Camping enthusiasts will now have more options for enjoying the great outdoors as 594 new campsites are being added to BC Parks and recreation sites throughout the province.
Ranging from walk-in tent sites to marine sites, 13 provincial parks will have 362 new sites and 12 recreation sites will have 232 new sites. The new BC Parks campsites are located in regions with the highest demand – the Lower Mainland, Thompson-Okanagan, Kootenay Rockies and Mount Robson.
“People from all over the world come to our province to experience the spectacular natural beauty and enjoy a range of camping opportunities,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “Camping is more popular than ever, which is why our government continues to increase the number of campsites and enhance visitor experience.”
The sites are in addition to 431 new campsites created in 2018, bringing the total number of new campsites to 1,025 during the past two years. For the third year in a row, there will be no increase to camping fees in provincial parks.
Along with the additional campsites, existing facilities and infrastructure have been upgraded or added in four BC Parks campgrounds this year – Fintry Park, Martha Creek Park, Robson River and Monck Park.
“People in B.C. love getting out to the great outdoors. Growing the number of campsites means more people can access popular spots and discover new favourites in different areas of the province,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “We want to make sure people of all abilities are able to enjoy nature and all our beautiful province has to offer. That’s why it’s so important that BC Parks is now incorporating more accessible design in new campgrounds and recreation sites.”
BC Parks has campgrounds with a variety of facilities, day-use areas and recreational activities, such as hiking, boating, fishing and mountain biking. Recreation sites are areas of Crown land located outside of provincial parks and are managed by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. Generally located in remote areas accessed by gravel forestry roads, recreation sites provide a rustic camping experience with basic facilities. Potable water and electricity are not provided.
“I welcome the news of 594 new campsites coming on stream this year within BC Parks,” said Joss Penny, chair of the Camping and RVing BC Coalition. “With over one million campers from B.C., Alberta and Washington expected to camp or RV throughout British Columbia in 2019, this will help ease some of the pressure of locating places to stay in high demand locations.”
The new BC Parks campsites are available for reservation via the Discover Camping reservation service. Construction is still in progress at some locations so check the BC Parks website for updates on availability.
- British Columbia has one of the largest protected area systems in North America. There are 1,033 provincial parks, recreation areas, conservancies, ecological reserves and protected areas, covering more than 14 million hectares — approximately 14.4% of the provincial land base.
- British Columbia’s provincial parks receive more than 21 million visits each year.
- Of the 10,700 campsites BC Parks manages, approximately 55% are reservable and 45% remain available on a first-come, first-served basis.
To learn more about BC Parks, visit: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/
To lean more about Recreation Sites and Trails BC, visit: http://www.sitesandtrailsbc.ca/
To reserve a BC Parks camping spot, visit: https://discovercamping.ca/
A backgrounder follows.