Tag Archive for: Road Trips

Wedding Anniversaries 

Celebrating 50 Years of Marriage

Anniversary Special

On any given day there is likely to be wedding anniversaries in Merritt BC.  But there is one that is especially dear to my heart and that is mine and Shirley’s.  This summer, in Merritt British Columbia, we celebrated our 50th Anniversary, which in this day and age, has become rare.  However, it is not so among our friends.

Where My Wedding Anniversary Began

At the end of 1969 and the beginning of 1970 most of my friends were celebrating their 21st birthdays. One of those birthdays was being celebrated on January 3rd, 1970.  So that meant we had a party on New Year’s Eve and on January 3rd. It was decided we should go to Oil Can Harry’s Night Club in downtown Vancouver, BC, Canada on January 2nd.  As I was not seeing anyone at the time I did not have a date but my friends came to the rescue and arranged a blind date for me.  That blind date was Shirley and the rest is history.

The Wedding

Wedding Anniversaries with Tom and Shirley

Tom and Shirley July 22, 1972 Wedding Photographer Photo

Our wedding was a very lavish affair because Shirley’s Dad wanted to have a massive celebration.  We, on the other hand, would have preferred a more intimate affair.  So we gave him a list of “must haves” and then told him if he wanted to invite others he could do so but he had to prepare and send the invitations.  As a result we had a very large group helping us celebrate.

The Journey to Celebrating Wedding Anniversaries 

The most often question asked us is how did we do it? Well from my perspective the major secret is finding the right person as your partner and I have to say I hit the Jackpot.  I don’t think I could have found someone who was more suitable.  She is kind, loving and patient.  She is also flexible as our initial plan did not work out.  I was going to teach and in the summers we were going back to Oregon State University so she could complete her degree.

We had to regroup and develop a new plan.

The Next Steps

We started out in a basement suite in East Vancouver, living below an Italian family.  They were so kind to us.  However, prices were starting to rise so we felt it was necessary to get into the housing market.  As a result we purchased a townhouse near Steveston in Richmond BC.

Our Richmond Home

Our Richmond Home
Tom Reynolds Photo

Our Careers

I then started my 33 year career  in Municipal Government as an accounting clerk.  The fog in Richmond was a major hazard to my commute to Coquitlam so we bought a house out that way. Our Children were born in this house.

After Coquitlam I spent 7 years in the City of Port Moody as Deputy Treasurer.  Shirley was working in the insurance field. However it became time to advance my career so I took a job in Williams Lake, which turned out to be a great place for families.  We spent the next sixteen years doing what families do, bringing kids to soccer, hockey, baseball, art, music and Job’s Daughters. Needless to say those years flew by.

Shirley had lucked into a great job at the orthodontist’s office.  She had a great employer who let her sneak out to attend school events.  We were able to get away on weekends because the office was closed on Fridays at noon.

Times Are A Changing 

Unfortunately, the City was so eager to have Wal-Mart come to town that they were prepared to meet the large retailer’s wishes despite protests from the community.  Council’s decision impacted us and I could no longer feel comfortable working for this group.  Hence our move to Merritt.

 

Williams Lake Home

Williams Lake Home
Tom Reynolds Photo

Merritt BC Here We Come

The year was 2003 and by this time we were empty nesters.  We had bought a “fixer upper”  in a great neighbourhood by the forest and overlooking the Nicola Valley.  It turned out to be a smart move as we quickly made friends and got involved in the community through our volunteering.

We have been here almost twenty years.  So if you want to know why we love it,  head over to the stories on  Experience Nicola Valley and travel information on Experience Merritt to see all the things that make this place so special.

Wedding Anniversaries Our Special One

When our kids asked us what kind of party we wanted for our fiftieth anniversary I said I would like just a small gathering and Shirley agreed.  Our celebration was a destination party in the North Shuswap.

North shuswap Cabin

North Shuswap cabin Tom Reynolds Photo

We were fortunate to be able to rent a luxurious cabin just across from the lake which provided great water fun for all our guests.

Water Fun

Water Fun Steve Reynolds Photo

However, it is important to note that the big part of any wedding anniversary celebration is the food.  Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of the feast but I assure you it was delicious.  In any case, I do have a picture of the cup cakes my daughter made.  The icing represents the colours of our wedding.

Cup cakes

Cup Cakes Steve Reynolds Photo

While our group was small, they came from Calgary, Spokane, Redmond, Ladner, Langley, Richmond and Vancouver.

Attendees

Attendees Reynolds Photo

The last celebration of the day was the lighting of sparklers around the fire pit.

Sparkler Celebration

Sparker Celebration Steve Reynolds Photo

In conclusion, we leave our story of our wedding anniversary with a photo of us fifty years after the photo at the top of this article.

fifty years later

Fifty Years Later Steve Reynolds Photo

Wedding Anniversaries 

Celebrating 50 Years of Marriage

Anniversary Special

 

Merritt British Columbia Canada

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. 

Off-Roading in Merritt BC Canada

 Extreme Outdoor Terrain Action 4×4 Sport

Off-roading Adventure Seeker’s Wanted!

Off-roading in Merritt BC is a top destination spot for all adventure seekers who like a challenge. Moreover, the Merritt BC region provides miles of  trails, extreme terrain action for all 4×4 sporting enthusiasts. With moderate temperatures year-round,  the Nicola Valley is a first choice for many who seek off road extreme 4x4ing. The Nicola Valley boasts endless back country roads, which offer gentle slopes for beginners or steep climbing mountain trails for the brave.  Come and discover some of the most beautiful, scenic, natural place’s found right here in Merritt BC. Canada. I guarantee it will be a most enjoyable outdoor experience.  

Off-Roading Merritt BC

Picture time. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Off-Roading Merritt BC

Scenic beauty. Pic by Tania Stewart.

Sightseeing While Off-Roading in Merritt BC 

Off-roading around Merritt BC will leave you breathless.  With such amazing scenic beauty to see, old growth trees, towering mountain peaks, rock bluffs, grass plains, hidden lakes, wildlife, and the odd cow. Take some time to discover those mountain top lakes that seem to be untouched with exceptional fishing. Certain waterfalls, lakes, mountains, and other natural beauties might be off-limits unless you have an off-road vehicle to drive you there. Allowing you to take a dip in a secluded lake or waterfall, say what! Hiking is great, but to get to some of these places would take days.  

Mountain views while off roading in Merritt BC

Mountain Views. Photo by Robert Neil

Nicola Valley wildlife

Mountain goat. Picture by Robert Neil

Off-road vehicles is anticipated to grow at 7% CAGR between 2021 and 2027. Market Growth

4x4ing in Merritt BC

Jeep Wrangler Style. Photo by Tania Stewart.

4x4ing Back Country Roads Summer & Spring

Albeit most love to go off-roading in the summer months and the spring. Showcasing fresh buds on the trees, birds, bee’s, bear’s all waking up to the warm sun. Truly has to be one of the best times for getting out and hitting the back roads. Although off-roading in Merritt BC, Canada is a year round sport. Many people will find that the warmer months are more ideal. Nature enthusiasts will love the abundance of wildlife found in the back roads. Summer is great for overlanding off-roading. Taking your time with longer trips, staying at campsites, sleeping in tents, or just outside under the stars. Truly bare necessities! 

Birding in Merritt BC

Wildlife. Photo by Tania Stewart

Wildlife while Off-Roading in Nicola Valley

Bear Aware. Photo Tania Stewart

Nicola Valley Off-Roading in The Fall 

Authentic natural environments is my favorite time to go off-roading. Getting out on the back country roads is truly exhilarating for all extreme adventurists. Along with being a bit cooler, fall colors will take you by surprise. Noteworthy, the Nicola Valley is renowned for its Indian Summers, with comfortable warm days and cool nights. Which makes this an ideal time for day trips, picnics, hiking, and just enjoying the scenic beauty. Rocky off-roading in the fall is a lot of fun, but may require a certain skill level. 

Fall mountain top trees. Photo by Tania Stewart

Off-roading in the Winter 

When temperatures start to dip and snow is starting to cover your favorite trails in the Nicola Valley. This doesn’t mean you have to put your Jeep or yourself in hibernation for the winter. Truly, 4×4 off-roading in the snow can be an extremely enjoyable, extreme adventure for those who are up for the challenge. Even if you a planning a two hour tour in the back country or an all day one. Or like us, go long into the night.  

Backcountry near Merritt BC

10m from downtown Merritt. Picture by Tania Stewart

Jeep in Merritt winter

Spring time 4×4. Picture by Tania Stewart

Off-Roading Merritt BC

Discover some of the most beautiful, scenic, natural place right here in Merritt BC, Canada. Picture by Tania Stewart

Off-roading weather conditions in Merritt BC 

When off-roading in the winter, know what you are up against. Understand and be able to identify the different types of snow. Furthermore traversing different snow consistencies will require different driving techniques.  For example, there is hard, icy snow located on north-facing slopes. Soft snow that is sitting in the sun. Knowing that trying to stay on top of soft and dry snow is often harder than driving over wet and heavy snow. Truly plan your course accordingly before embarking out in the backcountry.

backcountry roads in Merritt BC

Spring Snow. Picture Tania Stewart

Nicola Valley mountain scenery

Mountain views. photo by Tania Stewart

Must Have – 4×4 Compass

night skies in  Merritt BC

Spectacular sunsets. Picture by Tania Stewart.

Useful Tip

Airing down your tires is an effective way to increase the amount of traction and displacement your vehicle has on slippery, icy surfaces. Moreover by reducing the amount of air in your tires, more surface area of the tire will touch the ground.  As a result, gives a higher level of traction and displacement. Further, it is easier to stay on top of the snow,  preventing you from spinning out and digging yourself into a hole. 

looking for sasquatch in merritt bc

Searching for Bigfoot. Photo Tania Stewart.

Nicola Valley gravel roads

Back roads adventure.

Snow Tires in the Nicola Valley

Investing in a set of snow tires is perhaps the best way to avoid skidding and sliding on icy trails. Snow tires are specifically designed with deep treads that have larger gaps to optimize traction when driving on snow and ice. Remember, if the road is slippery, you will have less traction. Your tires simply can not grip the ground well when it is wet.

bigfoot in backcountry

Bigfoot lives here! Photo by Tania Stewart.

The lighter your Jeep is, the easier it will be to stay on top of the snow and avoid sinking into the soft surface.

Family day in the backcountry

Family fun time! Photo by Tania Stewart.

wilderness adventures in the Nicola Valley

Lake cool off! Picture by Tania Stewart

Know Your Limits

I can not stress the importance of knowing your limits. Moreover know your vehicles limits. If you are just starting to adventure in the back country. Try low lying roads on dry tracks. Even better, bring a well seasoned off-roader with you or team up with a well seasoned off-roader. Fact,  walkie-talkies are a must. Bring a friend, preferably in their own vehicle.  If you have a break down it could be many hours before anyone finds you. Cell phones do not work here. Keep water, food, flashlights, long distant radio, extra clothing even a flare gun. 

night time exploring in nicola valley

Back roads adventure. Picture Tania Stewart.

Pay Attention to Traction

The biggest hurdle beginner off-roaders face is figuring out how traction works. Traction is one of the most important things you need to understand when off-roading. When you lose traction, you run the risk of having your truck spin out of control or go off the trail. 

Traction basically means how well your truck’s tires are gripping the ground. That is why tires with deeper tread have better traction—the deeper tread allows the tires to better grip the ground. Important to know,  if the road is slippery, you will have less traction. Tires simply can not grip the ground well when it is wet. The same goes for rocks. The less traction you have, the more important it is to accelerate smoothly. 

nature in Merritt BC Canada

Hitting the trails. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Merritt BC sunset

Sunsets are the best! Photo by Tania Stewart

Practice More Often

Get as much practice as you can. The more you practice, the better you will be at off-roading. You don’t have to practice every day—you might have obligations like work to take care of. However, you can set aside a few hours every weekend to practice your off-roading skills. Find trails near you that you can use for practicing. 

In Conclusion

Discover some of the most beautiful, scenic, natural place’s found right here in Merritt BC. Canada.  If you like adventure and challenges, you will enjoy off-roading here in the Nicola Valley. Meet you on the trail.

sunset in merritt bc canada

Scenic view 4×4 action. Photo by Tania Stewart

Off-Roading in Merritt BC Canada

Nicola Valley 4x4ing

#merrittmatters

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

Fishing & Camping in Merritt BC

Merritt’s Top Fishing Holes

 Top Fishing Lakes & Camping Spots Within the Nicola Valley

 

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

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

Fishing & Camping in Merritt BC

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

 5 Favorite Fishing Spots

Fishing & Camping in Merritt BC at Harmon Lake

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

Fishing & Camping in Merritt BC at Lundbom Lake 

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

Fishing & Camping in Merritt BC.

Bring your horses! Pic by Tania Stewart.

 

Dragon Flies Merritt's Top Fishing Holes

Dragon Flies at Alleyne Lake. Picture by Tania Stewart

Kentucky-Alleyne Lakes for Fishing and Camping

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

Alleyne Lake Kayaking

Kayaking/fishing on Alleyne Lake. Photo by Tania Stewart

Alleyne Lake swimming and day trips

Fishing, swimming, camping! All is Good.

 

Alleyne Lake Kayaking

Kayaking Lundbom Lake. Photo by Tania Stewart.

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

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

Merritt's Top Fishing Holes Merritt BC.

Large deep lake. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Nicola Lake in Merritt BC Canada

Nicola Lake fishing dock. Photo courtesy Tania Stewart.

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

Monck Park Beach

Monck Park Beach. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Fishing & Camping in Merritt BC.

Perfect shade for picnics. Picture by Tania Stewart.

For the Love of Fishing & Camping in Merritt BC

Swimming in Merritt BC Canada

Come and experience! Photo by Tania Stewart.

Peter Hope Lake in the Nicola Valley 

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

Paska Lake in Nicola Valley

Paska Lake-Shirley Reynolds Photo

Brook Trout

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

Fishing lures in Merritt BC

Big Fishing Story. Picture by Tania Stewart.

Rainbow Trout

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

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

Julie Pollard kissing fish

Kiss the Fish! Photo Julie Pollard

Ponderosa Sports Tackle

Ponderosa Sports Tackle. Pic Tania Stewart.

Kokanee Salmon

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

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

Camping in Canada

My friend Joanne caught a beauty at our site.

Merritt's Top Fishing Holes

Photo curtesy of Tom Reynolds.

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

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

Fishing & Camping in Merritt BC

Best Fishing Holes in BC

 

#merrittmatters

Nicola Valley Travel and Tourism Guides

nicola valley talk show

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

Circle Tour from Merritt BC

Logan Lake Ashcroft Lac LeJeune

One of many road trips  starting from the Nicola Valley

When I decide to take a Circle Tour from Merritt BC I tend to head out when it is not the optimum time to visit these places.  Therefore I include items in the  blog that pertain to other times of the year so that you can see what it is like at any time of the year. That is what road trips are all about. 

Circle Tour from Merritt BC Starts In Logan Lake

The first part of our road trip from Merritt heads out Highway 8 to Mamette Lake Road (Hwy 97C). At anytime of the year the scenery is beautiful.  In the Spring you can see the beauty of the landscape coming alive with all the various shades of green.  The summer brings out the pastoral scenery with the cattle and horses out grazing and the loveliness of Mamette Lake.  The Fall showcases the magnificent colours of the trees and shrubs.

While all these seasons are great, the beauty of the area is stunning with the snow covered trees and pasture land.  As you travel along Mamette Lake Road (Hwy 97C) You will come to Left Field Cidery which produces one of the best apple ciders you can find.

 

Circle Tour from Merritt BC

Left Field Cidery-Tom Reynolds Photo

Ice Fishing on the Circle Tour from Merritt

Just a little way past Left Field Cidery you come upon Mamette Lake.  In the warmer months you can do the canoeing, kayaking and fishing thing but in winter the main activity is ice fishing.

Ice Fishing Mamette Lake

Ice Fishing Mamette Lake. Tom Reynolds Photo.

Logan Lake on the Circle Tour from Merritt

After leaving Mamette Lake you arrive at the intersection of Hwy 97C and Hwy 97D.  Turning right takes you to the District of Logan Lake.  The District is home to many of the miners who work at Highland Valley Copper.  Because of the mine, Logan Lake has amenities that exceed many other towns of their size.

Snowmobiling, cross country skiing, snow shoeing and ice fishing are favourite outdoor activities.  The community centre boasts an ice rink as well.

Logan Lake

Logan Lake Tom Reynolds Photo

The above photo is of frozen Logan Lake where  you can snowshoe or cross-country ski around the  lake.

Logan Lake by Design

Logan Lake’s claim to fame is that it was established to house the miners that worked at Highland Valley Copper.  The town was established in the early 1970’s and was designed from the ground up using the planning theories of the era.  The town centre is a plaza where cars are not allowed.  It is necessary to park in the lots on the outside of the village square and walk into the shops.

Logan Lake Town Centre

Logan Lake Town Centre-Tom Reynolds Photo

Other Activities on Circle Tour from Merritt

Logan Lake is packed with activities in the warmer months of the year.  For example, there are numerus trails for ATV’s.  In fact Logan Lakes promotes this use.  If that is not your cup of tea you can enjoy fishing, kayaking, canoeing, swimming and hiking.  If it is out doors Logan Lake has it.

 

The Circle Tour from Merritt Moves to Ashcroft

The next part of the circle tour from Merritt BC follows highway 97C to Ashcroft.   Along the way you pass the massive copper mine, Highland Valley Copper which is one of the largest open pit mines in North America. During the warm months you can see the huge slag lake which is an amazing shade of blue.

Highland Valley Copper Mine

Highland Valley Copper-Tom Reynolds Photo

Ashcroft is an inspiring community

When we arrived in Ashcroft it was lunch time so we sought out a place to have lunch and it the jackpot, Unitea café and lounge.  The food was fresh and delicious but more importantly the owner was a fountain of information about the community.  They have a strong arts community for both art and performing arts.  In fact the cafe is home to regular music concerts on their premises.

Ashcroft BC Cafe Coffee shop

Unitea-Tom Reynolds Photo

Ashcroft has an interesting museum and heritage park that attracts a lot of attention in the summer months’

Ashcroft BC Museum

Ashcroft museum-Tom Reynolds Photo

The Circle Tour from Merritt The Last Lap

Heading to Hwy 1 takes you past the turn off to Dessert Hills Ranch where you can get all sorts of locally grown vegetables and if hungry a Taco.  Once you reach the highway you want to go east towards Kamloops where you will come to Cache Creek, home of Ane’s Pizza and bakery which is home to the best fruit pie around. 

Continuing on towards Kamloops you will pass Savona which is on Kamloops Lake.  This is followed by the Tobiano Golf Course.  You will then reach the Coquihalla Highway that will take you back to Merritt BC Canada.

Lac Le Jeune the Final Stop

Lac Lejeune is more a summertime playground but right next to it is the Stake Lake Nordic Ski Park.  If you are into cross country skiing this is a great place for you.  The trails are well groomed and you can find trails for all ski levels.  Myself I love the green trails.

Circle Tour from Merritt BC

Stake Lake

When you leave this area you are just one half hour away from Merritt!

Circle Tour from Merritt BC

Logan Lake Ashcroft Lac LeJeune

One of many tours starting from the Nicola Valley

 

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. 

Desert Hills Ranch

What better way to get your summer bucket list started off right than spending a day with an awesome summer adventure. 

Spending a day at Desert Hills Ranch with family.

A day at Desert Hills Ranch. Seriously hands down this is a hidden gem located in heart of  Ashcroft B.C.  A beautiful slow paced community that has so much charm to offer with old school western desert vibes. Ashcroft has a museum, well stocked grocery store, lovely tourist worthy location for community information. Lastly…  you could also bring your swim suits and check out our community pool to cool off.

desert hills ranch ashcroft bc canada

Goats at Desert Hills Ranch. Photo Credit: Jennifer Schell

mexican store ashcroft bc canada

Delish! Mexican Delights! Photo Credit: Jennifer Schell

History in Ashcroft BC

Of course my oldest son Logan, age 13, says his favorite thing to see is all of the tractors. He loves to see the historical and ancient farming machines. Secondly if you fancy yourself an avid gardener or aspire to be. The options for making that dream a reality is beyond belief. Think Garden of Eden meets tacos and you have a pretty good idea of what its like on the ranch.

Going Mexican Food in Ashcroft

Speaking of tacos… if you crave Mexican food and fare. This is the place to be for all sorts of chips, beans, hot sauces and salsas. I love stocking up on all the essentials for the best taco Tuesday meal items. In conclusion you do not want to forget to mark on your calendar for salsa weekend if you are keen to make your own.

plants gardening ashcroft bc

Plants!  Photo Credit: Jennifer Schell

ashcroft bc family fun

Family fun in Ashcroft BC. Photo Credit: Jennifer Schell

Fun Times at Desert Hills Ranch

A day at Desert Hills Ranch is fun for everybody! They have lots to see and do. Children,  I think,  have an especially great time here. As a Mom I appreciate the measures that the ranch takes to allow people to view the animals but also how clean they keep it. Along with the areas  to clean and sanitize hands often, and easy access to use the rest rooms. The barn is such a fun treat to explore every time and it is fun to see all the animal friends inside! Of course feeding the goats is so much fun! 

Fruits and more 

My daughter Amelia age 11 says her favorite thing to enjoy is the food. She loves to buy different fruits each week to try with the family and she loves the ice-cream. I feel zero regret buying ice-cream here for my family of 10! The price is right when it comes time for a cool treat. What a fun and affordable way to make the day that much more memorable! 

 

cows farming ranch ashcroft bc

Calf in Ashcroft

An Educational Opportunity 

Machines, where our food comes from, biology and botany are just a few subjects you will encounter on the ranch. As a homeschooling mama this place has educational field trip written all over it. And that is another perfect reason to come check out the ranch. This hasn’t been my first time blogging about my favorite ranch. You can read that post HERE . There is so much to see and do here, it really is a very enriching experience. My son Zach who is 6 absolutely loves that he got to see his favorite animal when he visited the barn. A baby cow was such a adorable treat for him to see so close.

kyle schell ashcroft canada plants

Lots Of Selection To Keep Any Green Thumb Happy

Flowers in Ashcroft BC Canada

This has to be one of my favorite parts of coming to the ranch. I love the huge selection of flowers, shrubs and trees they always have here. It makes adding curb appeal easy with the huge selection that they always have! I love that I can even dabble at pretending I am a homesteader with there great assortment of garden items. Cue the Little House On The Prairie theme song. I am so excited to try making a few different jams this season and give some canning  a try. We love getting our tomatoes and strawberries here. And filling up our garden rows with lots of other goodies as well. Corn, peppers, cauliflower to name a few! 

ashcroft flowers plants

Impeccable Selection Of Many Garden Items

Covid Pregnancy

Delicious Produce Awaits At The Ranch

In Conclusion 

A day at Desert Hills Ranch is never a day wasted. This place is really such a hidden gem. Surrounded by desert mountains. It has beautiful weeping willows to offer shade as you stroll around. They are always so kind and courteous. It truly offers an exceptional summer experience in the heart of British Columbia.

Therefore, if you are looking for more great all year around ideas for what to do in BCs interior. Please follow the Experience Nicola Valley Bloggers. And keep your eyes on the Blog for some more great Summer Bucket List ideas! Thanks for reading! Have a great summer and stay safe. 

CONTACT INFO

Desert Hills Ranch

250 Elm Street, Ashcroft, BC

250.453.9876

deserthillsfarmmarket@gmail.com

www.deserthillsranch.com

 

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Merritt Outdoor Summer Adventures

Summer Adventure on Nicola Valley’s Lakes 

“Lake a day for as long as you stay”

Truly “a lake a day for as long as you stay” bodes well with Merritt outdoor summer adventures in the Nicola Valley. Whether you are looking for a Provincial inclusive campground or wanting a more rustic adventure, the Nicola Valley has it all. To begin with you may want to just pull off the beaten path and hitch your tent alongside a river. Or you may want to dive deep into the backwoods that only a 4×4 can reach. Another possibility for the Merritt BC adventurists is to kayak to a hidden private campsite. 

merritt summer adventures

Camping. Photo Tania Stewart.

merritt outdoor summer adventures

Our Camp for the summer. Photo Tom Reynolds.

Monck Park is a Merritt Outdoor Summer Adventure Destination

The 118 hectare Monck Provincial Park campground is located just outside of the community of Merritt on the shores of Nicola Lake. There are 120 campsites. These campgrounds provide a range of sites from powered campsites with water to bare tenting campsites with no services. Additionally you can bring your powerboat for tubing or skiing! Located 23km from Merritt BC and 62km from Kamloops BC, Nicola Lake is easily accessible.  Great for kayaking, fishing and boating.

Adventure outdoor Merritt BC.

Water skiing is a must. Photo by Robert Neill.

Adventure outdoor Merritt BC.

Like a Pro she is! Photo courtesy of Robert Neill.

Camping Adventure in the Summer in Merritt BC 

Whether you are wanting to just relax, swim, or just enjoy the outdoors…. or wanting to tube, water ski or just boat around, the Nicola Valley offers a wide range of camp grounds.  Be sure to check out all our campgrounds listed on our Experience Merritt website and what lakes allow speed boats, non-motorized or smaller trolling boats. 

Summer outdoor Merritt BC.

Nicola Lake. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Water Safety!

Firstly,  it is important to be safe when around water when enjoying Merritt outdoor summer adventures. Never underestimate the power of currents. A boater, swimmer or wader in open water can be swept away instantly. Always swim with a buddy never alone. Check weather conditions before venturing into the water. “Lifejackets are like seat belts – they only work if you wear them, and wear them properly.”  For further information go to Canadian Red Cross.

Summer outdoor Merritt BC

Photo courtesy of Robert Neill.

Summer outdoor Merritt BC.

Lake Island. Photo by Robert Neill.

A Lake A Day As Long As You Stay

Experiencing Nicola Valley during Spring and Summer months is truly breathtaking. Lundbom Lake located 15min out of Merritt attracts many campers every year. Besides it’s beauty, Lundbom offers  fishing, horseback riding, mountain biking, ATVing and camping. To read more about Lundbom read Julie Pollard’s blog about  Lundbom Lake 

Horseback riding at Lundbom. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Lundbom Lake Reflection

Evening at Lundbom.

Need Fishing Gear?

Did you forget your fishing tackle or your fishing license? No worries, Merritt has a few locations that supply top notch fishing lures and supplies. Finding the right fishing gear is easy in Merritt, BC.  Expert information on your ideal fishing spots and camping areas can be found in the below sporting stores. 

“I was told the three best places to get lures in Merritt and the Nicola Valley were from Ponderosa Sports , Gun Fishing located in Merritt. As well,  Lucky Bug Lures, is a BC produced lure which works magic in our waters.”  Melvina White.

 

Outdoor Summer Adventure around Merritt BC.

Kiss the Fish! Photo Tania Stewart.

 

Priceless memories. Photo courtesy of Tania Stewart.

Summer fun! Photo by Robert Neill.

Summer Outdoor Adventures in Merritt BC

With lakes as dark as coal and lakes as blue as the sea. Deep or not so deep. Warm lakes and some very cold. The Nicola Valley has over 200 hundred lakes to pick from. You may even spot a lake monster here and there as part of your Merritt outdoor summer adventures. 

Local lake monster? Photo from Tania Stewart.

Kentucky-Alleyne Provincial Park 

Kentucky-Alleyne Provincial Park is located just off Highway 5A between Merritt and Princeton. Ideal for families who want to enjoy these two pristine lakes. Also both lakes will amaze you with sparkling turquoise water that draw anglers from near and far. As well as, both lakes have hiking trails for avid hikers. For more information about these two lakes go to Kentucky-Alleyne Provincial Park.

Kayaking on Kentucky Lake. Photo from Tania Stewart.

Alleyne lake. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Paska Lake near Logan Lake BC 

It is a 45 minute drive north of Merritt to Paska Lake. The turn off to the lake on Hwy 97D between Lac Lejeune and Logan Lake. Furthermore, the lake’ campground  contains around 50 sites many with lake views. 

Paska Lake is just one of almost two hundred lakes that are within an hours drive from Merritt. This is one of the reasons I love living in Merritt.” Tom Reynolds.

Paska Lake

Paska Lake-Shirley Reynolds Photo

Breakfast at the camp

Tom Reynolds – Photo Credit: Shirley Reynolds

Summer Adventures on Nicola Valley’s Lakes 

Here is a few lake’s that you may be interested in for planning your next outdoor summer adventures in Merritt BC. Consider these lakes for summer fun like Garcia Lake, Marquart Lake, Hamilton Lake, Edna Lake, Mathew Lake, Morgan Lake, Roth Lake, Gwen Lake,  and Lily Lake.

Photo courtesy of Robert Neill.

Summer outdoor Merritt BC.

Photo courtesy of Robert Neill.

Wildlife Outdoors. Summer outdoor Merritt BC.

Most importantly, while in the backcountry,  we all need to take action and become “Bear Aware” more and more in Merritt BC. Notably, because our habit’s are contributing to the increase in bear conflicts. Once bears start equating humans with food, they are conditioned and lose their natural fear of us. Hence bear and human conflict.  The bear is put down and not rescued in many circumstances. Make sure you store all food in a safe area as well never leave food out overnight on stove or picnic tables. Lesson your footprint! 

Summer outdoor Merritt BC.

Mountain goat. Photo by Robert Neill

Summer outdoor Merritt BC.

Photo by Robert Neill

Picture Perfect Summer in Merritt BC

Don’t forget your camera. Always a lot of wildlife to capture with a snap of a finger. If you are lucky you may see a mountain goat too! At the same time bird watchers will experience the wide variety of bird species within there habitat. As a result the Nicola Valley can boast a wide range of bird species. Truly a bird watchers dream!

AdventureMerrittBC.

Nesting. Photo courtesy Tania Stewart.

Staycation Merritt BC.

Bald eagle. Photo Tania Stewart.

Hiking while Camping is Another Outdoor Summer Adventure

Albeit being on the lake is sublime. Taking a short or lengthy hike is truly paramount for exploring the region within the outdoors. Surrounding most lakes and rivers in the Nicola Valley are many hiking trails that are easily accessible. Trails that offer an easy hike or a more extreme hike that may be a day trip.  Surely, which ever trail you choose, the view will be breathtaking.

Photo courtesy of Robert Neill.

Photo courtesy of Robert Neill.

Family Fun Times in the Nicola Valley

Assuredly, nothing can compare with the fun and memories that the outdoors has on people. Getting down with nature with your family is something that is unique, bonding, and creating many future adventurists. To be sure we all want to preserve nature we make sure to leave as little footprint as we can.

Summer outdoor Merritt BC.

The gangs all here! Photo courtesy of Robert Neill.

Priceless memories for everyone! Picture by Tania Stewart.

As previously stated “Outdoor Summer Adventure” around Merritt BC. is truly an experience. Canadian summers are brief, every day is an adventure to enjoy. Tania Stewart.

Summer Adventure on Nicola Valley's Lakes.

Summer fun. Photo courtesy of Robert Neill.

Summer Adventure on Nicola Valley's Lakes.

Water skiing. Photo courtesy of Robert Neill.

 

Photo courtesy of Robert Neill.

Summer Adventure on Nicola Valley's Lakes.

What fun. Image by Robert Neill.

The big question to ask yourself when coming to the Nicola Valley is which lake are you going to explore? The Experience Nicola Valley blog and Experience Merritt website is a good place to start,” Greg Girard.

In Conclusion!

Truly a lake a day is Merritt’s slogan. Albeit staying for a few days or just having a staycation this is were you will find it.

Merritt Outdoor Summer Adventures

Nicola Valley is home to over 200+ lakes and endless adventures

***

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Okanagan Circle Tours from Merritt BC

Similkimeen Okanagan Road Tripping – Part Two

One of many tours starting from the Nicola Valley

 

Okanagan Circle Tours – In my last blog I was talking about circle tours from Merritt, BC, in particular from Merritt to Princeton and then onto the Okanagan. The first part of the journey was from Merritt, BC to Princeton, BC, Canada.  While this trip is fun any time of the year the best period would be early to mid August.

On the Road Again – Okanagan Circle Tours From Merritt, BC

When you leave Princeton you want to head out on Highway 3 going east towards Penticton.  This is a gorgeous part of the trip as you follow the beautiful Similkimeen River.  While there are many points of interest along this route I will be only mentioning a few since this is only a two day tour.  

 

Our first point of interest is Hedley, BC, home of the Mascot Gold Mine.   The mine was closed in the mid twentieth century but was turned into a tourist attraction by the Province and the local first nations people.  Unfortunately the tours ended in 2018.  Despite not being able to take tours  anymore it is still impressive to see the structures that were put in place to mine the side of a mountain.

Mascot Gold Mine

Mascot Gold Mine

Stop #2-Circle Tours From Merritt, BC

While there are many choices to stop for lunch, one of my favourites is Bromley Rock Provincial Park.  This is a perfect spot for a picnic.  As well as  a great lunch venue you could also take a dip in the river.

Bromley Rock Provincial Park

Bromley Provincial Park

Keremeos-The Fruit Stand Capital of Canada.

Keremeos is the last stop in the Similkimeen Valley on our Okanagan Circle Tour from Merritt, BC.  Most of the fruit stands in Keremeos  are the traditional type where the stands are selling fruit from their own farms which is not always the case in other areas of the Province. For example, in August you can get the best peaches because they come from the orchards behind the fruit stands.

 

keremeos fruit stand

Keremeos Fruit Stand

While fruit is the main claim to fame for Keremeos, the Cathedral Lake Lodge is a must see.  Unfortunately you won’t have time on this trip but do book mark it for another time.  The alpine hiking is inspiring.  As well there is plenty of time to do simpler things like reading your book in a comfy chair by the lake.

Cathedral Lakes reading spot

Cathedral Lakes reading spot

Penticton is next on our circle tour from Merritt, BC

Hopefully y0u have timed your trip so that you leave Keremeos by 4:30 or 5:00 so that you can make Penticton by early evening.  You will need to book a hotel for one night.  The more expensive ones are on Okanagan lake while more reasonable accommodation can be had near Skaha Lake.  

After you settle in you will want a bite to eat.  While they have all the fast food choices the Hooded Merganser is a spectacular place to eat.  While it is on the pricier side of things its location on the lake cannot be beat.  Otherwise you may want to try a winery on the Naramata Bench.  We’ve actually eaten at the Hillside Winery where we had an experience we will never forget.

Hillside Winery

Hillside Winery

When we arrived it was a beautiful evening.  However, the wind started to pick up and the clouds began rolling in.  At this point many of the diners left the patio to go inside, but not us.  The temperature was dropping and the waiters brought us blankets. The rain began in earnest but we were protected by a roof. We became the only patrons left on the rooftop patio.  As if the wind and rain weren’t enough along came thunder and lightening.  It was truly spectacular.  By the way, the meal was great.

Day 2 starts in Penticton.

You’ll want to be up early because this will be another fun filled day.  There are so many fun things to do from having a lazy beach day, winery tours, shopping and my favourite, tubing the canal.

For wineries the Naramata Bench provides 19 wineries in very close proximity to each other.  For shopping you will want to take in the mom and pop shops on Main Street. As well you will want to visit the funky galleries on Front Street.

Finally I do recommend the tubing.  If you didn’t bring one you can rent one at Coyote Cruises which opens at 11:00 AM.  Allow three hours for the trip and 1/2 bus trip back.

Floating the canal

Floating the canal

Next stop on our circle tour from Merritt, BC is Summerland.

Summerland is split by Highway 97 with the commercial section on the west side of the road and the beach area down the hill on the other side of the street.  One of the main attractions is the steam train.  You have to be careful though because you might get robbed by bandits on horse back!  You need reservations and you may not get on board if you arrive too late from Penticton.

Steam Train

Steam Train

However not all is lost as downtown Summerland has some great unique stores in downtown.

Our Final Stop on our tour- Peachland

You have to plan your arrival in Peachland at dinner time because you will want to have the best dining experience in the whole Okanagan at the Gasthaus on the Lake Restaurant.

Whether you choose to sit on the beautiful patio with its flowers and trees or in the Bavarian style of the restaurant you will be impressed.  The food and service is also great.  As the last thing to do on this trip you will want to take in an Okanagan sunset,  Peachland has a stunning walk way that travels from one end of the village to the other.  Also there are many scenic spots to stop and take in the surroundings.  All in all this is a great way to end your trip as you prepare to head back to Merritt, BC

 

Peachland waterfront

Peachland waterfront

This Tour Ends

While this tour ended it is obvious that Merritt is a great place to use as a base camp for circle tours.  After all there are eight roads leading into and out of Merritt.

Okanagan Circle Tours from Merritt BC

Similkimeen Okanagan-Part Two

 

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Circle Tours from Merritt BC

Similkimeen Okanagan-Part One

One of many tours starting from the Nicola Valley

 

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

The American Plan

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

Planning Circle Tours from Merritt BC

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

The First Leg-Circle Tours from Merritt BC to Princeton

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

Circle tours from merritt bc  - great rainbow trout

Fishing at Corbett Lake

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

Lake Near Aspen Grove

Lake Near Aspen Grove

Kentucky Lake Hike

Kentucky Lake Hike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

AP Guest Ranch Circle Tours from Merritt BC

Experience Nicola Valley Bloggers visit AP Guest Ranch

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

BCThe Town of Princeton is upgrading its look

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

Princeton Circle Tours from Merritt BC

Princeton Entrance

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

Ulpgraded Facade

Upgraded façade

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

Other Activities in Princeton.

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

 

Pedestrian bridge

More of the Circle tour from Merritt, BC to come

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

Circle Tours from Merritt BC

Similkimeen Okanagan-Part One

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Winter Activities in Merritt BC

Outdoor Winter Activities in The Nicola Valley

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

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

Winter Activities in Merritt BC.

Snowshoeing in Merritt.

 Winters in Merritt, BC, Canada

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

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

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

Winter Activities in the Nicola Valley.

Cross country skiing Kane Valley. Photo by

merritt cross country skiing - kane valley

Cross country skiing on the Kane Valley Trails

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

Snowshoeing winter style. Photo by Bonnie Kittle.

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

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

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

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

snowmobiling on Helmer Lake

One of the great winter activities around Merritt, BC.

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

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

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

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

Where to Ice Fish in the Nicola Valley?

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

Photo courtesy of Freshwater Fisheries Society.

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

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

Star Gazing outdoor winter activities in The Nicola Valley.

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

Star Gazing. Photo by Alessandro Viaro.

Winter Activities in Merritt.

Photo courtesy of Calwaen Liew.

Winter Activities in Merritt BC.

Winter Moon. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Even more there is Winter Hiking! 

Hiking Kentucky Lake.

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

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

Winter Hiking. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Hiking trails in Merritt. Photo courtesy of Tania Stewart.

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

Winter in Merritt BC 

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

Winter in Merritt, BC, Canada

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Arts in Merritt on the Move

New Location for the Nicola Valley Community Arts Council

The Arts Will Grow

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

Old Courthouse Gallery

Old Courthouse Gallery – Bev Veale Painting

The Old Court House Gallery

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

Arts in Merritt BC on the Move

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

Arts in Merritt BC

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

The New Home Fits the Bill for Arts in Merritt

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

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

Gallery Space, Program Space and an Artisan Shop

The New Gallery

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

The New Gallery for arts in merritt bc

The new Gallery

 

Program Space

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

New Activity Room

New Activity Room

Artisan Shop

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

Artisan Shop for arts in merritt bc

Artisan Shop

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

Arts on the Move – The First Show

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

Meet Jean Kiegerl

Jean Kiegerl

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

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

Quiilchena Falls-Jean Kiegerl Painting

Quilchena Falls – Jean Kiegerl Painting

 

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

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

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

Red Car

Red Car-Jean Kiegerl Painting

Twin Willows Glass Arts

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

Panda-Twin Willows Glass Arts

Panda-Twin Willows Glass Arts

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

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

Old Courthouse Gallery Contact Info

Nicola Valley Arts Gallery

2051 Voght St, Merritt, BC

New Hours Wednesday to Saturday

12 noon to 6 pm

Sunday 12-4pm

(beginning Oct 21st)

nicolavaleyartsgallery@gmail.com

Phone 250-315-3437

Or text 250-315-3437

 

Arts in Merritt BC

Nicola Valley Art Gallery is Born

 

Merritt British Columbia Canada Top Travel & Adventure Guides

“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.