Family Getaway - 2017 Keystone Hideout
Family Getaway - 2017 Keystone Hideout
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Known as the country music capital of Canada, Merritt draws country music enthusiasts from right across the country. However, this beautiful city is known for a whole lot more than just tunes.
Nestled in the Nicola Valley in south-central British Columbia, roughly 170 miles northeast of Vancouver, Merritt has something to suit a wide range of RV travelers. It boasts beautiful lakes and outdoor spaces, excellent fishing, and popular hiking and mountain biking routes.
It's also easily accessible from Kamloops and Kelowna and is home to several welcoming campgrounds, making it a convenient place to visit in a rental RV. Keep reading to find out how to rent a motorhome in Merritt and enjoy the perfect stay.
If you arrive in Merritt seeking fresh air and open spaces, you've come to the right place. There are several outdoor attractions to enjoy, and one of the best of them is Nicola Lake. Located to the northeast of Merritt, this beautiful lake is a popular spot for swimming, fishing, and water skiing. Monck Provincial Park sits right on the shores of Nicola Lake and offers easy access to the many recreational activities on offer — for a lot of visitors, the highlight is trying to catch some of the seven species of fish that live in the lake.
You'll find several other lakes in the surrounding countryside, so you might want to steer your camper rental from Merritt towards Harmon Lake. Roughly half an hour to the south, this picture-perfect lake is a popular swimming spot during the summer months. Campsites are also available here, while nature lovers will enjoy setting out to explore the Harmon Lake Forest Interpretive Trail. This path is just over a mile and a half long, less than three kilometers round-trip, making it easy for the whole family to tackle.
One of the other main outdoor attractions in and around Merritt is mountain biking. You'll find four main areas to ride — Swakum Mountain, Coutlee Plateau, Iron Mountain, and Sugarloaf Mountain — with trails to suit riders of all skill levels. The Coutlee Plateau area is a particular highlight and offers a challenging cross-country loop, while the Swakum Mountain trails can be easily accessed close to Merritt.
Once you rent an RV in British Columbia, you'll need to find the perfect RV park or campground where you can set up camp for your stay. One option worth considering is the Claybanks RV Park. Situated near the Coldwater River in the city's south, this park is open all year long. There are 44 serviced sites, 10 of which are pull-throughs for easy access. Eight sites are fully winterized. Restrooms and showers are available as well as a snack and gift shop. Pets are also welcome in the campground.
Moon Shadows RV Park and Campground is another riverside camping area, but it's located a little further out of the city. This campground features 25 serviced and 25 non-serviced RV sites, as well as a number of tent sites. All sites come with picnic tables. Several sites are pull-through, and a campground store is available when you need to stock up on essentials.
Alternatively, park your motorhome rental from Merritt in Monck Provincial Park. This pretty lakeside park features 120 RV-friendly campsites complete with access to flush toilets and drinking water. A dump station is available during peak season, and leashed pets are welcome in the park.
When you're ready to hit the road in your RV rental in Merritt and explore everything the city has to offer, you'll probably want to head for the historic Baillie House. This beautiful property has remained more or less unchanged since the early 20th century and features a barn, former store, and gorgeous garden. It's also the site of the Merritt Visitor Information Centre, so it's a great place to stop and find all the essential info you need to plan your visit.
Next, you might decide it's time to immerse yourself in Merritt's country music heritage. To do this, pay a visit to the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, which celebrates the best of Canadian country music. You can also tackle the Walk of Stars, where performers at the annual Merritt Mountain Music Festival have placed their handprints and signatures in concrete stars. You can also marvel at the beautiful murals of famous country artists.
One other local attraction well worth visiting is the Nicola Valley Museum & Archives. This museum is located in the downtown area and provides a glimpse into what life was like in Merritt in the city's early years. You'll find photos and artifacts from all over the Nicola Valley, making this a must-visit for any history buff.
Whatever type of adventure you're planning, Merritt has no shortage of exciting experiences on offer. Find an RV rental near Merritt and start planning your perfect vacation today.