Nicola Lake is the largest and the most popular lake activity destination in the region surrounding the community of Merritt, BC, Canada. Highway 5A, east of Merritt, follows the southeast shores of Nicola Lake for approximately 22 kilometres revealing many access points to the lake for sightseeing, swimming and picnicking. Nicola Lake provides some of the best lake views while traveling the major highways in the valley. Many visit the lake, every year, for camping, boating, water skiing, canoeing, fishing and sailing.
The lake is over 6215 hectares. That is allot of lake. Spotted along each shoreline of the elongated lake is a series of campgrounds, boat launches, day use areas, rest stops and viewpoints. Speed boats, canoes and sail boats access the lake from selected boat launches. Some come to water ski and others come to fish for kokanee and rainbow trout said to reach up to 8 kg (20 lbs).
The major park on Nicola Lake is Monck Provincial Park. A large campground on a sandy beach with 120 campsites servicing RVs and tenters. Located nearby is a hiking trail leading to a second beach, more viewpoints and some First Nation Pictographs.
Nicola river drains in and out of Nicola Lake eventually connecting to the Thompson River. Nicola River is full of corners creating pools ideal for spincasting and fly fishing for steelhead, Dolly Varden and salmon.
The river connecting to Nicola Lake is also a very popular paddling route for kayakers. The river route is split into four sections, rated from Grade 1 - 3. Put-in locations include Voght Street in Merritt, N'Kwala Forest Service Site, Chief Joe Anthony Bridge and Shakan Campground.