Camping season in BC: 431 new campsitesSaturday, July 28 ~ BC. There are 431 new campsites throughout BC for the 2018 camping season. That’s a top-up of 81 new sites, with 350 new campsites having been added in BC Parks and recreation sites in 2017.
“People are passionate about spending time in our beautiful provincial parks, and that has increased demand for camping opportunities,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.
“The additional campsites, combined with upgrades to existing facilities, will improve the overall experience of BC’s natural beauty and provide a range of camping opportunities for everyone to enjoy.”
Ranging from backcountry to group camping, the new campsites are a mix of BC Parks and forestry recreation sites in areas with the highest demand: the Kootenay Rockies, Thompson Okanagan, Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island.
“With the expansion, there are now 11,000 camping spaces at 1,100 recreation sites around the province, for those who enjoy a more rustic experience,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.
Along with the additional campsites, existing facilities and infrastructure have been upgraded or added in many campgrounds. This includes roads, water taps, power, dishwashing stations, accessible toilets, trails and a new large shower building at the Hampton campground in E.C. Manning Provincial Park. A new playground has been installed at Shuswap Lake. Walk-in sites at Montague Harbour all have individual food caches.
“The expanded mix of BC Parks and forestry recreation site campsites is very welcome news,” said Joss Penny, chair, Camping and RVing BC Coalition. “More than two million campers from BC, Alberta and Washington are expected to camp or RV in British Columbia in the next two years.”
Last Saturday, July 21, Canada’s Parks Day was an annual event to highlight the importance of parks in creating and maintaining healthy ecosystems, protecting critical habitat for species at risk, and contributing to human health and well-being. Educational and family-oriented events were held in parks and historic sites across the country.
BC Parks Foundation has launched the Healthy By Nature initiative, where 100 health-care providers will lead walks in 100 parks throughout B.C. to highlight the health benefits of spending time in nature. To register locally: healthybynature.ca
British Columbia’s provincial parks receive over 21 million visits each year. There are 1,033 provincial parks, recreation areas, conservancies, ecological reserves and protected areas, covering more than 14 million hectares, or about 14.4% of the provincial land base.
As of June 30, 2018, BC Parks had nearly 168,000 reservations made through the Discover Camping reservation service, with the majority of reservations originating within BC. Of the 10,700 campsites BC Parks manages, approximately 55% are reservable, and 45% remain available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Recreation sites and trails: http://www.sitesandtrailsbc.ca/
Most of the new campsites in BC Parks are either on the Discover Camping Reservation Service, or will be for the 2019 camping season. Camping for recreation sites is on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations can be made online: https://secure.camis.com/DiscoverCamping/Home.aspx