B.C. provincial park campsites and day-use facilities like washrooms were closed March 24. (Black Press files)

COVID-19: Selected B.C. parks set to open for day use May 14

Reservation system set to reopen May 25 for dates starting June 1

Some of B.C.’s hundreds of provincial parks and protected areas are set to open on the eve of the Victoria Day long weekend, but camping opportunities aren’t coming until June and July due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The province shut its parks down to all visitors April 8, on the advice of RCMP, local governments and search and rescue organizations. Restoring services closed for COVID-19 public health measures depends on continued success in keeping infection rates low.

Campgrounds and day-use facilities like washrooms had already been closed as of March 24, official concluding that the B.C. parks system is too vast to enforce public health rules on gatherings, and there were reports of parties and other unregulated activities.

In his “restart B.C.” announcement May 6, Premier John Horgan said some B.C. parks will be open in time for the long weekend that is the traditional start to camping season – for day use only.

“Let’s enjoy that, but let’s stay close to home,” Horgan cautioned. “This is not the time for a road trip to another community for a hike or a holiday. If you have a provincial park in your area, by all means, visit it. Do not travel great distances. We need to stay close to home. That is a key part of our recovery.”

RELATED: B.C. closes all provincial parks due to COVID-19

RELATED: B.C. prepares to restart retail, restaurants, services

B.C. Parks’ Discover Camping reservation website is expected to be in operation May 25, with up-to-date information and a search option on what campgrounds are available for booking. Most campgrounds are expected to open for arrivals on June 1.

Provincial parks that remain closed until further notice include popular destinations in Metro Vancouver, such as Golden Ears, Rolley Lake, Mount Seymour and Cypress.

Other provincial parks that are not opening for day use May 14 include Joffre Lakes and Garibaldi in the South Coast region; Horsefly Lake and Goldpan in the Thompson Cariboo; Shuswap Lake, Okanagan Lake, Kootenay Lake and Kokanee Glacier Provincial Parks in the Kootenay-Okanagan; Juan de Fuca, Kin Beach and Hesquiat Lake in the West Coast region; and Omineca and Liard River Hot Springs in the Northern region of B.C. Parks.

A full list of B.C.’s provincial parks and protected areas with operation status is here.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Drivesmart column: Are slow drivers breaking the law?

When I am behind a driver that is going slower it bothers me.

Cowichan’s 49ers just miss fourth Grover Cup

Since the 49ers were founded, the team had never lost a Tony Grover Cup final

Mary Lowther column: Contemplating the compost heap

David made me a three-bin compost system

Sarah Simpson Column: Mistakes will happen but kindness prevails

You know those jerks who always follow the trail directions wrong? I… Continue reading

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Most Read