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Fishing & Camping in Merritt BC

Merritt’s Top Fishing Holes

 Top Fishing Lakes & Camping Spots Within the Nicola Valley

 

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

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

Fishing & Camping in Merritt BC

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

 5 Favorite Fishing Spots

Fishing & Camping in Merritt BC at Harmon Lake

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

Fishing & Camping in Merritt BC at Lundbom Lake 

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

Fishing & Camping in Merritt BC.

Bring your horses! Pic by Tania Stewart.

 

Dragon Flies Merritt's Top Fishing Holes

Dragon Flies at Alleyne Lake. Picture by Tania Stewart

Kentucky-Alleyne Lakes for Fishing and Camping

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

Alleyne Lake Kayaking

Kayaking/fishing on Alleyne Lake. Photo by Tania Stewart

Alleyne Lake swimming and day trips

Fishing, swimming, camping! All is Good.

 

Alleyne Lake Kayaking

Kayaking Lundbom Lake. Photo by Tania Stewart.

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

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

Merritt's Top Fishing Holes Merritt BC.

Large deep lake. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Nicola Lake in Merritt BC Canada

Nicola Lake fishing dock. Photo courtesy Tania Stewart.

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

Monck Park Beach

Monck Park Beach. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Fishing & Camping in Merritt BC.

Perfect shade for picnics. Picture by Tania Stewart.

For the Love of Fishing & Camping in Merritt BC

Swimming in Merritt BC Canada

Come and experience! Photo by Tania Stewart.

Peter Hope Lake in the Nicola Valley 

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

Paska Lake in Nicola Valley

Paska Lake-Shirley Reynolds Photo

Brook Trout

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

Fishing lures in Merritt BC

Big Fishing Story. Picture by Tania Stewart.

Rainbow Trout

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

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

Julie Pollard kissing fish

Kiss the Fish! Photo Julie Pollard

Ponderosa Sports Tackle

Ponderosa Sports Tackle. Pic Tania Stewart.

Kokanee Salmon

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

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

Camping in Canada

My friend Joanne caught a beauty at our site.

Merritt's Top Fishing Holes

Photo curtesy of Tom Reynolds.

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

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

Fishing & Camping in Merritt BC

Best Fishing Holes in BC

 

#merrittmatters

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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

nicola valley talk show

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

Summer Outdoor Activities in Merritt BC

Summer Adventures and Activities in The Nicola Valley

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

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

Summer Activities Merritt BC.

Gone Fishing! Photo by Tania Stewart.

Summer Activities Merritt BC

Outdoor Activities Merritt BC.

Swimming fun! Picture courtesy Tania Stewart.

Outdoor Activities Merritt BC.

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

Summer Activities in Merritt BC Includes Lundbom Lake 

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

Summer Activities Merritt BC.

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

 

Summer Activities Merritt BC.

Enjoying the dock. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Outdoor Activities Nicola Valley.

View of Lundbom Lake. Photo TS.

 

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

 

Kayaking on Lundbom. Photo by ehCanadaTravel.com.

EhCanadatravel

Fall camping Eh! Photo courtesy ehCanadaTravel.com

 

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

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

Lake Trout. Photo Greg Girard.

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

Lundbom Lake Fall night. Photo by Greg Girard.

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

Outdoor Activities Merritt BC

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

Horse Camping at Lundbom Lake. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Outdoor Activities Merritt BC.

A-P Guest Ranch. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Fall Fly Fishing in the Nicola Valley

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

Summer Activities Merritt BC

Dragon Flies. Photo TS.

Summer Adventure on Nicola Valley’s Lakes

Fishing for bait. Picture by Tania Stewart.

 

Best Fishing Lakes Near Merritt

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

Were to Start Planning Your Summer Activities

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

 

Kennedy Lake Hike

Kennedy Lake Hike. Photo Credit: Tania Stewart

Mountain Biking Outdoor Activities Merritt BC

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

Mountain Biking Fun

Mountain Biking Fun. Photo by Jordan Pinto.

Mountain Biking - Merritt BC

Scenic trails. Photo by Jordan Pinto.

Moreover Hiking/Backpacking 

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

merritt bc camping

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

Scenic nature. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Summarizing Outdoor Activities in The Nicola Valley

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

Summer Fun in The Nicola Valley

Come and Experience the Adventure

 

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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

Nicola Valley Bloggers

 

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

Nicola Valley Bloggers

 

Merritt British Columbia Canada Top Travel & Adventure Guides

nicola valley talk show

“Experience Community Program” (small and rural community authentic content marketing program) is a product of the EH? Tourism Marketing Group. Contact us for more information on this program at media(at)ehcanadatravel(dot)com.

Merritt BC Outdoor Activities Covid 19 Style 

Social Distancing Outdoor Activities with Family & Friends in The Nicola Valley

Here are 5 outdoor activities in the Nicola Valley to be enjoyed while physical distancing

 

Merritt BC outdoor Activities throughout the Nicola Valley and in Merritt BC Canada. As a result of Covid19 we have spent months on end in our homes. Undoubtedly this is trying on the nerves and sanity. However, there is a glimmer of hope as Canada B.C is restarting the economy and loosening the travel restrictions. Now, with safety and respect in mind, we can now enjoy certain activities. Therefore here are “5” Activities we can all enjoy while safe distancing Covid19 Style around Merritt BC.  The following activities can be enjoyed during the upcoming summer and fall!

Merritt BC Outdoor Activity 1 : Horseback Riding 

Click for a complete list of horseback riding ranches, tours and guides in the Nicola Valley

Absolutely one of my favourite outdoor activities! Truly practicing social distancing while being outdoors taking in the beautiful “Nicola Valley”. Could it get any better than this! Playing cowboy / cowgirl in the wilderness backcountry of British Columbia. There are many options when it comes to horseback riding in the Nicola Valley.

Merritt BC Outdoor Activities

Horseback riding with our friends at AP Ranch. Photo courtesy of Tania Stewart.

Exploring the Nicola Valley on Horseback

Horseback riding is great exercise for the horse, and somewhat for yourself. The Merritt adventure offers a number of health and fitness benefits including the development of leg muscles, as well as, improving balance & posture. Most importantly, horseback riding reduces stress and refreshes your inner self. That is my take on the healthy benefits of horseback riding in the Nicola Valley. 

Outdoor Activities Covid19 Style. Photo courtesy of Tania Stewart.

“What better way to enjoy the wilderness” Photo courtesy of Tania Stewart.

 

Outdoor Activities Covid19 Style in Merritt BC.

Riding with a friend, Experience Nicola Valley Blogger Melvina White. Photo courtesy of Tania Stewart.

Merritt BC Outdoor Activity 2: Lake Fishing

Click for a complete list of fishing resorts in the Nicola Valley

It should be noted that the Nicola Valley boast’s some of the best fishing in the World! There are over 200+ lakes in the region. Many are prime lake fishing destinations. Some are even ideal ice fishing destinations as well during the winter season. During the spring, summer and fall,  Corbett Lake Lodge is one of the fishing resorts and lodges in the Nicola Valley. 

Outdoor Activities Covid19 Style

Corbett Lake Lodge, Merritt BC. Photo courtesy of  Corbett Lake Lodge.

Fishing Outfitter Store in Merritt BC     

Whether you are looking to catch that elusive “Big One” or just trolling, enjoying the outdoors, dropping some lures in a lake or riverbed.  But stuff happens! Oh no… you forgot your favourite fishing lure. Maybe the fish are biting but you do not have the right fly? Or the scorching sun is so hot, you need a good fishing hat? What ever your fishing needs drop into Ponderosa Sports downtown Merritt BC.  The outfitter shop specializes in trout flies & lures, and much more! 

MerrittBC

For that “Big One”. Photo courtesy of Tania Stewart.

 

Outdoor Activities Covid19 Style

Everything you may need. Photo courtesy of Tania Stewart.

“Best” Fishing Holes

Many arrive in the valley to fish… but where to fish is the biggest challenge? We do have over 200+ lakes. One place to start is researching using the most complete and largest Nicola Valley adventure website. Once you have your bearings than check out some of the fishing experiences on this blog site. Last, but not least, ask a local or contact us.  First hand information as well as the right lures are essential.  

Merritt BC Outdoor Activity 3 & 4 : Camping & Water Sports

(kayaking, canoeing, boating and swimming)

For a complete list of kayak and canoe activities in the Nicola Valley  and for paddle boarding too

Without a doubt “The Nicola Valley” offers some of the best lakes for every avid outdoors person. The valley is home to so many water activities for all ages. Come visit the valley for a day of fun or a week or two of camping in Merritt at one of our privately operated campgrounds or at one of our forestry wilderness campsites.  

“My favourite spot for camping in Merritt BC Canada, Harmon Lake in the Kane Valley,” Experience Nicola Valley Blogger Tom Reynolds

 

merritt bc camping

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

Outdoor Activities Covid19 StyleMerritt BC.

We also have a beautiful Provincial Campground Park located 22 kms north of the community of Merritt, BC, Canada. The park? The park is called Monck Park

The Nicola Valley Provincial Park offers a wide assortment of recreational activities including camping, picnicking, swimming, fishing, boating, water-skiing, wind-surfing and hiking.

Covid19 Stylemerrittbc

Summer Boating can u beat it? Photo courtesy Tania Stewart.

Merritt kayaking

Kayaking on Lundbom Lake. Photo courtesy Tania Stewart.

 

Absolutely Beautiful Alleyne!

Nicolavalleycovid19

Alleyne Lake. Photo courtesy of Tania Stewart.

Merritt BC Outdoor Activity 5: Mountain Biking

Merritt Mountain Biking Association 

Located here in the Nicola Valley, the Merritt Mountain Biking Association is truly a great resource for mountain biking when you have arrived in the community.   Incidentally one of their primary goals is advocating for long term trail access by working with Government and community groups. Consequently, the MMBA was one of the first groups in the province to have an agreement with the crown to manage the trails they ride.  Get a hold of Jordan Pinto for more information. And dare to ride! 

 

Photo courtesy of  Jordan Pinto.

“Our intentions are to make the riding in the Nicola Valley a great experience,” Jordan Pinto.

Watch Video 

Filmed by Jordan Pinto going down the “Willow”

In Conclusion

Physical distancing refers to staying away from group gatherings and large public spaces where a virus can be easily spread, and keeping a distance of around two metres. Moreover we all must practice safety and “Wash your Hands”. Even though our country is opening up again, we all need to stay aware while enjoying our outdoor activities we love so much. Play safe. Play often. 

 

Merritt BC Outdoor Activities in the Nicola Valley

Merritt British Columbia Canada Top Travel Guides

Growing Up and Living  in Merritt BC

Living in the Nicola Valley, BC

“… the childhood I am so grateful to have lead, I can proudly say I am who I am because of this community!”

Hey everyone! Life is good living in Merritt BC. I am very excited to join the Merritt Bloggers
team, and to share with you everything about health and beauty in and around Merritt BC!
But first, I’d love to share a little about my background to shed some light on my love for this
community.

Living in Merritt motorbiking

Family day motorbiking

My “Living in Merritt BC” History

I’ve been a Merrittonian since 2000, when my family moved to this gorgeous little community
from the small town of Port Alberni on Vancouver Island. I grew up on a ranch that was half an hour outside
of town (and out of service), so you could say I was raised in the boonies. My childhood was
filled with many local sports, such as figure skating, hockey, and horseback riding, as well as
taking advantage of being outdoors as much as possible.

Merritt to QWhistler adventure

Zip lining in Whistler BC with friends

Memories of Growing Up in Merritt

As a very young child, I remember we were always driving down an old back road, or going
for a hike up the mountain side. My father was an avid hunter, and so it was not out of the
norm to be driving down dirt roads on the hunt for the next big buck. I think this is where my
love for the outdoors truly began. I could never get enough of being surrounded by mother
nature right from a young age. Whether it was observing the views from the top of a mountain, watching the
pine trees pass by out the window of a truck, or just taking in the sights and
sounds as we hiked down a trail.

Parenting in the Nicola Valley

 hockey merritt bc

As a parent now, I appreciate so much more the driving and planning my mother did for
us kids (I had one brother and two sisters). With the help of my grandmother (who also lived
with us), she would stop at nothing to make sure that those 5 am figure skating practices
were executed, that I was able to attend each out of town hockey game, and that we would
have dinner ready before attending my horseback riding lessons – talk about Supermom!

Living In Merritt With Mom

My mother has always been an outdoorsy lady as well. I remember just the two of us riding
our horses for hours down an old dirt road, or on a trail twisting through the pine
trees. Sometimes we talked and chatted about everything, other times we would both be in
our own worlds, silently riding our noble steeds through the tall grass. The
squeaking of our leather saddles and the clomping of hooves into the earth would echo as
we ventured on – they were such tranquil moments.

Raising a family in Merritt BC

Being a mom to my 8 year old son, I love the fact that he is involved in some of the same
local sports that I was as a kid, and to see the same volunteers working brings it
full circle – how cool is that! My son, Ryder, plays hockey on our local Merritt Minor Hockey league. He has made many friends and fun memories on the ice, but his real passion is on the seat of his dirt bike. Whether its on gnarly trails scattered on the outskirts of town or a track, this kiddo is sending it. We don’t realize how lucky we are to be surrounded by such beautiful back country for so many various activities.

It takes a community to raise a child

Our community is amazing, and I am so grateful to be a part of it. The saying comes to mind, “It takes a community to raise a child”, and that could not be more true. I had so many phenomenal influences growing up, and because of that and the childhood I am so grateful to have lead, I can proudly say I am who I am because of this community! I feel so thankful that I get to share with you my love for this community, and I am ecstatic to be able to share with ya’ll some insight on not only health and beauty, but the lifestyle we get to live!

Join me on my blogging journey, while I walk you through what healthy living inside and out means to me, and how you can incorporate it into your daily life
in the Nicola Valley too. Lets do this!

 

living in merritt bc

My son Ryder  getting ready to dirt bike in Merritt BC

Living in Merritt BC Canada

Growing up in the Nicola Valley

Don Loewen Saddlery

Leathercraft Nicola Valley Merritt BC

Nicola Valley Merritt BC’s own Don Loewen Saddlery – Leathercrafter.

 Don Loewen Saddlery – Leathercraft Nicola Valley Merritt BC Canada. Experience this Nicola Valley gem. With over 30 years of experience, Don Loewen Saddlery has created over 500 horseback riding saddles. This has earned Don’s saddlery a stamp of pure “Authentic Quality Craftsmanship”. Many of us who have tasted ranch life appreciate Don’s unique skill and talent. To ride in one of his saddles is truly an experience and honour.

Don Loewen Saddlery

Introducing Don Loewen.

In order to know Don Loewen, we need to know his history.

From birth, Don grew up within a cowboy family. Growing up with an interest in horses and saddlery he made his first saddle at 14yrs old. Don realised early in life he had a unique passion and talent for shaping leather with his hands. Don began his journey at the age of 17 leaving home and attending  “Saddle School” in South Dakota. Itis here he honed his skills as a saddle maker and artisan.

Don Loewen Saddlery - Leathercraft

Notably Don does not lack leatherworking skill.

Consequently Don opened up a home-based shop.

Meanwhile after cowboying in southern Alberta and at Douglas Lake Cattle Company with some time working in the logging industry, Don returned to his true passion of saddlery. In 1995 he opened a home-based saddle shop called Don Loewen Saddlery. Eventually he opened up a storefront business in downtown Merritt B.C. in 2004. 

Don Loewen Saddlery - Leathercraft in Nicola Valley

Don showing Tania Stewart the frame of saddle.

Our saddles are highly customized to your specific needs.

Lets take a look at how Don begins to make a saddle. Firstly, a frame is made of wood and fiber glass of the horse’s frame. From that frame a saddle is fitted for the horse. Comfort, durability and the ability to stay positioned throughout a full day’s ride, is what makes Don’s saddles so well known throughout Western Canada.  Ground seat design, the skirt and seat design are skills that Don teaches and owns with a sense of pride. 

Don Loewen saddles

This is a newspaper clipping of an article done about a few of Don’s students.

Equally important are Don’s unique leather belts.

Every leather belt is one-of-a-kind. 

Don Loewen Saddlery leather belts

Don’s one-of-kind leather belts.

Additionally Don has added other high-quality leather products.

As well as saddles, Don crafts belts and traveller’s notebooks. Furthermore, Don passes down his art of leather crafting with teaching a wide range of people. Most rememberable were the young high school students and adults from Sweden.

Don Loewen leather bags

Truly a master leathercrafter.

Don’s saddles are well known throughout Western Canada and the World.

Horseback riding leathercraft

Horse reins.

Furthermore the skill of Don Loewen continues.

Together with his beautiful wife Jody, they have six wonderful children and two precious grandchildren. Don’s eldest son has also learned the basics of the craft of saddlery.

Don Loewen Saddlery - Leathercraft

Leather artistry at it’s best. Don Loewen.

Coupled with Don’s skill and talent everything is proudly made in the beautiful Nicola Valley Merritt BC!

Artisan Don Loewen

Artisan Don Loewen.

“I am busy as I need to be,” Don Loewen.

Horseman Don Loewen

Not to mention that Don once made a saddle for “Marmaduke” 

Testimonial from Alex Robinson

“Don Loewen has always had a reputation for building a good using saddle. I looked at a couple of Don’s saddles that the cowboys in the valley had ordered and had been using for every day ranch work and I was impressed with the quality of the rigs and how they were standing up. I’ve been riding my Loewen saddles for some time now and haven’t got one complaint. The saddle sits on a horses back well and I’ve never rode in a more comfortable seat. Don’s saddles are reasonably priced and you will never get a better person to deal with.”

Alex Robinson
(Cow boss)
Quilchena Cattle Co.
Quilchena B.C.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Don Loewen Website

250-525-0220

experiencemerritt

Don Loewen Saddlery

Leathercraft Nicola Valley Merritt BC

Horse Back Riding Merritt BC.

A-P Ranch Horse Back Riding, Nicola Valley BC.

Outdoor adventure at A-P Ranch

Horse Back Riding at A-P Guest Ranch Nicola Valley Merritt BC.  This rustic “Western Guest Ranch” is owned and operated by Andre and his wife Susan Patry. Established in 1986, this scenic ranch is nestled in a valley setting in the heart of B.C.’s prominent ranching country. The ranch is surrounded by impressive fishing lakes and thousands of acres of rolling terrain for picturesque trail riding and winter sports. Experience Nicola Valley is proud to have had an opportunity to visit with A-P Ranch. 

Horseback riding in Merritt BC

Andre and friends.

experiencemerritt

A great way to experience Merritt Canada is from the back of a horse at A-P Guest Ranch Nicola Valley BC.

Andre Patry, owner of A-P Ranch, shared with us that he has been riding for 73 years. More impressively, 53 years of that stretch is right here in Merritt BC. The Patry’s left Quebec around 1966 and with a bit prospecting for the perfect ranch Andre found what was to become A-P Guest Ranch.

Horseback riding in the Nicola Valley

A-P Guest Ranch. Kitchen, Saloon, Dining area along with bunk rooms.

Importantly Andre and family at A-P Guest Ranch believe in providing 5 star treatment for all their guests.

For example safety is very important for their guests when embarking on a trail ride. With Andre’s years of experience dealing with horses he seems to have this magical ability to team a horse and rider up perfectly. The right temperament is required between a horse and rider for a maximum riding experience for both horse and rider. 

A-P Ranch Horseback Riding

Andre making sure everything is in order.

In fact A-P Ranch is ideal for family outings, reunions, weddings, and for escaping the city for a weekend getaway! 

Horseback riding with Experience Nicola Valley

Gearing up.

Together with its 5 Star Hospitality A-P  Ranch also offers other outdoor adventures.

When was the last time you enjoyed a hay-ride, or have you even tried one of these sightseeing adventures. It is a great way to spend a fall day with the family. Why not make it a weekend getaway with your children and give them the ultimate experience of “Living Country” on a horse ranch like A-P Ranch.

Merritt BC Horseback Riding Tours

A-P Ranch Corrals.

A-P Ranch’s great hospitality.

Along with great “Lodge Package’s“(including meals & lodging)… A-P Ranch also has a Bed & Breakfast. Also for those campers with tents or trailers,  there are camping facilities as well, some with with power.

Mark Patry with Melvina White.

In case you forget your “Cowboy” boots.

A-P Ranch provides more than a horse and some good times. They are ready to help you look the part as well. They have the cowboy boots to fit all sizes of feet and adventures. Riding boots are not only great for the ambiance but also for the safety of the rider.

A-P Ranch Cowboy Boots

Great selection!

Merritt BC horseback riding

Melva picking out her riding boots.

Additionally Mark Patry helps with saddling up the horses.

Horses at the ranch

Saddle up!

Horseback riding in Merritt BC

Bill’s with his horse “Lapis”

Andre believes in “safety” first.

For this reason alone A-P Guest Ranch is a great start for beginners as well as all levels of horseback riding. From families to seasoned riders the people at the ranch have the skills and equipment for a safe ride. 

Nicola Valley horseback riding guides

With 73 years of experience Andre makes this look easy.

Indeed all of the horses at A-P Ranch are truly beautiful!

There is something special going on at A-P Ranch. Interestingly enough, you can see that more and more people are turning to horses for a connection with nature as well as a connection with themselves. Additionally Horses have been linked to helping people heal when dealing with PTSD, anxiety, depression, abuse, addiction, grief, and stress. 

Horseback riding tours and guides

Andre leading the way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was my “ride” for our open trail experience.

A-P Ranch is a hidden gem within the Nicola Valley. Hidden in the sense that it is located on the outskirts of the Nicola Valley in the wilderness backcountry of British Columbia. A great destination for company retreats, team building and motivational seminars.

Horseback riding in BC

Tania’s beautiful ride.

Calling all “horse” lovers!

Whether you love to go riding in the vast outdoors or relax and stay in for a night being treated to country cooking A-P Guest Ranch is truly the place for you.

Trail riding in the Nicola Valley

Andre leads us to the “Range”

Especially with all its scenic beauty, its hard not to feel like your riding in the Old West of yesterday.

Surprisingly from Kamloops Purity Feed Ltd to A-P ranch is 92.3 km, average driving time 58 minutes. Also from Merritt’s Best Western Plus to the ranch is 26.5 km = 20 minutes driving time. If arriving from Vancouver British Columbia Canada it is only a little over a 31/2 hour drive, Kelowna just over an hour.

Merritt BC Guest Ranch

This is what 73yrs of experience looks like.

Amazing how one can connect with nature when on horseback.

From dessert grass to lush forest.

Riding on a perfect late summer day.

For the brave and more adventurous people, A-P Ranch also provides multi-day “Pack Trips”. These horseback riding adventures range from 3 days to 7 days. All you need to do is show up, saddle up and enjoy the experience.  My son and I along with other people hope to do a 3 day one in the fall.  

“Born to Ride” Melvina White.

Our host Andre.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not only can you see how Andre’s horses earn their keep, you see the love shared between horse and man. 

Merritt horseback riding tours

New friends.

Majestic Outdoors.

Melvina taking in the beauty.

Riding into the wild.

20 Minute Break

Half-way through our trail ride we had about a 20 minute break to stretch our legs. I found it got harder to get back on my horse. But, I guess I am a natural, as there are stumps around to help with the saddle up process. 

Nicola Valley horseback riding.

The perfect place to stretch your legs.

Notably the chances of making new friends are very high.

Andre, Sarah Pasco, Joe klemionks, Bill.

Can it get any better?

My hat, if I had one, is off to our very personable and knowledgeable horseback riding guide “Andre Patry”

Andre pointing out all the different trees.

Wildlife!

Coupled with nature, good company, well adjusted horses this is truly a perfect mini holiday!

I began whistling the tune from “The Good, the Bad & the Ugly”

Of course after the trail ride” you can cool of with a drink in A-P’s Saloon.

Were everyone knows your name!

Additionally Andre is an amazing artist.

Pictures do not do Andre’s art justice. Seeing his amazing work is truly an experience to see and enjoy. And I guarantee you wont leave with just one piece. 

Carving.

 

CONTACT INFORMATION

A-P Ranch Box 1148-4220 Hwy 5A South Merritt BC. 

Tel: 250-378-6520

Email: apguestranch@hotmail.com

Website:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/A-P-Guest-Ranch/

 

 

Nicola Valley Rodeo Association

Merritt BC Canada 2019 Rodeo 

Merritt BC Canada Rodeo event in 2019.

2019 Nicola Valley Rodeo Association in Merritt BC Canada. Merritt rodeo grounds and venue were built and, for more than half a century, run by the Nicola Valley Rodeo Association. The grassland expanses of the Nicola Valley are home to some of British Columbia’s oldest ranches. They and five First Nations communities centred around the Merritt community form the foundation of the ranching and rodeo heritage of the Nicola Valley. 

Nicola Valley Rodeo Association

To Illustrate this 2-day celebration of Western Heritage gives locals and brings people together from around the world.

People from Scotland, Australia, USA, as well from all across Canada attended this annual event.

Merritt BC Cowboys

Event Team Ropers warming up.

Furthermore all Livestock are well look after. Only the best for their partners. 

In reality I have heard that the livestock have 5 star treatment compared to some of the two legged competitors.

Merritt Nicola Valley Rodeo Association

Clint Buhler Team Roper along with “Snowman”.

“As a result of hard determination and skill Team roping: Clint Buhler/Chase Simpson, 5.3, Putting them in 5th place.”

Nicola Valley Pro Rodeo

Looking good on a horse is the easy part. Roping takes practice & dedication.

Nicola Valley Rodeo Association Sponsors

Together with all the amazing competitors there are the sponsors.  With out

Young cowboy at the Nicola Valley Pro Rodeo

Future “Cowboy?”

their help and dedication we may not have this attraction in Merritt. Given that Nicola Valley Pro Rodeo sponsors will be included in many of the photo’s.

 

Furthermore the Merritt  Rodeo Grounds host a wide range of events including ranch rodeos, youth rodeos, barrel racing, other equestrian events and clinics through out the year.

Consequently July 26-28 2019 The Canadian High School Rodeo Finals was held at the Nicola Valley rodeo grounds in Merritt BC as well.

Young admirer at the Merritt Rodeo

The clothes do not make the cowgirl, it’s the attitude and heart.

Speaking about team work. There would be no rodeo without the countless volunteers who are passionate about preserving the uniqueness of Merritt’s Pro Rodeo. Recognizing all its western history and culture within the surrounding ranching communities. 

Without their dedication, long hours and sometimes health risks Nicola Valley’s Pro Rodeo may ride away into the sunset. A huge cheer to rodeo co-chair Mary MacGregor and fellow co-chair Peter Spencer.

Clowns save lives at Nicola valley Rodeo

Thank you to the Bullfighting clowns!

Clowning around at Merritt rodeo

Taking risks to help “Bull” rider!

All fun and games. 

Important to realize that rodeo clowns are there to entertain the crowd. While barrelmen tag-team with bullfighters to distract the bulls after each ride. Allowing the cowboy to safely exit the arena. Around since the 1930’s, the job of a barrelmen and rodeo clown is no easy feat and shouldn’t be underestimated.

Nothing funny about being a clown

Always a Clown! • Ogilvie Mtn Holdings LP

Furthermore these beautiful horses are truly stars in their own right.

Horses are mans best friend at the rodeo

Rodeo Sponsor • Jamie Payton Movie Horses

Not to mention Merritt Rodeo features the finest animal athletes in North America.

“When nothings going right, Go left”

Timing is critical. From a standstill, a rider will put his horse into a gallop from the box shortly after the calf leaves the chute,

Calf Roping

The goal of this timed event is for the rider to catch the calf by throwing a loop of rope from a lariat around its neck, dismount from the horse, run to the calf, and restrain it by tying three legs together, in as short a time as possible.

 

All “Cowboys” take pride in the speed in which they rope and tie calves.

Calf roping, also known as tie-down roping event.

 

Some of the best cowgirls and cowboys from across Canada and the U.S. competing at the Nicola Valley Rodeo Association’s event.

To say nothing of the great weather for the 61st annual Merritt Pro Rodeo over the Labour Day long weekend. Guaranteed there wasn’t a shortage of live excitement.

“Courage is being scared to death, but still saddling up anyway”

Proudly, endorsed by the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association and the American Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association

 

All 4 off the ground, n still hanging in!

Although you may not recognize a performer’s name during an event, this doesn’t take away the intensity of watching and taking in all the excitement.

“If you haven’t fallen off a horse…then you haven’t been ridin’ long enough”. Coolnsmart : Hillbillie Deluxe on December 7, 2013

Bruised and battered bodies are the norm for any “Cowgirl” n “Cowboy”.

If this was easy, everyone would do it! • Copper Valley Mechanical Contractors Ltd.

 

Truly exciting to watch up-coming Rodeo Star’s!

Equally important are the Merritt Little Britches which was held June 14-16 this year at Nicola Valley’s Rodeo grounds. A place for young cowboys and cowgirls to get a start in the sport of rodeo is with the  British Columbia Little Britches Rodeo Association

Tanya Stars.

A non-profit organization, the BC Little Britches Rodeo Association along with local rodeo clubs throughout the province host rodeos throughout the spring, summer and fall.

Barrel Racer’s start young! • Purity Feed Ltd.

Young barrel racer!

Barrel racing.

“Anyone who never fails is someone who never tries.” Unknown

Additionally Steer wrestling, also known as bulldogging, is a rodeo event in which a horse-mounted rider chases a steer, drops from the horse to the steer, then wrestles the steer to the ground by grabbing its horns and pulling it off-balance so that it falls to the ground.

Git er down! • Nicola Post & Rail Ltd.

Furthermore this event carries a high risk of injury to the cowboy.

Dig down!

Barrel Racing!

Barrel Racing officially started in 1928 when it became the first sport for women on horseback. This skill is easily overlooked. A speed event involving a horse, along with its rider, galloping and making agile turns around three barrels placed in a triangular fashion. 

Rider must control the horse’s speed at the right moment to enter the “pocket”

The racer enters the arena at top speed and with great skill circles all 3 barrels.

“3 Turns, 2 Hearts, 1 Soul”

Steering as close to the barrels as they can. Precious seconds.

Racers enter the arena at full speed and try to circle the three barrels as quickly as they can.

Equally the horse must be fairly aggressive, and the rider should be in command throughout.

“If you ain’t afraid of the speed, you ain’t going fast enough”. Cowgirltimes

 

Tighter the turn.

Especially a highlight of the Rodeo is the “Bull” riding event.

Bull riding is a rodeo sport that involves a rider getting on a bucking bull and attempting to stay on while being bucked off. Notably recognized as “the most dangerous eight seconds in sports”.

“Brace your backbone and forget your wishbone.” Bull riding sayings

To receive a score, the rider must stay atop the bull for 8 seconds with the use of one hand gripped on a bull rope tied behind the bull’s forelegs.

“Bull riding is probably the most dangerous sport in the world in terms of head injuries.” Jonathan Gottschall

Hanging on! • The Grand Pub and Grill

Don not try this at home! • Steffens Family in memory of Jim Steffens

Touching the bull or themselves with the free hand, or failing to reach the eight-second mark, results in a no-score ride.

“Sometimes I think life is just a rodeo, the trick is to ride and make it to the bell.”

“If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull.”

Each bull has a unique name and number.

Keep Calm and Hold On

Still holding on. • Norgaard Ready-Mix Ltd.

Bucking, rearing, kicking, spinning, along with twisting.

Amazingly after all the bucks, kicks, spins and twists that continues for 8 seconds. The buzzer signals the end of the ride.

Nicola Valley Rodeo Sponsor • Best Western Plus

“A good old rodeo never hurt anyone.”

Merritt Pro Rodeo Sponsor • Infracon

Certainly a trick used by bull riders and bareback riders from being bucked is to use tar or resin on the hand they hold onto the rigging. 

Nicola Valley Rodeo bumps and bruises

Wise sayings often fall on barren ground, but a kind word is never thrown away. Arthur Helps.  Bull riding quotes

“Cliff Williamson is the only contestant to compete in the CFR for 29 years. Williamson is a five-time Canadian champion in tie-down roping and was inducted into the Canadian Professional Rodeo Hall of Fame in 2002.” Edmonton Journal 

Bull riding Nicola Valley Rodeo

“Never corner something meaner then you.”

Ouch that hurts. Nicola Valley Rodeo

8 seconds is a long time! Sponsors • Ellis Livestock Company

Bull riding: 1. Jackson Scott (Kamloops, BC) 88 points on Northcott-Macza’s B60 Lap Dance.

Cowboy and bull trying to get along

Sponsors • Valley Carriers Ltd.

“Relationships are kind of like riding a bull. You hang on for dear life and sometimes you get a little buck here and there but you get back on.” Unknown

A great turnout at the 61st annual Merritt Nicola Valley Pro Rodeo.

Full house at the Nicola Valley Rodeo event

The bleachers are packed! • Western Livestock Marketing Solutions Inc.

New this year Rodeo 101 Behind the Chutes Stock Tour.

Rodeo 101 spectator, athlete involvement, stock tours along with children’s activities.

Merritt Bull Riding

Bronc riding like my Pa!

Nicola Valley Rodeo Saddle lessons

Learning how to saddle a horse.

Learning the ropes. Infracon

 

 

Additionally along with the “Instant Replay” scoreboard makes it easier to keep track of all events.

And with this new re-vamped “Rodeo Saloon” one can truly enjoy a cold one.

Beer at Nicola Valley Rodeo

What’s a Rodeo without a Saloon!

Rodeo and ice cream

A cold refreshing ice-cream, what better way to cool off! • Prairie Coast Equipment

As Can Be Seen

Above all since its establishment in 1958 Nicola Valley’s Rodeo Legacy continues on Labour Day weekend. A annual event that brings people from across Canada, USA, Scotland, Australia, Britain, and importantly local Merritt residents.  Truly a spectators sport watching these athletes perform at their best.

I love a great “Rodeo”, and this is one of the best!” Tanya Stewart, Experience Nicola Valley Blogger

Feel free to read my previous story about the lead up to the Nicola Valley Pro Rodeo Event. 

Nicola Valley Rodeo Association In Merritt

Merritt BC Canada 2019 Rodeo