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Dillard Creek Ranch with Private Lake - Rural Merritt, BC
Dillard Creek Ranch with Private Lake - Rural Merritt, BC
Private outdoorsman retreat. Only 3 hours to Vancouver. 141 acres w/ 5 acre lake stocked w/ trout. Great fishing & hunting. Commercial grade dock. 3 storey house w/ unfinished basement. Great off-grid systems. Very private, great view & tons of wildlife.
  • Size: 141 acres
  • Area: SWBC
  • Price: $895,000
  • Listing Agent: Sam Hodson - sam@landquest.com
  • Phone Number: 604-694-7623
Description :

The Dillard Creek Ranch is an amazing and completely private property about 3 hours from Vancouver in an area known as Nicola Country off Highway 5A, about halfway between Merritt and Princeton, and 14 km south of Aspen Grove. The Otter Creek Valley is home to a number of beautiful ranches, acreages, homes, and the Kentucky Alleyne Provincial Park. In the rain shadow of the Canadian Cascade Mountains, it enjoys among the highest levels of sunshine in BC and abundant natural grasslands, forest, and wildlife.


The property is 141 acres, slightly bowl-shaped with high lands on the north and south ends and a 15-acre meadow with a 5-acre lake in the middle of the property. That’s right! Your own private lake!


The kidney-shaped lake has an average depth of 10’-12’, with a 25’-30’ deep well at the east end of the lake. Surrounded by natural marsh and vegetation, it is home to an abundance of birds and wildlife. Over 40 different species of birds were identified during one week of May in 2017. Fed by spring runoff from the nearby mountains, the lake level normally drops two or three feet in the summer, depending on conditions. It is perfectly suitable for swimming, boating and other water sports and has been stocked with trout in the past, which thrive under the feeding conditions. The previous owner indicated that he had reared large trout to 14 lbs. in the lake and the current owner has indicated that their experience has been similar.


This property is ideal for a private fishing property and an outdoorsman’s paradise with an abundance of wildlife on the property and in the area. The owners have never hunted on the property however, the area is popular for hunters and fishermen with numerous lakes, migratory birds, deer, moose, elk and bears.


The north and south ends of the property are timbered with good stands of lodgepole pine, ponderosa pine, Douglas fir and spruce. The meadow, originally used for hay production or grazing, is set up with a flood irrigation system comprised of a series of ditches in the main part of the meadow, a culvert and dam dividing the meadow and feeding a secondary, smaller meadow, and a dugout at the west end of the property with a manually controlled flood gate. The system has not been used for many years and it would require a good deal of work to bring the meadow back into some form of production. The system can also be used to control the lake water levels during periods of variable precipitation or dryness. In 2015 about 2 km of roadways and trails were cleared, providing a network of roads around the interior perimeter of the fence line and throughout the property, excellent for walking, hiking and ATV access.


Significant improvements on the property include a large commercial grade dock designed, built and installed to commercial standards to provide access to the lake. The dock includes: 8’ x 8’ anchored shore deck (4’ x 12’ concrete footings), 30’ single piece aluminum ramp with ThruFlow ultra violet protection. The dock is water resistant with anti-slip decking which minimizes shadowing on environmentally sensitive parts of the shoreline. It has a 16’ x 24’ floating platform with 5-point anchoring, double beam construction, stainless steel or galvanized hardware and select grade Douglas fir decking and a 7’ custom built, powder coated access ladder. The dock does not shift more than a few inches laterally but self-adjusts up and down according the lake water level which can be several feet.


The three storey, four bedroom house sleeps 10 and has one full bathroom, two showers, two half bathrooms, main floor, upstairs and full unfinished basement. The kitchen has a propane fridge and stove, dishwasher, double sink and plenty of cupboard space. The dining room seats 6 people comfortably and you will enjoy views of the lake, nearby mountains and forest from the living room. There are two wood burning fireplaces, and a propane hot water tank. The basement is unfinished, but is set up as a work shop which includes its own wood burning stove and an outside, covered concrete pad.


Water is supplied from a dug well and in 2015 Field Drilling drilled a 600’ well. While the drilled well yield was less than one gallon per minute, this well itself acts as a cistern and can store up approximately 2,000 gallons of water. The property is off-grid and runs on a 25 kW, Kubota diesel generator in a generator shed and remotely controlled from the house. The generator has about 4,000 hours is regularly maintained and has a 600 L diesel storage tank is next to the generator shed.


This is a truly one-of-a-kind property in an outdoorsman’s paradise. See the history section below to learn about its historical significance.


Properties like this do not become available very often and they never last very long, so please contact the listing REALTOR® today for more information or to book a time to go by for a look.

Location : Dillard Creek Forest Service Road - property is located about halfway between Merritt and Princeton off Highway 5A, approximately 14 km south of Aspen Grove.
Access : The property is approximately 2 km east of Highway 5A along the Dillard Creek Forest Service Road, towards nearby Missezula Lake and Bluey Lake. The Dillard Creek Forest Service Road is a well maintained road that is plowed many winters, but not all, by Weyerhauser depending on the logging activities in the area. In the summer, the road is smooth and wide and can be easily travelled by virtually every type of car, truck or heavy machinery. In the winter the current owner would clear the road from the house to the highway with a snowplough. In the case of an emergency, one can easily walk from the house to the road in about 20 - 30 minutes, including the winter.
Improvements :
  • Main House - three storeys including an unfinished basement, main floor and upstairs
  • Fully wired and plumbed, 10’ x 20’ portable trailer which could be converted into a cabin
  • Large commercial grade dock providing access to the lake. The dock was designed, built and installed to commercial standards by Shoreline Pile Driving of Kelowna
  • Separate generator shed with a 25 kW, Kubota diesel Genset which is remotely controlled from the house
Investment Features :
  • Property is NOT in the ALR and is eligible for sub-division.
  • Agricultural Consultants Feasibility Report available - promising and viable options include: hops and quinoa
  • Includes a Live Fish Permit which enables the lake to be stocked annually with fish for owner’s use and consumption
  • Includes a Water Usage and Storage (Groundwater) Licence: (Domestic at 2.27 m3/day, Irrigation at 185,000 m3/year)
Services :

Large propane storage tank maintained and filled by Superior Propane.


Water is supplied from a dug well and in 2015 Field Drilling (Larry Field) drilled a 600’ drilled well.


Power is provided by a 25 kW, Kubota diesel Genset which is remotely controlled from the house and is located in a separate generator shed. The generator has approximately 3,000 hours of life on it and is regularly maintained, and documented. A 600 L diesel storage tank is located next to the generator shed.


Septic installed.

Recreation :

There are countless miles of logging roads and various other trails to explore on horseback, on foot, by ATV or snowmobile. In fact, each winter hundreds of people enjoy the amazing snowmobiling and ATVing the area has to offer. “A lake a day as long as you stay” is not just a slogan for the Nicola Valley region - it's a fact. With over 150 lakes in the area, this region is unrivaled for its sports fishing. In particular, Nicola Lake is notorious for its great variety of fish. It is said to contain an incredible 26 different species! Angling is the most popular form of fishing here but enthusiasts are also successful with fly and ice fishing. Alleyne and Kentucky Lake are the two largest lakes in the region and are constantly visited by campers hoping to get away from the rush and stress of modern day living.


Other popular activities include:

  • Fishing
  • Hunting
  • Horseback riding
  • ATVing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Biking
  • Cross-country skiing

Visitors can also enjoy other recreational activities including canoeing and hiking. The Nicola Valley offers a rustic open-country feel rich with history and fantastic wintertime recreational opportunities. Traces of the old west can be felt across the valley through its historic attractions and working ranches such as Western Canada's largest, Douglas Lake Ranch. Explore the area's rich logging, mining and First Nation's history at the Nicola Valley Museum and Archives featuring the James A Teit Gallery. Historic Baillie House and Merritt's most famous landmark, The Coldwater Hotel (circa 1909), are two the area's original structures you must visit. The beauty of the Nicola Valley is just as spectacular when covered with snow - snowmobilers love it here. There are a variety of snowmobiling adventures from Thyne Mountain for the novice to challenging hill climbing at Honeymoon Range. There are also 40 km (24 mi) of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails.

History : The property was homesteaded in 1891 by Alonzo A. Roberts initially as 320 acres. It sits on the Historic Granite Creek - Nicola Trail that ran from Quilchena to Granite Creek (near Tulameen) during a brief gold rush starting in 1886. Several historic artifacts have been found on the property and the road from the lake to the house is a remnant of the original trail. Additional information on Granite Creek can be found at www.granitecreekbc.ca or by contacting the Nicola Valley Archives. I also have copies of the original survey notebooks from the homesteading survey and the hand drawn diagram of the lot, showing the trail.
Zoning : RL - 1
Legal : THAT PART SHOWN AS LOT A ON PLAN B1090 DISTRICT LOT 842 KAMLOOPS DIVISION YALE DISTRICT
PID 013-012-924
Taxes : 1,762.17 (2018)
Map Reference : 49°49'12.73"N and 120°35'23.88"W
Listing # : 18243