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

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

John Edmondson, left, from Bread of Life, Colin Minions and Capt. Michael Ramsay from the Salvation Army demonstrate Port Alberni’s first community food pantry, located on Tebo Avenue outside Jericho Road Church, Jan. 22, 2021. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Free food pantry opens in Port Alberni

Volunteers will monitor the pantry to make sure it stays stocked

Carol Hanson and Ellen Frood of ACAWS were two of the first 100 people to raise $500 for the Coldest Night of the Year 2021 event across Canada. They received these hoodies in recognition of their efforts. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Coldest Night of the Year goes virtual for 2021

Port Alberni organizers urging people to share photos of their walks to create community feel

Larry Brechin’s first day working at Woodward’s Store in 1962. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
VALLEY SENIORS: Woodward’s was an Alberni Valley landmark

Port Alberni residents share their memories of the department store

A Viking Air Twin Otter takes off on Runway 12 midway through a day of test flights on Jan. 13, 2021 at the Alberni Valley Regional Airport. Viking Air is located in Victoria. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Viking Air tests Twin Otter at Port Alberni airport

Victoria-based company used rural airport for numerous flights

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: Vancouver Island in a January spike while B.C. cases decrease

Island’s top doc Dr. Stanwick breaks down the Island’s rising numbers

(Twitter/Ateachersaurus)
The Pachena Bay shoreline in 2013. (Twitter/Ateachersaurus)
This week in history: 9.0 magnitude quake struck under what is now called Vancouver Island

According to First Nations elders, the 9.0-magnitude quake in 1700 CE kick-started a tsunami

(Kraft Dinner/Twitter)
Kraft Dinner launches candy-flavoured mac and cheese just in time for Valentine’s Day

Sweet and cheesy treat will be here just in time for the cheesiest holiday of the year

Extensive water on No. 4 and 5 at the Mount Brenton Golf Course following heavy rains earlier this month. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Island golf course does a booming business in 2020

A total of 15,000 more rounds played than the previous year at Mount Brenton

SAR crews worked late into the night Tuesday to rescue an injured snowboarder in North Vancouver. (Facebook/North Shore Rescue)
Complicated, dangerous rescue saves man in avalanche near Cypress Mountain

North Shore SAR team braves considerable conditions to reach injured snowboarder

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
UPDATE: No sign of small plane that went down in waters south of Vancouver Island

Searchers out on both sides of border between Victoria and Port Angeles

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A tip from the public helped Victoria police located and arrest wanted men Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Tips lead police to arrest convicted killer, robber near downtown Victoria

Two men were at large after failing to return to community facility

The Pacific Rim Whale Festival is breaching for a COVID-safe return in March. (Poster photo by Owen Crosby)
Pacific Rim Whale Festival aims for virtual return in March

Educational celebration scheduled to arrive in Tofino-Ucluelet on March 15.

In this undated image made from a video taken by the Duke of Sussex and posted on @SaveChildrenUK by the Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, shows the Duchess of Sussex reading the book “Duck! Rabbit!” to their son Archie who celebrates his first birthday on Wednesday May 6, 2020. The Canadian Paediatric Society is reminding families that the process of raising a reader starts from birth. (Duke of Sussex/@SaveChildrenUK)
Canadian Paediatric Society says raising a reader starts from birth

CPS says literacy is one of the strongest predictors of lifelong health outcomes

Most Read