Lovers of the outdoors will have a few more opportunities to get outside in Hope and area next week, as BC Parks re-opens several parks for day-use and camping June 1.
Camping at Emory Creek is set to re-open June 1, as is Nahatlatch Provincial Park and protected area, as well as Silver Lake Provincial Park. Manning and Skagit Valley provincial parks, open since May 14, will start to allow campers June 1.
The Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park, which houses the popular Othello Tunnels tourist attraction, does not yet have a re-open date. Neither does the Stein Valley Nlaka’pamux Heritage Provincial Park. BC Parks advises all visitors to keep checking their list of parks for updates.
Parks already re-opened for day use May 14 include Alexandra Bridge Provincial Park, the Coquihalla Summit Recreation Area, E.C. Manning Provincial Park and the Skagit Valley Provincial Park. Manning Park Resort are getting close to opening again as well, after shutting down operations March 18. An announcement about re-opening is in the works, said Robyn Barker with the resort.
In a news release Monday, the province stated it had added 180 campsites to the reservation system. Yet not all of these will open June 1 and residents can only reserve their spots two months in advance, instead of the usual four in order to spread demand out over the summer.
Things may look a little different for campers this summer – with spacing in campgrounds to allow for physical distancing, group campsites staying closed and communal facilites for the most part staying closed.
The B.C. goverment is still urging people to avoid any non-essential travel and to stay close to home under phase two of their ‘restart plan.’ Yet this could soon change when the transition to phase three, tentatively set for June to September, is announced.
Under phase three, travel within B.C. will be allowed as long as transmission rates of COVID-19 remain low or in decline.
BC Parks warned re-opening dates may be subject to change. Campers and park-goers should refer to their website for the most current information.
– with files from Katya Slepian