The sun-splashed beach a mile wide in Parksville helps make Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park the busiest in B.C.. But even those who camp here regularly are surprised at how busy it is this Easter weekend.

Park staff say this could be the busiest Easter weekend ever. It’s late on the calendar this year and the weather is co-operating nicely. There was a rush on campsites because it’s still first come first serve at this time of year.

Starting in May Rathtrevor is 100 per cent reservations only.

“People started coming Wednesday evening, lots showed up Thursday and then by Friday the ones that were showing up were circling any sites that someone might be leaving,” said Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park Manager Tara Kivela.

“We had people coming and saying I didn’t think it would be this busy this is insane.”

About 200 of the 225 campsites at Rathtrevor are full and it’s partly because one of the next nearest provincial parks, Little Qualicum Falls is still closed after a big storm last December.

In Langford, Goldstream Park is 100 per cent full for the first time at Easter.

“We came Thursday probably around four o’clock and we were lucky to get a double campsite. It was pretty booked all the way around,” said camper Ashley Wilson.

Back in Parksville, there are indications this will be a very busy summer.

“Reservations come into effect May 10th,” said Kivela. “You can make reservations four months in advance of your start date and you can actually start making reservations in January. May 10th we’re full, reservations are full already.”

Dean Stoltz