Visitors will soon have more camping opportunities on Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast, with the completion of more than 100 new campsites in time for the upcoming camping season.
In addition to 30 new campsites at Rathtrevor Provincial Park in Parksville, other new campsites on Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast that will be available in the 2017 camping season are:
- Maple Grove Rec Site near Lake Cowichan – 22 sites
- Goldstream Provincial Park near Victoria – four sites
- Pye Mountain Rec Site near Sayward – 20 sites
- Desolation Sound Provincial Park near Powell River – 34 sites
The new campsites are among the first phase of the 1,900 new campsites announced by Premier Christy Clark in November 2016 as part of the BC Parks Future Strategy, the Province’s commitment to public recreation opportunities. Campsite expansion is occurring in all regions of the province, and the majority will be where demand is greatest – in the Kootenays, Okanagan, the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island.
Future campsite expansion on Vancouver Island will target flagship high-demand BC Parks, including Gordon Bay and phasing in more sites at Rathtrevor Provincial Park. Recreation sites will be significantly expanded in key areas – along the most populated, high-demand east spine of Vancouver Island – as well as targeted spots along the west coast. The work will also include the development of one new recreation site near Nanaimo.
Additional new campsites across B.C. to be available for the 2017 camping season include:
- Blanket Creek Provincial Park near Revelstoke – 58 sites
- Halfway Hot Springs Rec Site near Nakusp – 20 sites
- Six Mile Bay Rec Site near Mackenzie – 20 sites
- Okanagan Lake South Provincial Park near Summerland – eight sites
- Badger Lake Rec Site near Heffley – 30 sites
- Scuitto Rec Site near Kamloops – 17 sites
- Garibaldi Provincial Park near Squamish – 20 sites
- Chek Canyon Rec Site near Squamish – 32 sites
- Stave West –Sayres Lake Rec Site near Mission – 60 sites (phase one)
The new campsites are a mix of BC Parks and Recreation Sites, which supports maintaining a range of camping opportunities (rustic and less rustic) in the highest-demand areas.
The construction of BC Parks campsites also includes any associated infrastructure, such as roads, water and sewer expansion, electrical upgrades, outhouse facilities and shower and toilet buildings. New campground development also incorporates accessible design standards.
The recreation site expansion will include associated roads, campsites with picnic tables and fire rings, signage and outhouse facilities.
The majority of the new BC Parks campsites will be available for reservation via the Discover Camping Reservation Service. To reserve your spot, please visit: https://secure.camis.com/DiscoverCamping/ReservationService.aspx
Recreation sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
As part of the BC Parks Future Strategy, the Province is investing up to $22.9 million to add more than 1,900 new campsites over five years. More than 800 of the new sites will be in provincial parks, while more than 1,000 will be in recreation sites.
The Province also recently announced a new investment of $35 million over the next three years as part of the BC Parks Future Strategy. The funding will result in 28 more full-time park rangers, new programs to promote and protect the environment, and $10 million as an initial endowment to the new BC Parks Foundation.
Michelle Stilwell, MLA for Parksville-Qualicum –
“Rathtrevor Provincial Park is one of the most popular parks on Vancouver Island, with couples, friends and families visiting year after year to camp. I’m thrilled we have been able to respond to the growing demand for more campsites, especially here at Rathtrevor, which will extend the opportunity for more campers to create their own happy memories at one of our most beloved parks in B.C.”
- B.C.’s provincial parks receive more than 21 million visits each year.
- Parking is free in all provincial parks, making them more accessible to families.
- BC Parks manages the third-largest parks system in North America behind the United States National Park Service and Parks Canada.
- British Columbia has the highest percentage of its land base dedicated to protected areas of all provincial Canadian jurisdictions.
- B.C. offers a range of camping experiences in provincial parks as well as recreation sites.
- Over the past five years, the Province has invested approximately $60 million in park facilities, delivering projects directed at attracting young families, offering new recreation opportunities and increasing attendance.
To read the BC Parks Future Strategy, please visit: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/future/
The Province recently announced changes to the Discover Camping Reservation Service for the 2017 season, which aim to improve fair access for everyone. For more details, and to book your next trip, please visit: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/reserve/
To learn more about BC Parks: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/
To learn more about FLNRO Recreation Sites and Trails: http://www.sitesandtrailsbc.ca/