It’s only Thursday but already campers are arriving at Rathtrevor Provincial Park, making a long weekend into an extra long weekend.

“We’re meeting friends here,” said Bob McInnes, who is camping at Rathtrevor for the first time.

The popular camping destination’s 300 sites are booked solid this weekend as well as many of British Columbia’s other provincial parks.

“We have Little Qualicum Falls, Englishman River, Sproat Lake, Horne Lake Regional Park and every reservable site is reserved,” said Alli Roberts of RLC Park Services, a privately contracted company that operates the parks.

Those who have reserved spots at Rathtrevor this long weekend booked months ago.

“I didn’t know they were all booked up but it’s always hard to get into these,” said Dave Keating, a camper from Nanaimo.

“It’s great that everybody wants to go camping but there needs to be room for the tourists too,” said McInnes.

“Maybe we need more campgrounds?”

At BC Ferries, they’re planning for what is typically one of their busier weekends of the year.

They’ve added 115 extra sailings during peak travel periods to accommodate the extra traffic.

“The most popular sailing times the reservations have pretty much been fully subscribed,” said Deborah Marshall of BC Ferries. “But I would suggest customers check online to see if there’s a reservation spot available if they choose to make a reservation. If not we have room for show and go traffic.”

BC Ferries says Monday will likely be their busiest travel day of the weekend.

Customers are taking different approaches to how they travel.

“The nice times to travel is usually when it’s super busy so I’ll just kind of tough it out and go late at night and hopefully won’t have a huge line-up like this,” said Ace Hayden, a BC Ferries customer.

“I’m just ahead of it so far. that’s my plan,” said Fred Brown, another BC Ferries customer. “I’m heading back to the Okanagan ahead of the long weekend.”

Back at Rathtrevor Park, they’re moving into relax mode.

They’re enjoying the sun while it’s here which is forecast to shine most of the weekend outside of Saturday.

Kendall Hanson