Nicola is a large, windy, and busy lake so we paddle it at strategic times. There are 3 launch areas on the east shore of the lake and of the three, we enjoy the north end of the lake the most. Another fine paddling area is along the west shoreline, south from Monck Park. There are several launch spots in the park. We chose one on a small beach at the southern edge of the campground.
To the north of Monck Park are a series of homes along the shoreline. There were a number of personal watercraft and larger power boats in that area, with the usual noise and wakes, okay for a few minutes, but not peaceful.
Rocky bluffs rise up from the lake at various points.
After the last bluff, a large bay leads to the Harmon Estates development, a good place to turn around, but this route still providing a 10 km paddle.
Rising above the west shore of Nicola Lake are rocky bluffs on an unnamed mountain. Although there are no trails to the top, it would appear we could hike up to the northeast side of the mountain and traverse to the top of the cliffs. That will be another day.
On the way out and back were a number of birds – a loon, spotted sandpapers, a bald eagle, a merganser, a kingfisher, a woodpecker, butterflies and dragonflies, and some small forest birds, all keeping me company along the shoreline.