VICTORIA - Camping reservations at British Columbia's world-renowned provincial parks have set a new all-time record in 2012, climbing above 100,000 for the first time. As of Aug. 26, reservations at BC Parks totalled 104,878 for the year, an impressive 11 per cent increase over the same period during the strong 2011 season.
All BC Parks campgrounds are open over the Labour Day weekend. Many also remain open throughout September, allowing visitors to enjoy a spectacular end to the summer season.
This is one of the best times of the year to visit and stay at BC Parks. Most parks are quieter after Labour Day and the fall season offers unique things to see and do. For example, hiking is a popular activity in many parks. Also, some provincial parks, such as Goldstream near Victoria, offer great opportunities to observe the amazing natural spectacle of spawning salmon.
Another highlight of the season is British Columbia's long-stay camping program. It is available after Labour Day at four B.C. provincial parks. For seniors, there are additional reasons to go camping after the start of September. Senior camping discounts are available to B.C. residents 65 years of age and older from the day after Labour Day through June 14 of next year. Discounts are valued at up to 50 per cent.
More information on all these opportunities is available at the BC Parks website: www.bcparks.ca
Environment Minister Terry Lake -
"Provincial park camping reservations are well above 100,000 for the first time. Visitors are making good use of our world-class provincial parks. There are wonderful opportunities year-round and I encourage everyone to use and enjoy them."
Quick Facts about BC Parks:
- Individual campsite reservations at more than 90 of B.C.'s provincial parks can be made for the 2013 camping season starting March 15, 2013. Camping reservations can be made online at: www.discovercamping.ca
- Bookings for most individual sites can be made up to three months in advance of your visit, while group site reservations can be made up to 12 months in advance.
- The BC Parks Passport program runs in campgrounds across the province. The program will continue in 2013.
- The long-stay program involves stays of between four weeks and six months at campgrounds in four parks: Tunkwa (southwest of Kamloops), Rosebery (just north of New Denver), Blanket Creek (just south of Revelstoke) and Crooked River (north of Prince George).
- British Columbia's parks system is now into its second century. Established in 1911, Strathcona Provincial Park on Vancouver Island was the province's first.
- Parking fees were eliminated at provincial parks in 2011, making them more accessible to B.C. families.
BC Parks Passport Program: www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/events/passport/index.html?WT.ac=Passport_Image
Family hikes at BC Parks: www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/news/pdfs/top_10_family_hikes.pdf
Campfire bans: www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/campfire_bans.html
BC Parks on Facebook: www.facebook.com/YourBCParks
Ministry of Environment