BC Parks to reopen provincial parks and campgrounds for day use on May 14

BC Parks to reopen provincial parks and campgrounds for day use on May 14
BC Parks/Facebook
BC Parks will open up the majority of parks on May 14 amid the pandemic.

Get ready to lace up your hiking boots and have your smores ready, BC Parks is opening the gates to most provincial parks for day use on May 14.

British Columbians will have more access to protected areas, marine parks and other safe outdoor recreation opportunities, while still meeting the guidelines set out by the provincial health officer.

“BC Parks is doing everything we can to ensure parks are safe. We are all in this together, and we are counting on everyone to do their part so parks can remain open,” said the organization on its website.

On May 14, BC Parks will reopen many front and backcountry trails, beaches, picnic areas, washroom facilities and boat launches for day-use.

Various visiting centers, nature houses and concession buildings will be opened on a case by case basis.

Some facilities such as playgrounds, hot springs, halls and picnic shelters will remain closed, depending on the location.

BC Parks will reopen most provincial campgrounds and back-country camping on June 1, if transmission rates of COVID-19 remain low or decline. 

A full list of campgrounds and parks and the expected reopen dates can be found on the BC Parks website.

Changes have been made to some campgrounds to ensure physical distancing, including additional spacing between the campsite and a limit to the number of guests allowed to stay in campgrounds.

Various communal facilities, like shower buildings, will open with enhanced cleaning protocols. Campgrounds requiring visitors to use shared cooking facilities and backcountry cabins, however, will remain closed until further notice.

BC Parks is not opening everything, as parks that attract larger crowds will not open until it is safe to do so, along with some backcountry campgrounds that see normally high volumes of traffic.

On Thursday, Premier John Horgan stressed the importance of only visiting parks close to your home, and to avoid non-essential travel. BC Parks also asks this of all visitors, in a statement on their website.

Anyone entering provincial parks is asked to respect the closures of various facilities and to follow the social distancing orders set out by B.C.’s top doctor.

BC Parks is also asking all visitors to bring their own hand sanitizer and to practice proper hygiene, and to stay home if you are sick.

BC Parks previously closed due to COVID-19 concerns on April 8, after the public called for increased action in stopping the spread of the virus.

Rebecca LawrenceRebecca Lawrence

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