August 23, 2011 | Tips from Us >
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The final camping trip of the year: it has all the potential to be a sad
occasion. But as we found out, it's hard to be sad when you're lounging
lakeside on a sandy beach in 30 degree weather. Very hard indeed.
We got to enjoy 3 days of this on our recent trip to Monck Provincial Park
on Nicola Lake. Established in 1951, the original land was
donated and was the site of an old homestead. Today it's home to 120 dry
and dusty campsites, nestled in the pine trees, plus access to the
lovely Nicola Lake. It's just 30 minutes or so north-east of Merritt,
The climate is very
hot and dry, so expect to spend
most of the day by the lake (oh, darn).
Adjacent to the sandy swimming area is a day use area with uncovered and
covered picnic tables. There's also a playground and horseshoe pits
(just ask at the entrance gate for shoes). The large, open field is
great for bocce, frisbee or whatever other lawn games you might have
brought along. There are also two First Nations pit house depressions in
the field - story goes, the local First Nations peoples used to winter in them (although as some kids discovered, they also make sweet bike jumps).
The park also features a 5km interpretive hike. We decided to
do this on the second day - in hindsight, we probably should have left
earlier when it wasn't quite as hot, as the trail was quite exposed and
the temperature was close to 30 degrees. But it was still enjoyable. The
first half saw us climb up the hill behind the park and experience some
fantastic views of the lake from between the pine trees. There's also a
neat section where you walk along a huge exposed rock face. The second
half took us down the hill, across the road and along the water. Near
the end, you end up passing right by the park's swimming area - so bring
your suits along, you'll want a dip! Note that there are several steep
sections on this hike (going both up and down) and that you have to
cross the road twice. It took us about an hour total. There is an
alternative, much shorter loop that starts from the same spot and only
takes about 20 minutes. I'd recommend the longer route though, if not
simply for the views!
As I mentioned above, the campsites are
quite dusty due to the hot climate. If possible, try to score one of the
spots with partial or full shade (as some of them are quite exposed).
The upside of the hot summer temperatures is that it stays warm quite
late into the evening, so even with the fire ban we were able to hang
out in t-shirts quite comfortably at night. If you have a boat, bring it
- there's a boat launch in the day use area and the lake is quite large
so there's lots to explore on the water. If you have kids, bring them
too - there were all kinds of little ones playing on the beach and
riding bikes around the campground.
Although our camping is done
for the season, our last trip was probably the best of the summer.
We'll definitely be visiting Monck Park again!
ps - if you do go and aren't in a rush on your way home, consider stopping in at a cool heritage site - Murray United Church
August 06, 2011 | Tips from Travellers >
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Aug1st 2011, our first trip to Davis lake. I must say I was pleasantly surprised. I did try to find as much info on the Lake online, but it was very limited so, I took some pictures and wanted to write a little info on Davis Lake for any first timers like me visiting the Lake.
I was pleased that there were many sites and they were not right beside each other. We had a tent and a tent trailer and the sites we picked (#19 and #20) were completely flat. All sites appeared to be very level. There is a steel rim to build a fire in. Outhouses were cleaned and checked daily. The park attendance were very nice people. My son was quite disappointed that the fishing was not good that weekend. A few were caught by others (trolling with wedding band, willow leaf, and worm). There is a small boat launch area and its easy to get to. Swimming is good and the lake is refreshing.
One down fall of the campsite was that Davis Lake is a VERY POPULAR destination for dirt bikes and quads noisy all day, but campers were mindful at night.There seemed to be a wind everyday, but calmed just in time for the evening. I was also happy there were very little mosquitoes. I am new to this site so I will try and see if my beautiful pictures of the Lake can be uploaded.
You will enjoy your time at Davis Lake.
I am going to post more pics on YouTube if you would like to see all the
shots I took. It will give you a good idea of what the Lake is like.
I want to add, I mentioned the dirt bikes and
quads. There is a sign posted reminding off roaders to idle out of the
campsite and onto the many trails nearby. Most campers follow the rule,
but those who don't get a "shout out" by other campers to slow down.
They do stick to the trails that are off in the hills, but the getting
there can be noisy. We still had a great time and by day 2, the noise
didn't seem to be as prominent.