The Kane Valley lies south east of Merritt and can be accessed from the Coquihalla Highway or from the Okanagan Connector. In my case, I came from Merritt, I drove south for around 10 kms on Highway 97C and then I followed the signs for Kane Valley Cross Country Ski Trails.
Horse riding is a very popular activity during Summer and Fall seasons
The best months to enjoy Nordic skiing are January and February. 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
There are five parking areas with the largest being P3. This parking spot can accommodate buses and also has a shelter with a fire pit. There are shelters with fire pits throughout the trail system as well as outhouses. There is, however, no cabin with a wood stove.
The trails are not track set. The trails are groomed with a roller-packer pulled by a snowmobile. Present trail width and grooming do not encourage 'skating' or racing.
If you are not a member of the Nicola Nordic Ski Club you are requested to make a $5 voluntary donation each time you use the trails .
When the snow is gone you can enjoy summer activities on the trail system such as hiking, mountain bicycling, bird-watching and wildlife viewing.
Because of the rain, the snow was very wet and I had a hard time using my cross-country skis. I decided to come back and do some snowshoeing (yes, I always carry skis and snowshoes when going out) around the lakes.
Lower Kane Lake
The Fish and Wildlife Branch of B.C. Environment, Lands and Parks conducts lake rehabilitation programs to improve sport fisheries. Lower Kane Lake was chemically treated to remove coarse fish such as shiners, squawfish and suckers (do not confuse with the ones you see every day at work) which compete with sport fish for food and habitat. Instream barriers prevent re-entry of coarse fish and the lake has been restocked with sport fish. The lake is managed as a quality fishery and is illegal to use or have live or dead fish for bait.
IThis area offers an example by the Ministry of Forests to manage the Pine Beetle. The pine beetles, a natural ocurrence, have drastically increased in number due to extensive aging forests, mild winters and drought conditions (that many enviromentalists see as a sign of Global Warning)
What they do here is to concentrate the insects in selected trees, then harvest and dispose the trees, There is additional harvesting to remove infected stands and site preparation and planting to encourage quick regeneration.
There are several Forest Service campsites at Kane Lake or Harmon Lake ($10,00 per night). A very popular area because of the fishing, dry weather and hiking trails. Cattle on open range is common including a large Charolais bull that loves to scare the horses by lurking just out of sight in the bush.
Charolais cattle is a beef breed which originated in Charolais, arond Charolles, in France (so you know if you happen to see the bull).
Sunset at Harmon Lake
For more information of Kane Valley Cross-Country Trails, click here
1. Elev: 1082m N49:58.513' W120:42.040' Parking Lot 6
2. Elev: 1275m N50:00.032' W120:41.774' Beaver Pond
Total Round Trip: 7 km (4.37 miles)
Time: 4 hours
Elevation gain: 193 m (633 ft)
Driving distance from Vancouver: 276 km (172 miles)