Wrap up warm and wax those skis. The climate of Gold Country produces perfect conditions for avid skiers. The region is home to a number of well-maintained and exhilarating trails, including the Big Bar Ski Trails that has approximately 30kms of groomed trails (with incredible views of the Marble Range), the Clinton Cross-Country Ski Trails (60km), Logan Lake Cross-Country Trails (including 2km that are lit at night for a wonderful winter experience) and the Kane Valley Recreational Area (south of Merritt and maintained by the Nicola Nordic Ski Club). The popular Stake Lake trails (Copper Desert Country) are maintained by the Overlander Ski Club, who also offer lessons and kids’ ski equipment rentals.
A sociable winter sport here in Gold Country, with clubs hosting events throughout the season, get in touch with the curling associations in Ashcroft, Clinton, Lillooet, Logan Lake and Merritt to find out more.
“A lake a day as long as you stay” is a local expression that can be aptly applied to the Gold Country region. Many of our well-stocked lakes are excellent spots for ice fishing. Popular locations include Loon Lake, Tunkwa Lake and Chataway Lake. The staff at Powderkeg Outdoor Supply (2052 Nicola Avenue) and Ponderosa Sports (1914 Voght Street) in Merritt would be happy to clue you in to more of the area’s best ice fishing spots.
Glide across the ice at the Nicola Valley Aquatic Centre in Merritt, the Logan Lake Recreation Centre, the Lillooet Recreation Centre, or the Drylands Arena in Ashcroft.
Many of Gold Country’s communities have beautiful surrounding areas suitable for snowshoeing experiences. Some cross-country ski trails also provide snowshoeing trails, including the Big Bar and Stake Lake trails. Stake Lake also has snowshoe rentals, as do some accommodations in Gold Country.
Lillooet’s surrounding areas provide some of the best terrain for the sport in B.C. The easily accessible and awe-inspiring frozen waterfalls are not to be taken lightly. Beginners can book lessons with the Canadian West Mountain School. Popular spots include the Joffre Glacier Group and Marble Canyon.
Imagine a bird’s eye view of incredible winter terrain, before being taken into the heart of backcountry ski trails. Contact the Lillooet-based company, CC Helicopters to make this dream a reality.
Gold Country has perfect snowmobiling terrain, as members of the Merritt Snowmobile Club and the Logan Lake Snow Riders Association will confirm. One of the most adventurous routes is the 350km Gold Rush Snowmobile Trail heading north from Clinton to Barkerville and passing 70 Mile House. Other popular areas include the Coquihalla Lakes, Thynne Mountain (approx 55km of trails), Swakum Mountain, Stoyoma Mountain (over 100km of trails), Carson Mountain near Clinton, the Lundbom trails near Aspen Grove, Lac Le Jeune, Tunkwa Provincial Park, Greenstone Mountain and the Tranquille Lake/Porcupine Meadows Snowmobile Trail System in Copper Desert Country.
These thrilling races see vehicles speeding and sliding across Barnes Lake (near Ashcroft) every January and February. The Western Canadian Ice Racing Association of British Columbia puts on these events, and offers programs for novice and experienced ice racers.
The BC Championships come to Stake Lake in Copper Desert Country each year. The Overlander Ski Club that maintains the trails at Stake Lake organize a number of other competitive events during the winter season.
The Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club hosts an Ice Fishing Derby every January on Mammette Lake.
The Polar Carnival in Logan Lake is a week crammed with fun winter activities, including an outdoor speed skating oval maintained by the River City Racers speed skating club.
Many locals enjoy watching and participating in pond hockey events throughout the region. The largest official pond hockey event takes place every January in Logan Lake. Known as the Logan Lake Pond Hockey Classic, this is a great opportunity to watch Canada’s favourite sport in a truly Canadian setting – on a frozen lake in the middle of winter!
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