 

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Adventures and activities in British Columbia Canada

 

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Destination Merritt in the Winter
Tourism Nicola Valley.

Merritt BC Canada in the Winter 

“Go were no man have hardly gone before.” Tania Stewart, eco blogger with Experience Nicola Valley

Merritt in the Winter can become a top destination point for Tourism in Canada. 

Make Merritt in the winter your destination. Why not? There are no crowds. Outdoor winter adventures are plentiful like xc skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing and snowshoeing.  Why not make the Nicola Valley your “New” winter spot during the snow season.  Merritt is alive and well in November, December, January and even into March in the mountains. Indeed just ask Jason Pake and his wife Trina Hall along with daughter Jasmine Ashley who Experienced the Nicola Valley in November.

merritt in the winter months

The Nicola Valley under some Living Skies

Albeit The Nicola Valley it so Beautiful!

Taking part in winter activities has so many benefits. For example, a good winter activity can help ease the winter blues while boosting your body’s immune and respiratory systems.  And… if you have children, you already know that winter adventures tires them out so they go to bed sooner and sleep better during the night. The result is a quieter, more romantic and peaceful cuddle around a fire with your other half. 

outdoormerrittbc

Make Merritt your destination. Photo Credit: Tania Stewart

In fact take a look!

wintermerrittbc

Your winter backcountry awaits you. Photo Credit: Tania Stewart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To clarify, Merritt is an ideal base camp, for day tripping.  

Destination Merritt in Winter

Jason Pake with Trina Hall.

Make Merritt BC your base camp when exploring the region. Merritt sits at the junction of 4 major highways heading north, south, east and west. Ideal for winter day trips. For instance leave early and spend a day hiking in Whistler BC. It is a 4 hour or so drive to Whistler from Merritt BC.  Plus image the time and money saved with restaurants , accommodations and convenience when Merritt is your base camp.

Accommodations in Merritt, like the Best Western Plus , Comfort Inn, and others in the Nicola Valley provide top amenities and services at a fraction of the price.  (Here is a link to a full list of accommodations and contact information)

Additionally taking in Merritt’s Activities.

Bowling in Merritt

Friday Night’s in Merritt BC can be a lot of family fun too at the local Bowling Alley. Bring your “A” game though! As a matter of fact Merritt’s Bowling Alley has provided decades of “Fun” for many generations. There are 8 lanes  5-pin bowling along with the venue being fully licensed. 

Nicolanes Bowling is open everyday of the week for a lot of fun with friends, family, or colleagues. For instance, go bowling for staff parties, birthdays, family reunions, or just a night out on the town.  That is come meet new people while being active. Truly “Bowling is fun for ALL ages!”

Explore Merritt in the Winter

Before making Merritt your winter destination, plan out your Nicola Valley winter activities – outdoors and indoors.  This includes day-tripping Merritt’s neighboring communities, visiting our art and culture venues and events, as well as, exploring any of our top notch xc skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing and ice fishing destinations. 

Merritt Snowmobiling. Photo courtesy Experience Nicola Valley.

 
Merritt Snowmobile Club is open to all “Sled Head’s.” Snowy trails.
merritt ice fishing

Enjoy the solitude ice fishing in the Nicola Valley.

 

 

It is All in the Attitude

outdoornicolavalley

Sharing nature with your family!

Plan a winter adventure and then the after party. After a winter hike, skiing cross country trails, shredding snow in a snowmobile or sitting back in your ice shack ice fishing why not finish your day around a cozy campfire sharing stories. Or… a bonfire like our photo. 

“Winter activities, like snowmobiling, xc skiing and snowshoeing will release some of that pent-up energy, and cause your body to burn fat.”

You should know… one of BC’s top snowmobiling destinations is just up the road from Merritt BC. Snowmobiling around Merritt is truly spectacular. It is

MerrittBCwinter

Outdoor winter activities for kids!

called “The Coke” which is short for Coquihalla Highway. I am going on a limb and say, “Merritt is the “Powder Capital of Snowmobiling in BC”.

Consequently, just south of Merritt are the Kane Valley XC Ski Trails. “Cross Country Skiing” at Kane Valley is a must for all lovers of the winter backcountry. Bring a camera for the picturesque scenery along the trails and, yes, there are warming shelters along some of the xc ski routes as well.

Even more impressive, is our four-pronged approach to winter adventures here in the Nicola Valley. Rounding out at #3 is the  “Ice Fishing” opportunities in the region. We enjoy over 200 lakes in the area. Many are ice fishing lakes. And #4 is snowshoeing. Pick a backcountry road or head to Kane Valley.   

“Before heading out for a winter activity, be sure to dress accordingly — ideally, in layers, and let someone know where you are going and always carry emergency back up supplies, ” says me, Tania Stewart.

NicolaValleyBCCanada

Destination Merritt Exploration in the Winter. photo Tania Stewart.

Make The Nicola Valley your Destination Home Base.

merritt cross country skiing - kane valley

Cross country skiing on the Kane Valley Trails.

winter in merritt bc

Winter snow time! Photo credit – Experience Nicola Valley.

Just So You Get It.
Merritt BC is centrally located.

Accommodations are affordable in the Nicola Valley compared to many of the surrounding bigger cities and communities.  Merritt has “Base Camp” written all over it.  Enjoying sightseeing day trips without the hassle or added expense of moving from one accommodation to another is a big plus when exploring from Merritt. Spending a lot of your time unpacking and packing up, over and over again, can be a big time waster on any vacation.

Day Trip Destinations

Nearby Kamloops is 87 km with one hour travel time from Merritt. Here is the plus. There are 2 main roads leading to Kamloops from Merritt. The quick and fast Kamloops connector (Highway 5). It is an up-and-over highway through the mountains. The other route (Highway 5A), is a little bit longer, many say more scenic, cuts and snakes its way around the mountains passing by lakes, ranches and grasslands. It makes for a perfect day trip with two routes of scenery. 

Kelowna Day Trip

Sun Peaks Resort.

Kelowna, best accessed from Highway 97C,  is just over the mountains to the south of Merritt BC. The distance to Kelowna is 127 km and about only 1 hr 36 minutes away. In Kelowna there are 2 ski resorts to enjoy as a winter day trip – Big White Ski Resort and the other is Silver Star. 

Feel the Need to Ski?

Sun Peaks Resort and Harper Mountain.

Beyond is Hope BC.

Othello Tunnels

While the drive is spectacular. Its only 120 km – 1 hour drive from Merritt to Hope BC. Incidentally Hope has many attractions. Many with no crowds and most are very outdoorsy. Take the Othello Tunnels. It is a series of tunnels through mountains over a gorge providing scenery and some history. You know what tunnels mean right? They can be enjoyed in sun, rain and snow and you stay dry. 

Winter in Merritt BC

Notably the Nicola Valley is becoming a better recognized winter destination for the region. The secret is out.  November, December, January or February are home to many outdoor winter attractions as well as many indoor ones. 

|Some of the indoor venues to visit during the winter months include Merritt’s Aquatic Center with a pool, 2 x hot tubs, a sauna and a fully equipped fitness room. For all avid shoppers, Merritt boast’s a downtown hub full of shop’s, cafe’s, historical pubs, gift stores, services, and nail salons.

Time your visit right, and you can come a enjoy a local hockey game with a Junior Hockey Team – the Merritt Centennials . So… the question is, “What are you going to do in Merritt in the winter months?” The answer better not be a “Couch Potato”.

Check out further information at Experience Nicola Valley.

Winter in Merritt BC

Nicola Valley and Merritt Winter Attractions and Day Tripping

Merritt British Columbia Canada Top Travel Guides