Minnie Lake – Kamloops Trails
Posted on: August 11, 2019 12:49 am
by: Doug Smith
Access to Minnie Lake and Stoney Lake has been the subject of media attention after Douglas Lake Cattle Company closed down public access 20 years ago. The Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club took up the challenge of public access and after many years in the courts, they won the case. The judgement in the case ordered Douglas Lake to allow public access to the lakes. With this announcement in mind, I drove down to see I could paddle the lakes. Minnie Lake is about 18.5 km east of Nicola Lake. The route climbs over the Quilchena Plateau grasslands, a scenic drive on backroads.
At the bottom of the hill, a road goes to the right and paddlers will have to open, then close the gate behind them. Minnie Lake is a short drive up the road. There is no signage to point out lakeside access, but with a a little looking around, I found 3 good access points for a hand launch.
There is no spot for a trailer launch but I was able to easily park next to the lake and launch my 18 foot kevlar kayak.
The lake is surrounded by meadows and pastures with a little bit of marshy shoreline.
A paddle around the shoreline of the lake is about 8.4 km. There was no one else on the lake, nor any homes along the shoreline so it was just the shoreline birds, the ducks, loons, and one green kayak.
There was an old outhouse where I parked, remnants of an old access parking/launch area from more than 20 years ago
I paddled the lake then also checked out the access to Stoney Lake. A signed primitive road winds to the north shore of the lake where there is another hand launch site. This will be another day to paddle the 4.2 km around the lake. We would like to thank the Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club for fighting this long battle to maintain access to these two lakes and with the decision, also set a precedent for public access to our province’s lakes.