The Province of BC is encouraging Greater Trail campers to stay close to home when the Discover Camping reservation service opens next week.
The reservation service officially opens March 8 for B.C. residents, giving outdoor enthusiasts a two months buffer for booking sites at campgrounds opening in May. The province is also putting its residents first, as campers from out-of-province cannot book sites until July 8.
“We recognize the heightened importance of outdoor recreation during these uncertain times,” said Kelly Greene, Parliamentary secretary for environment in a release. “Our government is committed to ensuring British Columbians can safely enjoy the natural beauty of our province close to home.”
B.C. residents will have priority access to campsite reservations throughout the summer. Although it is unclear what qualifies as “close to home,” COVID-19 is still having an impact so the province is asking campers to keep their destinations within their region.
“We are all looking forward to another summer of camping and outdoor recreation in B.C., and while public health concerns and advice remain, we are asking people to pick a campground as close to home as possible to avoid long road trips and non-essential travel,” said Minister George Heyman.
BC Parks anticipates a busy season, so it is also important that would-be campers have back-up options for preferred sites and dates.
“Our provincial parks have never been as important as they are right now,” said Heyman. “They provide a special place to safely connect with nature and improve our health and well-being during these difficult times.”
Opening provincial campgrounds safely to support public health guidelines means it will not be business as usual in many campgrounds.
Changes are being made to ensure everyone has a safe visit, such as how many people can be in a campsite and restrictions on group sites. Reservations for day-use facilities, including picnic shelters and halls, remain closed for the 2021 season.