I was missing the green-ness of home when I suggested to my husband and brother-in-law that we check out Falls Lake. This is a tiny little lake located within the Coqhihalla Summit Recreation Area. While I would like to have explored more of the park we came rather late in the afternoon of a sunny weekend. It was distinctly cooler and damper in this area compared to Merritt which lies within the southern interior bio-climatic zone. Forests of fir, cedar and pines cover the mountains and I saw wild blueberry among other plants.
The hike in is a kilometer and a half mostly uphill but nothing strenuous. It opened out onto a shore that had small boat access and plenty of room to set up a tent although there are no facilities. The water was alive with little trout coming up for whatever was landing on the water and I imagine the deeper part of the lake holds good sized fish.
It was a nice break from the usual brilliant sunshine of the Nicola Valley and I had to remind myself that one of the best reasons for living in Merritt was because of the absence of such a forceful and damp atmosphere as Falls Lake. It is almost typical of the brooding, misty feeling of the west coast tucked away into the mountains until the sun breaks out and makes it look like there should be a summer camp on the far shore!
To get there you drive to the Falls Lake turnoff which is located midway between Hope and Merritt, B.C. The road in goes for about a kilometer west and from there on you walk in. The Coqhihalla Summit Recreation Area itself is open to fishing, hunting, hiking, cross-country skiing, and horseback riding. It is a very historic area as remnants of the Kettle Valley Railway which operated from the 1900's to the 60'd can still be found here.We concluded our day with a stop at Kingsvale which is located on the Coldwater Road coming into Merritt. Kingsvale appears to have been a small community that established itself along the Kettle Valley Railway. There is one very old but well preserved building beside the road and remains of a bridge and a few smaller structures.