Things to do and lifestyle of the youth in the Nicola Valley.

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. 

Halloween in Merritt BC

Trick-or-Treating in The Nicola Valley

 

Celebrating Halloween Oct 31 in Merritt BC

Halloween in Merritt BC – Halloween is celebrated annually on October 31. While being one of the world’s oldest holidays. The community of Merritt additionally recognizes Halloween as one of the most important nights of the year for children including  many adults.  Although it’s derived from ancient festivals and religious rituals,  Halloween is still widely celebrated today in a number of countries around the globe. In countries such as Ireland, Canada and the United States. Celebrating “Halloween” in Merritt is a memorable experience. 

Halloween Merritt BC

Scary little people! Photo by Tania Stewart.

Merritt BC Halloween

Zombie Night! Photo Tania Stewart.

Ghoul Night is Halloween in Merritt BC

Growing up in Merritt B.C., truly was a child’s dream. To say nothing of the excitement with dressing up in costumes spending the night “Trick-Or-Treating”. Moreover ending the night with a bonfire while watching the fireworks is a great finish to a scary night.  After trick-or-treating, most people attend parties with neighbors and friends.  Furthermore many downtown businesses have treat’s for all the Goblins. What a great way to Experience Nicola Valley

Trick-or-Treat Merritt

Faceless ghouls! Photo by Tania Stewart

Merritt Halloween night

Is that you Batman? Photo by Tania Stewart

Hallows Night

Halloween is celebrated every year on the evening of October 31st. Together being a Celtic historical festival which also marked the division between the time of year when days are longer than nights and when nights are longer than days. Correspondingly believed to be the day when the border between the world of the dead and the world of the living narrows.  Interesting to note is the date of Halloween is almost in the middle of the time interval between the fall equinox and the winter solstice. 

Halloween Merritt B.C.

Scary things will knock at your door!

Take all the candy! Photo by Tania Stewart

Halloween Origin

Halloween evolved from the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhain. Over the centuries, Halloween transitioned from a pagan ritual to a day of parties, costumes, jack-o-lanterns and trick-or-treating for kids and adults.  In addition to dressing up as ghosts, demons and other malevolent creatures, children may perform antics in exchange for food and drink. 

Fun times in Merritt B.C

Carving time! Photo credit Tania Stewart

Get your Pumpkin and carve away. Even if you have to hire a Vampire with sharp teeth.

Vampires bring teeth! Picture by Tania Stewart.

Moreover “Spiders” and “Crows” are always welcome on Halloween night in Merritt B.C.

Nicola Valley Halloween

Spiders are always welcome! Photo credit Tania Stewart

Night for the crows. Halloween Photo credit Tania Stewart

Halloween Folklore 

In Ireland and Great Britain, the first jack-o’-lanterns were turnips or  beets.  Carved with demonic faces that are lit inside by a candle.  Then placed in a window or on the doorstep to scare Stingy Jack and other evil spirits. Irish and Scottish immigrants brought the custom to Canada and the United States. Adapting the jack-lantern to a North American native  vegetable,  the pumpkin. 

Friendly Ghoul. Photo Credit Tania Stewart

Such fun! Photo Credit Tania Stewart

Halloween Party Games in the Nicola Valley

At the parties, many games are played, including “snap-apple,” a game in which an apple on a string is tied to a doorframe or tree and players attempt to bite the hanging apple. In addition to bobbing for apples, parents often arrange treasure hunts, with candy or pastries as the “treasure.” Or try out “Halloween Snack Board” with Jennifer Schell. Children are also known to play tricks on their neighbors, such as “knock-a-dolly,” a prank in which children knock on the doors of their neighbors, but run away before the door is opened. Sounds very familiar. A little warning to all goblins, witches’, ghouls, and monsters. You may never know when a hand or zombie may pop out of a dark corner or behind a tree .

Halloween costumes

Halloween is truly for the young! Photo credit Tania Stewart

Halloween in Merritt B.C

Pumpkin carving competition has been won! Photo credit Tania Stewart

Halloween Safety

Firstly remain safe. Pair up with friends, and younger children with parents or guardians. Secondly stick to one side of the street, not running across the street to other houses. Thirdly, carry a flashlight or go out before it gets dark. Fourth, try to stick to areas you are familiar with. Wear appropriate clothing. Importantly let your parents check your candy haul. Just get out and “Trick-or-Treat.” when enjoying Halloween in Merritt BC Canada.

In Conclusion

Moreover just enjoy Halloween Night in Merritt BC or wherever you live. A little warning to all goblins, witches’, ghouls, and monsters.  It is the one night we can all dress up and be whatever we want with a lot of imagination and creation. I may just dress up as a spider this year. Boo!

Halloween in Merritt BC Canada

Nicola Valley Trick-or-Treating

 

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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 Summer River Camping – Outdoor Adventures

Places to Camp Riverside Around Merritt B.C

Staycation Summer River Campgrounds Merritt BC

Merritt Summer River Camping : As a result of Covid19 many families in Canada have rediscovered the outdoors. Furthermore, many have reignited their love of “Camping” with a dash of adventure.  But where does a person start? Knowledge about out-door activities starts with Experience Nicola Valley and Experience Merritt.  A great resource for planning a trip to the Nicola Valley.

Merritt Summer River Camping or Lakes

Surely when thinking of camping we often picture lakes. While a lake is great, river camping can be just as enjoyable. Do you prefer full amenities while camping or rustic adventures? Or full amenities vs outback river camping? All are available here in the Nicola Valley! 

Merritt Summer River Camping

Looking for Gold! Photo Credit:  Tania Stewart.

camping moon shadows campground

Camping on the river. Photo Credit:  Tania Stewart.

Benefits of Summer River Camping in Merritt 

  1. Stress reduction:  No alarm clocks, just the sound of nature.
  2. Fresh air:  Sleeping well may be your new experience.  
  3. Relationship building: One of the best and most important aspects of camping is how it helps you and your family gain hands-on outdoor experiences.
  4. Physical fitness: Time spent camping is physical time. You set up a tent, gather firewood, go for a swim, hike, boating, kayaking not to mention meal time. Cooking and preparing meals without a microwave can be exhausting. 
  5. Wildlife: Although seeing wildlife is great. Respecting while observing from a distance. 
  6. Confidence building: Teaching your children along with yourself becoming more confident learning new things while respecting the outdoors. 
Summer river camping

Swing rope. Pic by Tania Stewart.

Coldwater River. Photo Credit:  Tania Stewart.

Selecting A River Site

River camping during summer months in the Nicola Valley provides a few options to choose from. Here are five of my favorite places to camp riverside around Merritt BC. 

MOON SHADOWS RV PARK & CAMPGROUND

Located south of Merritt, BC, Canada along the Coldwater River, the Moon Shadows RV Park and Campground offers great camping all year-round. With competitive weekly, monthly, and off-season rates, Moon Shadows is a great option for your extended camping stay. RV and tenting sites are set back in the trees and offer spectacular scenery to enjoy. Moon Shadows facilities include laundry, heated washrooms with showers, a gorgeous gazebo by the river, and a small convenience store.

Merritt Summer River Camping

Camping under the Moon shadows. Photo Credit:  Tania Stewart.

 

When you go camping with friends or family, you get a chance to talk and visit without distraction into the night. Grandma T.

 

CLAYBANKS RV PARK & CAMPGROUND

The Claybanks RV Park and Campground offers spacious, well-maintained sites along the Coldwater River.  The nicely treed property is located close to downtown Merritt and many of the great activities offered in the area. Enjoy golfing, fishing, swimming, or just take in the beautiful flowers as you walk along the river. Whether tenting or RVing, Claybanks has you covered with 44 full-serviced RV sites and 20 tenting sites. This pet-friendly campground is open year-round with  heated washrooms, showers, a snack shop, and horseshoe pits.

Merritt Summer River Camping

Kids just love the river. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Merritt  River Camping

Walking distance to downtown Merritt. Photo Credit:  Tania Stewart.

Camping can revitalize families while being away from all the distractions at home.

 

NOOAITCH CAMPING 

Truly experience rustic camping here amongst scenic mountains’ and a historical railway bridge. Can not get any better than this. With only a few spots to camp,  no overcrowding. Moreover you can swim or pan for false gold on the riverbanks. I can guarantee this is my favorite spot in BC. Along with it’s scenic beauty, it is a bit hotter than in Merritt. While only being 15min out of town. 

Petit Bridge

Camping by the bridge. Pic by Tania Stewart.

Merritt river camping in the summer

Scenic Nicola Valley views. Photo Tania Stewart.

“Rivers may not accommodate a speed boat, yet your steps away from the water.” Tania Stewart.

 

N’KWALA CAMPGROUND

N’kwala campground is located beside the Nicola River. This is a popular camping location providing opportunities for canoeists and kayakers to enjoy the pace of the river. Albeit during the summer hot spells when the river levels are low, the site is still an ideal location for camping. Furthermore providing a refreshing dip in the river to cool off. With a mix of Yellow Pine and shady fir trees, along many sunny sites which can accommodate any size of camping units. Boasting 20 camping sites and located only 15 minutes from Merritt BC. 

Merritt Summer River Camping

Exploring river banks. Pic by Tania Stewart.

River Camping in Nicola Valley

Floating peacefully. Photo by TS.

Summer River Camping outside Merritt

Scenic drive through Brookmere. Photo Credit:  Tania Stewart.

Merritt Summer River Camping

Tenting or trailer is perfect. Photo Credit:  Tania Stewart.

Pet Friendly! 

Assuredly we all want to bring our pets with us on our summer adventures. All of the campgrounds mentioned are truly “Pet Friendly”

Summer River Camping Merritt Tips

  • In short pack extra clothing. After all, the weather around Nicola Valley is generally warm & dry. Sometimes it may rain or get a little cool at night. So make sure to pack clothes for all types of weather. 
  • Take advantage of outdoor attractions. During your stay, make sure to set time aside to explore all that your campsite has to offer. 
  • Overall protect yourself. It’s extremely important to protect yourself from all that Mother Nature provides, so make sure to pack sunscreen and bug spray! 
  • Cleanup. Overall packing up is the worst. Leaving paradise is hard, but making sure to leave nothing behind is crucial.  
  • Make sure your fire is completely out. 
River camping during summer months

Kids just love camping! Picture courtesy of Tania Stewart.

Exploring and adventure on the river. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Staycation Summer River Campgrounds Merritt BC

Merritt Summer River Camping can be your next vacation. River camping during summer months in the Nicola Valley provides a few options to choose from. Most important the soothing sounds of the nearby river will lull you to sleep under the stars every night. 

Take Me To The River

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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. 

Nicola Valley Creativity in Action

Creatives in the Nicola Valley Gather, Carefully

What local creative projects do you know are happening?

Nicola Valley creativity is in action. The community is buzzing with creativity. As the curator at the NV Arts Gallery I have my finger on the pulse of arts happening in and around the town of Merritt.

At least that’s what I wish. Beyond my mandala of gallery action and the programs we run, there is a lot going on out there. Just like our recent exhibition, The Art of Covid, showed, creativity persists in our Nicola Valley inhabitants. No matter what the conditions. 

And I can’t keep up with all the arts action in the community. Visual arts like paintings, pottery, and fabric arts are happening everywhere.   Dance seems to be alive and kicking. Online possibilities are taking the place of in person, and inaction. Creativity persists.

Music in the Valley

Some community art expressions, like music events, have dropped off. But I know music is being made…You Tube, Facebook, Spotify all have local music happening. 

Bobby Garcia musician

Bobby Garcia singing I Remember When

Open Mic music is kept up by Al and Denise. Robert Bertrand posts music, and Bobby Garcia lets us know about his latest releases on Facebook. Richard Lepinski writes an original song a month, and posts them to his You Tube channel, along with cover songs. Lilly Parks hooked us up to her channel and we’ve got her on our playlist.

Covid protocols

Meet up with Denise Kearney

I miss our weekly Open Mic Night at Kekuli Cafe, but local musician Denise Kearney and I stay in touch, talking about how and when the music action in town will open up.

What Creative Projects are happening?

I can’t tell you everything that’s happening arts wise here in the Nicola Valley, but I get to talk to, and hear about, people who are immersed in creative projects.

I enjoy it because inspiration is often a part of the conversation. If inspiration is present then commitment and action are usually not far behind.

Since I am committed to taking action, almost monthly with new shows, I wanted to flesh out two upcoming summer shows with working titles Body Art and The Art of Clothing

Meet Up for  Summer Inspiration

Merritt BC Artists

Kelly and Olivia discuss art shows

I called Kelly Reid for a meet up. Kelly manages her son Joel’s art which we carry in our Gift Shop. Kelly is a creative herself, turning Joel’s art into bags, Tshirts, and cards. And she is full of art appreciation and ideas.

I knew we could generate some ideas for the summer shows. We invited Olivia Nendick, an artist still in high school who has just applied for a Gallery art show for next fall. She had told us that she hunts down one of a kind fashion.

Besides the of-course! summer tie dye outdoors event we had already come up with, our trio decided to gather thrift store finds for artists to creative-up, and keep an eye out for mannequins. Got one we can use?

We figure we’ll plan an early workshop to get creative with articles of clothing (think beads, embroidery, patches, fabric paint). Stay tuned.

Creative Circles

Leonard George Artist

Leonard George and Blue Bear Painting

We like the idea of local artists’ works printed on silk scarves (imagine Jean’s red post office or Leonard’s blue bear. Or Herta’s flowers). 

We’ll hunt down the leather workers, bead makers, hair, tattoo and henna artists, and see if Colleen Waddell will do some fun air brush make up on a July Saturday afternoon.

Fashion design drawings, sketches of hairstyles, photos of tattoos for our Gallery walls.

And Olivia is going to take on a mannequin for the Art of Clothing show. Can’t wait.

Got ideas? Want to participate?

Know a local you think could contribute to either of these shows?

The Body Art Show is by invitation, but we are looking for body artists so get in touch. And the Art of Clothing is a community show, so get busy! We have limited space but we love to fill it.

More Shows

Before those summer shows happen there are three shows in the works. MSS is putting on a show “Unmasked”. Then the Clubhouse group is going to show all the art they’ve been doing during sessions with several NVCAC artists. 

And in June we are welcoming long time artist Judy Young, once involved with the Valley Visual Artists. Judy always contributes something amazing to our community shows so I’m looking forward to her one-person show coming up.

Following Covid protocols

We are Covid careful, but we are still in action with the arts, learning mad Zoom skills, planning Gallery shows, manning the Gift Shop, having socially distant meetups, putting on workshops. 

And… I just heard that the Farmer’s Market will accept artisan vendors as well as the produce essentials. Art is essential! Will we participate? Or just head over to enjoy what other locals are setting up? 

At the NV Gallery and Gift Shop, we know a lot of what’s happening in the arts in our community. And when you read our Experience Nicola Valley blogs,  the paper, as well as, watch Facebook and listen to our friends and colleagues like I do, it is easy to see Nicola Valley creativity in action. 

 

Kids Art

Susan and Fiona, Fabric Art Fun

Indigenous Art

Cliff McDougall Powwow photography

Merritt BC Artists

Artists Herta and Shirley

Artisan Covid masks

Artisan Angela Ho designs clothes

Artist Cindilla Trent

Cindy Trent setting up her “Looking Forward” Art quilt show

Art Program with Covid Protocols

Clubhouse Art Program

The arts are alive and well in the community! I’m inspired….

Jano Howarth 

NV Arts Gallery Curator 

Arts and Culture Blogger for Experience Nicola Valley

Artists Merritt BC

Artist Pat Tombe burns a design into one of his fab wooden bowls

Banjo

Watching Richard Lepinski on Youtube

Nicola Valley Creativity in Action

 

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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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Fall Photos In Logan Lake BC

Autumn Photos are best in Logan Lake BC

Family time in the outdoors during the “Changing of the Colours” 

Photos in Logan Lake during the autumn season is a must for any local and visiting family. If you are looking for a rugged and woodsy backdrop for your fall family photos then come and visit my small town in the back country of British Columbia, Canada. Logan Lake BC is a lovely location for creating family memories with its vast greenery and scenery.  

Family Fall Photos

Family – A Little World Created By Love

Logan Lake BC The Place To Be For Beautiful Scenery

Logan Lake Abounds With Beautiful Scenery

Taking Photos in Logan Lake BC 

Fall Photos in Logan Lake BC are amazing! Whether your planning on booking a professional family photographer or feeling spontaneous. Fall photos in Logan Lake BC will be special memories that you will treasure for years to come. We have no guarantee on tomorrow’s health, wealth and/or happiness.

Family is Priority

Choosing to show up as is has always been crucial for me. This is us, this is us now. Living and loving in the moment. Lastly taking the time to celebrate life and how far you have come is always in my forethoughts in why I am motivated to make family photos a priority. 

Maggs Park Logan Lake B.C.

Collect Beautiful Moments

Professional or A Spontaneous DIY

Logan Lake British Columbia

Every Picture Tells A Story

If you are feeling a little unsure with your camera or have a ton of little people for creating photo moments, I am sure you will never regret hiring a professional photographer. Be sure to do your research and build a repour. Logan Lake has a nice selection of photographers if you are looking to book one in our location. However, sometimes your feeling creative or your out on a walk and the sun and the leaves are cooperating. This is when I like to take advantage of that beautiful spontaneous moment and capture it. Self timers and a tripod can be so handy and can produce happy memories that bring smiles to your faces for years to come. 

Photography in British Columbia

The Best Things In Life Aren’t Things

 

Canadian Family

Today’s Little Moments, Become Tomorrow’s Precious Memory’s

 

Logan Lake Photography

This Is My Happy Place

How Do You Get Them All To Look?

However, it is important to remember to do your best and have fun. Don’t take yourself too seriously. I feel like I always have to remind myself of that fact also. Just remember that you are capturing moments of happiness. Its ok if someone’s maybe looking off into the distance, or having a giant belly laugh. You’ll want those pictures maybe more so as you age.

My Secrets to Fall Photos in Logan Lake

One trick I have learned, at least, when taking photos of my kids, is sometimes I will just hit record with my iPhone and film them posing. Assuredly just talking to them, ask them to smile or say a joke will most likely get me the results I’m looking for. Usually in that split second of me saying smile they all do. Then I go to the video and drag my finger along over the pause button. If I find a good “pause” with all of the kids looking and smiling. I will then tap the photo to take off the boarders, and just screen shot it. Ta-Da! Easy photo!

Photo Editing & Memory Keeping

Family Photos In Logan Lake British Columbia

And Together They Built A Life That They Loved

With out a doubt I always use Costco for all my photo developing needs. Weather its getting a birth announcement together, making photo books, or just developing photos. Don’t be surprised if you see some of these photos on our Christmas card this year. Assuredly  making photobooks to gift to the family at Christmas has been a lovely tradition to hold onto. In addition I always tweak my photos with an photo editing app. I love using the Lightroom App on my Android. Just because I enjoy the stock presets that they have and the fact that I can create and save all my own presents for free. Photo editing is a great way to add more light, play with shadows, make colors more vivid. 

Canadas Cutest Baby

The Days Are Long, But The Years Are Short

 

Family Photos In Canada

You’ll Outgrown My Lap, But Never My Heart

In Closing 

Logan Lake is a lovely town. It is my home town filled with some breathtaking locations for some amazing photos. Many of our parks have lake and some include Maggs Park and Tunkwa Lake Provincial Park.

I hope you’ll consider stopping by and making some fun memories and taking some pictures. I’m so thankful you took the time to stop and read my blog, My name is Jennifer, a mother of 7 little ones, homeschooling and living in Logan Lake B.C. with my husband Kyle. Together we blog with the Experience Nicola Valley Bloggers

 

Autumn Colours in Merritt BC

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Glad To Be Back For Part 2. Home schooling in BC Canada!

Home school family

What grade am I in again?

Home Schooling In BC Canada

Home Schooling in BC Canada – I am so glad to be back for part 2 of Home schooling! As a result, today I am going to go over our favorite field trips or day trips! One thing I  love about homeschooling in BC Canada, is all the amazing places we have to explore right here in our backyard. I wanted to make this into a quick resource post, and just share some of the places we love to take our family too.

Adventures of Home Schooling

In the first blog post about home schooling in BC Canada I wanted to give you a feel for our schedule in PART 1. In today’s post, I wanted to go over our home school favorites! These are a few places I like to use to “fill in the gaps” or gain some inspiration. In addition, go and explore with the kids and experience nature and wonder. Its exciting to see the magic of childhood through my children’s eyes.  Grab yourself a warm cup of whatever makes you happy! And lets dive right in!

Coffee shops in Kamloops B.C.

Warm and cozy vibes.

Logan Lake In Beautiful British Columbia

Things to do in Canada with kids

Simple, slow and lovely days are offered to you in Logan Lake

Home schooling in BC Canada is made easy, when living in Logan Lake BC.  Unquestioningly,  in my view, Logan Lake is the best for fitness! Consequently, it is extremely family friendly and I feel safe walking around it with my 12, 10, 8, 6, 5, 3 and 21 month old. All in all we have a great time getting our steps in taking the family for a walk around the lake. The lake has just all the right ingredients for a good nature walk. More importantly, I use it for nature study and having the kids journal about what they seen and observed. Admittedly it has tons of wildlife to observe. We love watching the eagle carry fish across the lake to its nest. All the ducks, and geese we get to watch. We have encountered deer on the trails around the lake. Its rugged and rustic with a paved walkway, just the way this glamper likes to experience the great outdoors.

Mountain Biking in British Columbia

Braving the Logan Lake mountain bike course.

Getting Fit While Home Schooling In BC Canada

If you are feeling adventurous and exceptionally fit and strong, we have successfully taken our double stroller all the way around the lake. There is a more scenic and woodland nature trail along the mountainside. On the highway side they have a very wide and beautiful paved pathway.

More Than Walking In Logan Lake

In addition, if you follow the nature path you can find the Logan Lake Bike Park. Its natural and very impressive and so nicely done! Our kids have a total blast at it. Its great to burn off extra steam and help the kids gain new experiences and reaction skills every time we go. I find the trails very clean and nicely groomed while still being very natural. No need for hiking boots, runners will do just fine. And in addition our 3 year old was able to comfortably walk at her pace with a few seated breaks and a granola bar to keep her going.  Logan Lake has many fun recreational ideas any time of the year. Our family has grown to love our small town that we call home. Its so vibrant, friendly and serene. 

Life in Logan Lake B.C. Canada

Lovely views along the amazing walking path in Logan Lake BC

The BC Wild Life Park 

Spirit Animal

The B.C. Wild Life Park and its adorable Spirit Bear

This is hands down the best local place to get up close and personal with animals. Above all we love to study and draw at home these critters and beasts. It is just so fun at the BC Wildlife Park. We absolutely love to take the kids there. A favorite blast for both Kyle and myself. We have enjoyed going to BC Wildlife Park ever since we were kids. However, its more exciting now as parents to be able to share that with our children.

The B.C. Wild Life Park Always Evolving

Kamloops Wild Life Park

Kamloops Wild Life Park Home Schooling

It is exciting while home schooling in BC Canada to see how the park is always growing and always changing. Also, I love how they educate us and give us a personal natural experience every time. Its always so beautiful there.  In addition to nicely laid out paths and walkways its easy for me to push a stroller and keep up with my active kids. As a Mom I enjoy that they have interesting facts about the animals all over the park. And informing us as to which ones are rescues and their unique back stories.

The Main Attraction of the B.C Wildlife Park

The animals of course are an exciting main attraction. My favorites include the bears, wolves and buffalo. Hubby and I also really enjoy the coffee. There is nothing more romantic to me than enjoying a stroll and a coffee with him. In addition, I think my favorite time to go is in the fall season. It just feels super good to get in one last train ride and enjoy the crunchy leaves. The wild lights tour in the winter months is also fun. Its so beautiful to go, get all bundled up, and then see all the twinkling lights at night time. Lastly, it definitely tops one of my favorite experiences  in the colder months. 

Things to do in Kamloops B.C.

#wildtimesawaityou at Kamloops Wild Life Park

Desert Hills Ranch 

Influencer for Instagram Photo Idea

Cutest little pumpkins at Desert Hills Ranch in Ashcroft B.C. Canada

If you are looking for a fun and family friendly farm, assuredly, Desert Hills has all your social media influencer needs covered. This is definitely the  location to take some amazing fall photos. Never mind all of your garden, canning and pumpkin needs.  When Kyle and I lived in Ashcroft BC we were constantly at our favorite local farm. And that was Desert Hills Ranch . Homeschooling in B.C. Canada got a lot easier with this great location.

Curb Appeal, Animals, Pumpkins & So Much More

Dessert Hills helped with my home’s curb appeal with an amazing selection of lush blooms, trees, plants and pots. In retrospect, I think my favorite time to go was when they had fun sale weekends, such as peaches or salsa making. I always loved going on Mothers Day too when they honestly know how to spoil a gal.

The kids would always enjoy going through the barn to see the  baby animals and the gorgeous horses. The selection of farm tractors and old machines is bar none. Even being able to burn off steam at the park area always brings back happy memories for my kids. The staff are all so friendly, helpful and kind. You wont be disappointed with this trip.

Castle Fun Park 

Things to do in Abbotsford B.C.

This is “framer” for sure!

If you are feeling up for a road trip all the way to Abbotsford BC. For a day full of laughs and entertainment check out Castle Fun Park.  Get some car toys, pack some snacks and wear sensible footwear and you have yourself a mini road trip.

Kids activities in the lower mainland

Smiles for miles at the Castle Fun Park Go-Karts!!!!

Castle Fun Park is a place we have enjoyed coming to off and on over the last 10 years. From mini golf to arcade games this place is fun. However we came here the other day with the go carts in mind. It was such a great family activity. While Kyle zoomed around the laps with our littles. Our older children got to enjoy some driving time. My oldest as well as all the rest were overjoyed!!! Chasing Dad was a huge hit! At $8 for a race I think it is totally family and budget friendly. 

Family activities in British Columbia

The race is on!

Family day in British Columbia Canada

Family day is always the best day.

In conclusion

Home Schooling in B.C. Canada has so many vast opportunities for rich exploration and adventure. What a way to enrich your children’s educations. I hope you enjoyed a brief look into our families favorite field trips and road trips here in beautiful British Columbia. We honestly think we live in a breathtaking area. And we are so happy we are able to share our experiences here with Experience Nicola Valley and all the bloggers. As always with travel with Covid 19 I would advise giving each location a call if you are interested in going and see how they are limiting the spread of Covid 19. Plan for whatever sanitary and safety measures you feel comfortable with, and get excited to have a good and adventurous time.

Canadian Family

The magnificent 7

That is how we do Home Schooling In BC Canada

Adventures and activities in British Columbia Canada

 

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Merritt Mountain Biking in the Nicola Valley

Experience Mountain Biking Trails in Merritt British Columbia Canada

It is easy to get outdoors and go Merritt mountain biking in the Nicola Valley

 

Exciting News 2021

The MMBA is happy to announce through a Targeted Regional Tourism Development Initiative grant that they have received funding for $145,000 towards the Merritt trail system. We are very excited as this will be a huge benefit to Merritt and the surrounding areas! Jordan Pinto.

Outdoor Extreme Merritt Mountain Biking – Along with getting some quality time outdoors, mountain biking in the Nicola Valley provides the best type of sightseeing on wheels. No crowds. Lots of trails. Mouth-dropping scenery. Therefore to enjoy the trails in our backcountry all you need is a water bottle and your ride. Nature and the adrenaline rush provides the rest.

Merritt Mountain Biking Association

The Merritt Mountain Biking Association gets all the credit in the Nicola Valley for our trails and for creating such extreme rides.  The Nicola Valley provides the beautiful backcountry scenery, the wildlife sightings,  the remote wilderness  lakes  and the many forested rolling hills. It is here in British Columbia Canada where mountain biking is free. Make this your mountain biking adventure vacation destination spot. 

merritt mountain biking

After the final climb on Swakum Mountain. Photo Jordan Pinto.

Obviously the Nicola Valley Offers Some of the “Best” Terrain in BC for Avid Mountain Bikers 

Being centrally located, Merritt mountain biking offers a wide range of biking trails for newbies and extreme mountain bikers alike. In addition, Merritt tends to experience mild winters with little snowfall and warm, dry, sunny summers making Merritt a year round mountain biking destination most years.  The best thing about Merritt British Columbia is it is a great base camp for mountain biking in nearby areas like the trails in  Kamloops, Kelowna, and the Fraser Valley. A fact that adds to the shine that Merritt is a great destination for multiple mountain biking adventures within BC. But it all starts here. Experience the Nicola Valley on a mountain bike!

Merritt Mountain Biking - Experience Nicola Valley

Town of Merritt, BC, Canada

Merritt Mountain Biking Nicola Valley

Hoodoos Merritt BC Moonshadows Rv Park Coldwater River.

 

Outdoor Extreme Merritt Mountain Biking

Merritt Mountain Biking Accusation. Photo courtesy of Jordan Pinto.

Outdoor Extreme Mountain Biking

Photo by Jordan Pinto President of MMBA.

Become One With Nature

Isn’t it amazing how the power of nature and spending time outdoors can change your mood and mental health. Furthermore, several studies have confirmed the benefits of nature and  physical activity can impact personal stress.  In the midst of this trying and difficult time, everyone needs to feel less stress. It might be time to enjoy some nature by participating in some Merritt mountain biking.

Outdoor Extreme Mountain Biking in Merritt BC

Photo by Jordan Pinto

Nicola Valley Mountain Biker

Photo by Experience Nicola Valley.

Nicola Valley Biking

Important to know we enjoy 220+ kilometers of mountain biking trails in the Nicola Valley with 3 main trail riding destinations – Swakum Mountain , Coutlee Plateau and Iron Mountain. Coutlee Plateau primary trail type is cross-country. Iron Mountain is an all-out mountain & downhill trail network. Check out Trailforks and Experience Merritt for more information about the Nicola Valley. To clarify,  there are trails that will challenge the most experienced rider.  Also offering some of the best family oriented biking trails in the region. Notably some trails can last for hours while some may be quicker. The only time schedule is yours with nature. Enjoy while  connecting with a lot of majestic scenery. Expressly there is zero disappointment on any of these trails.  

Mountain Biking - Merritt BC

Mountain Biking trails – Merritt BC. Photo Trailforks Jordan Pinto

Extrememountainbikingnicolavalley

Mountain trails. Photo by Jordan Pinto.

 

What more is there

After you have conquered one or more of MMBA trails, take time to cool off and relax in one of the many outdoor patios that are scattered around Merritt. For a small town we have a great selection of restaurants and pubs. Understanding that it may take more than one day to tackle all the trails that MMBA has to offer, Merritt has a generous  selection of hotels and motels. Or are you choosing to camp. With over 200 lakes to pick from or if wanting to camp close to downtown Merritt. The Nicola Valley is your summer destination vacation. 

Merritt Mountain Biking - Experience Nicola Valley

Monck Park Beach.

 In fact check out  Monck Park  just 22 km north of Merritt, and then 12 km off Hwy 5A via narrow paved road. The park rests on the shores of one of our lakes. It just happens to be called Nicola Lake.  

Merrittbc

Lundbom Lake. Photo courtesy of ehCanadaTravel.com.

Mountainbiking

Claybanks Merritt BC. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Camping on the River

The Claybanks RV Park and Campground offers spacious, well-maintained sites along the Coldwater River. Claybanks has you covered with 44 full-serviced RV sites and 20 tenting sites. This pet-friendly campground is open year-round. While located south of Merritt along the Coldwater River, the Moon Shadows RV Park and Campground offers great camping year-round. Especially both campgrounds being pet-friendly. 

outdoorswimming.

Alleyne Lake. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Nicolavalley

Monck Park. Photo by Tania Stewart.

jordan pinto

Jordan Pinto – Merritt Mountain Biking Association

The MMBA (Merritt Mountain Biking Association) came into existence in the spring of 2000.

Jordan Pinto, the President, shared with us that their intentions are to make the riding in the Nicola Valley a great experience. Therefore, one of their primary goals is to advocate for long term trail access by working with Government.

Consequently, the MMBA was one of the first groups in the province to have an agreement with the crown to manage the trails we ride. The MMBA has signed a new agreement with the Province in 2012. Contact Jordan Pinto, the President of the Merritt Mountain Biking Association in Merritt BC Canada, for more information. 

Including the breathtaking and amazing scenery, Merritt has much more to offer. 

Of course during your down time you could take some enjoyment in checking out our downtown shopping. Notably Merritt’s downtown core offers a wide variety of hidden gems.  Truly take the time and stroll downtown Merritt BC.

 

Coldwater Hotel

Thanks to the Coldwater hotel.

 

Nicolavalleytrails

Walking the Trail. Photo by Tom Reynolds.

The best time to visit Merritt BC, Canada is in the summer, fall, winter and the spring. With it’s dry climate through-out the year make it an ideal “Destination Place” year-round . Unknown tourist from the coast.

Whether you are a beginner or a pro mountain biker, Merritt BC provides trails for every-one, every-category and skill level. We have the services to make your stay rock.  Numerous Hotels, Motels, B&Bs as well as campground and RV parks.  The Nicola Valley has it all. Importantly you can leave the hustle and stress behind of the big city and enjoy our small town hospitality. That is truly enjoyable.  Come and join us and explore!

Merritt Mountain Biking in the Nicola Valley, BC. 

 

Nicola Valley BC Canada

 

Nicola Valley Mountain Biking Adventures

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Merritt Dance Studio

The Love To Dance Academy in the Nicola Valley

In these times, we “bring the joy of dance into homes”.

 

The Merritt dance studio, Love to Dance Academy, contributes to the art and culture in our Nicola Valley.

Love to Dance Academy

Love to Dance Academy Photo Courtesy of Jano Howarth

I invited dance teacher, Lizette Nel, to talk about her work when we connected here in Merritt BC Canada

How and when did your Merritt Dance Studio start?

I took over the local dance studio in December 2012 as the previous ballet teacher here in Merritt, Linda Sanford, was looking forward to retirement. The name, Linda’s Dance Studio, was changed to Love To Dance Academy in January 2013.

I started teaching in 2012. We had only 12 little ballet students in a lovely compact dance studio on the top floor of the beautiful old Courthouse in Merritt, BC.

Since then a strong dance program has been developed and the Love To Dance Academy now offers classes in four different dance genres to dancers of all ages.

There are recreational classes for those who want to dance for fun and exercise as well as classes for the more serious dance student who would like to do dance exams and participate in in dance festivals and competitions. 

Therefore, at the end of 2018, there was an opportunity to move to bigger premises and with the help of volunteers a second hand shop was converted into a spacious and fully equipped dance studio downtown.

 

Dance Studio Merritt BC

Lizette Nel, Head Dance Instructor, Love to Dance Academy Photo Courtesy of Jano Howarth

Who is a part of Love to Dance?

The Love To Dance Academy is a project of the Merritt Dance Society, which is a non-profit organisation. The Merritt Dance Society consists of a wonderful, supportive Board of Directors.

I am the Head Dance Instructor and I developed and manage the dance program for the Merritt Dance Society.

Vanessa van Rensburg, regularly teaches Spanish Flamenco and jazz dance classes.

However, from time to time guest teachers are invited to do short courses and workshops or teach during dance camps.

 And of course, there are the many children, youth, and adults who come to the studio to dance!

How is the Merritt dance studio supported in the community?

It is very well supported by the Merritt community who loves attending our classes and our twice a year recitals.

Love To Dance fundraisers are well supported by the community and we are fortunate to always have enthusiastic volunteers to help whenever they are needed.

Tell me about the different dance genres you offer.

Currently our main dance genres are Ballet, Modern Jazz, Spanish Flamenco, and Latin Line Dance.

From time to time Love To Dance offers workshops or short sessions of other dance styles such as Hip Hop, Tap, Musical Theatre/Broadway, Contemporary, Highland Dancing, Bollywood and Country Line Dance.

You put on twice yearly performances. A lot of the dances are choreographed by you, Vanessa, and your Love to Dance dancers.

Merritt Dance Studio concerts

Love to Dance Winter Concert Photo Courtesy of Jano Howarth

LTD Display

Love To Dance Poster Display of Dancers Photo Courtesy of Jano Howarth

Ballet Shoes

LTD Red Ballet Shoes Photo Courtesy of Jano Howarth

What are your inspirations for the themes and performance?

Life and what is going on around us… sometimes fun and sometimes deep and meaningful. We choose themes showing that we are different, but the same.

Your dance recitals are so enjoyable for the community!

Not only do we watch a themed story unfold onstage, but the Civic Centre is always full of beautiful displays focusing on the dancers and the culture of dance….

Merritt Dance Studio Instructor

Lizette Nel, Head Dance Instructor Photo Courtesy of Jano Howarth

Can you share your dance background with us, Lizette?

Training:  I was introduced to the world of dance at age 5, in Johannesburg South Africa.  I did not like it, but fortunately my mom did not give up and reintroduced me to dance a year later.

In the beginning I was very shy and could not face an audience, but I loved the dancing and movement to music. However, I did all my dance exams and in my final year of school, I decided to become a dance teacher.

Work Experience:  Before coming to Canada, I owned and operated a successful dance studio in South Africa , where I successfully trained hundreds of young dancers and prepared them to enter exams, festivals and competitions with confidence, always striving for excellence.

 In addition to teaching and running a studio, I also provided mentorship for some dance instructors in South Africa. Consequently, I created an online dance network as a resource and networking tool for dance teachers, and was a founding organizer of the national “Eisteddfod of the Performing Arts”, a prestigious dance event of its kind in South Africa

It continues to this day, attracting thousands each year.

I was also a judge for the National Society on Dance Teachers as well as a lecturer in the Movement Science Department of the University of Pretoria in South Africa.

 It was a journey for you to be here with us in the Nicola Valley. Can you tell us a little about that journey?

When I became aware of the possibility of teaching in Merritt BC Canada, I started the process of obtaining a work permit, a very long process.

I started teaching in the dance studio in the old Courthouse in December 2012. After teaching for a year, there was a delay in the renewing process of my work permit, and I had to return to South Africa for a few months.

The local students and their parents were very disappointed that we had to leave. The community wrote petition letters and did fundraisers. Fortunately everything got sorted out and we returned in August 2014, just in time for the new dance year to start.

What inspires you?

Young Dancers at Merritt Dance Studio

LTD Young Dancer Photo Courtesy of Vanessa van Rensburg

I’ve had five dance teachers. Two of them, Janet King and Dorothy de Witt still inspire me. Also the smiling faces and chuckles in the dance studio inspire me.
Our Merritt dance family’s dedication and strong will to succeed inspires me even more.

Every new day and the fact that God’s loving kindness starts fresh each day inspires me.

What support do you receive in your role in your Merritt Dance Studio?

Non Profit Volunteers

Love To Dance Volunteers Photo Courtesy of Love to Dance

I have strong support from the Merritt community.  I am very grateful for the many volunteers involved in the many Love To Dance activities. They make it possible for us to successfully present many extra dance opportunities and related activities.
My children in South Africa support what I do and always encourage me.


Without Herman, my husband, keeping things together in the background and the assistance and hard work of Vanessa, my daughter, the Love to Dance Academy will not be able to exist

How do you relax, and give yourself a break?

Gardening.

Favourite things about Merritt?  

Four definite seasons in a year!

Favourite Music?

Classical harp

What role does dance have in society?

I am particularly conscious of the benefits of dance and I promote my programs as a holistic tool for physical fitness, and mental, emotional and social health. We promote character building for youth and motor planning for seniors and people with disabilities.
In addition, dance develops physical strength, co-ordination, and good posture.
Dance improves self confidence and positive body image. Dance builds self discipline
.

Ballet Dancing

Love To Dance Ballet Photo Courtesy of Jano Howarth

Dance Concert

Participants in a Love to Dance Recital! Photo Courtesy of Jano Howarth

What effect do you feel Love to Dance has on our community?

Community Dancers

LTD Dancing in the Community Photo Courtesy of Jano Howarth

Our young students learn to take charge of their lives by being responsible for scheduling and costumes and by managing their time wisely. They take pride in work well done, show leadership with younger dancers, and experience the value of teamwork and supporting others.

They are growing into mature, confident adults and they set an example which has a positive influence on younger dancers.

These positive effects are felt around our community.

Love to Dance brings together all ages, and the different ages interact and dance together in the recitals. It is a joy to see the older students take the young ones by hand and include them in the specially choreographed dances! I can feel and hear the pleasure in the audience around me at this collaboration of ages and levels of dance.

Community Dance

Love to Dance Valentine’s Tea Photo Courtesy of Jano Howarth

For the older dancers of 55 plus, in the program, “Dance for Lifelong Wellbeing,” the benefits of dance include brain agility, fitness, improved balance and reduced stress. This contributes to their independent longevity, and their ongoing participation in the community.

 In this Covid 19 pandemic, we taught our students (and their parents) to be grateful, and to not give up. We taught them to not wait for it to pass, but to accept it and make the best of it. We put new things in place. Our students made it through 10 weeks of doing things differently and they’ve learned many new skills.  It was hard, but we all survived and we’ve all become stronger.

We hope that this will spread wider and have a positive influence on our community.

What challenges does your dance studio, Love To Dance, face?


We are challenged with how to catch up the three months during covid – recovery of financial loss over three months with little income, continued rental and utility, and other commitments.

The whole world is currently turned upside down and inside out. But we see these obstacles as stepping stones, not mountains.

Street Dance

LTD Street Dance in Merritt Photo Courtesy of Jano Howarth

In this time of Covid 19, how is Love to Dance managing to stay connected with the dancers and the community?

SET UP VIRTUAL DANCE STUDIO

When we had to close our physical doors at the end of the day on March 16, after just one day of Spring Dance Camp, we decided to explore the possibility of changing from a brick and mortar dance studio to a virtual dance studio.

We attended many webinars presented by four different dance associations and got ourselves set up for Zoom classes and coaching by video.

To keep the interest in dance going, we lowered our class fees to encourage attendance.

BALLET

Ballet Dancer

LTD Ballet Dancer Photo Courtesy of Vanessa van Rensburg

To give our Royal Academy of Dance ballet students and parents hope, we continued to practice as if our exams, which were scheduled for April 29, were going to take place. 

Students could attend our Zoom ballet classes once per week and they could also make use of our private coaching by video option. 

This worked really well for some students, who had the full support of their parents. But as always happens, we unfortunately also had some dropping out (“stopping dance until the brick and mortar studio re-opens”)…. 

Most dancers have lots of self-discipline and keep up their daily practice while they are placed under movement restrictions, but we notice that they still needed to see each other to feel connected and to be motivated. The weekly Zoom dance classes really help to create some sense of normalcy. 


SPANISH  FLAMENCO

Thirteen of our Spanish Flamenco dance students successfully completed their exams by video at the end of April. 

 

Dance Studio

Herman Nel, Technical Expert for Love to Dance Photo Courtesy of Jano Howarth

SENIORS

We also set up ZOOM exercise classes for our seniors to help improve their balance, posture and flexibility and also improve your sense of well being – physical, emotional and mental. Payment for classes is by donation.

None of this would have been possible without Herman, my husband. To set all of this up, was a steep learning curve and involved some expenses.

What is next for Love to Dance?

We want to expand opportunities and restructure the dance program to accommodate what is currently happening all over the world.  It will be a constant dynamic situation going forward.

Keep an eye on Love To Dance’s current initiative that the members of Love to Dance Society can participate in.

Ongoing MEDAL TESTS

To further keep the interest in dance going we started having Medal Awards by video during the months of May and continue for June. This is open to everyone in Merritt and the Nicola Valley. Participants can enter Ballet, Jazz, Spanish and Folk/National dances – set dances and/or own choreography and interpretive dancing.

We noticed how the fun element and dancing with family members can bring the joy of dance into homes, so we added a section in which you can partner up with a sibling or parent or grandparent to dance a duet. 

Video submissions must happen before June 26 and participants will each receive a bronze, silver or gold certificate and medal in the beginning of July.

Merritt Dance Studio

Thank you, Lizette, for telling us all about the Love to Dance Academy! Many of us in the community are grateful to have an inspired dance studio here in Merritt.

Just one more advantage to living here in the Nicola Valley!

Support our art and culture in our community!

We hope to see the doors of the Love To Dance Studio open soon!
Merritt Dance Studio

Love To Dance Studio, still closed Photo Courtesy of Jano Howarth

Artist Cassandra Dolen

Dance in the Nicola Valley Photo Courtesy of Jano Howarth

Dance Teacher

LTD Head Dance Instructor Lizette Nel Photo Courtesy of Jano Howarth

CONTACT LOVE TO DANCE

1976 Quilchena Avenue, +1 250 378 9898

www.lovetodanceacademy.com

LTDADANCE@GMAIL.COM

Facebook Love to Dance Academy

Instagram Love to Dance Academy, The Merritt Dance Teacher

Art and Culture Blogger, Jano Howarth

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