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

South Surrey’s Darts Hill Garden Park to re-open – by appointment

City of Surrey-run garden will be open to visitors Thursday through Saturday

Surrey baseball association loses ‘a true giant’ in Bruce Lawson

Longtime volunteer ‘always gave his heart and soul to Surrey Canadian and the game of baseball’

Surrey School District forecasts up to 30 per cent of students will return to class this week

Education Minister Rob Fleming said on June 1, about 60,000 B.C. children returned to school

Surrey Mounties respond to report of shots fired in Cloverdale

They took 12 people into custody but found no evidence shots were actually fired

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

RCMP, coroner investigate ‘unexpected deaths’ on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

NDP getting COVID-19 wage subsidy ‘indirectly,’ B.C. Liberal leader says

B.C. NDP says Andrew Wilkinson is wrong about federal link

Parent, superintendent, trustee report smooth return to classrooms in B.C.

The biggest challenge is convincing families that it’s safe, some say

Two more COVID-19 cases reported by Langley long term care facility

One resident, one staffer have tested positive for the coronavirus

Most Read

l -->