Camping enthusiasts now have more options when it comes to choosing where to go, as 594 new campsites are being added to BC Parks and recreation sites throughout the province, it was announced today.
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In making the announcement, the BC government said that in total, 13 provincial parks will have 362 new sites, and 12 recreation sites will have 232 new sites. These new sites will range “from walk-in tent sites to marine sites.”
The new BC Parks campsites are located in regions with what the province says are the highest-demand areas: the Lower Mainland, Thompson-Okanagan, The Kootenays, and Mount Robson.
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 from all over the world come to our province to experience the spectacular natural beauty and enjoy a range of camping opportunities,” said BC’s environment minister George Heyman. “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.
Despite the new additions, the government noted will be no increase to provincial park camping fees.
“People in BC love getting out to the great outdoors,” said BC’s tourism minister Lisa Beare.
Increasing the number of campsites, she said, “means more people can access popular spots and discover new favourites in different areas of the province.”
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 more rustic camping experience with basic facilities. Potable water and electricity are not provided, for example.
“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 BC, 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.”
Construction is still in progress at some locations, so would-be visitors are advised to check the BC Parks website for updates on availability.