The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy has announced the addition of 431 new campsites and improvements to some campgrounds, including Shuswap Lake Provincial Park, for the 2018 camping season. (File photo)

More space in BC parks and campsites to get away from it all

Province announces an additional 431 campsites throughout B.C. for the 2018 season

Visitors to B.C. Parks and forestry recreation sites have another reason to celebrate Canada’s Parks Day July 21, with the addition of 431 new campsites throughout the province.

“People are passionate about spending time in our beautiful provincial parks, and that has increased demand for camping opportunities,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “The additional campsites, combined with upgrades to existing facilities, will improve the overall experience of B.C.’s natural beauty and provide a range of camping opportunities for everyone to enjoy.”

Ranging from backcountry to group camping, the new campsites are a mix of BC Parks and forestry recreation sites in areas with the highest demand: the Kootenay Rockies, Thompson Okanagan, Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island.

“With the expansion, there are now 11,000 camping spaces at 1,100 recreation sites around the province, for those who enjoy a more rustic experience,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

Related: Many opportunities for camping in the Shuswap

Additional campsites include 57 for Shuswap Lake Provincial Park, 21 for Bear Creek near West Kelowna, Kettle River group site (near Rock Creek), which is now capable of accommodating more than 80 people, and Kettle River group site (near Rock Creek), which is now capable of accommodating more than 80 people.

Another 256 campsites have been added to the following recreation sites: 15 for Carnes Creek near Revelstoke and 34 at Island Lake near Winfield.

Along with the additional campsites, existing facilities and infrastructure have been upgraded or added in many campgrounds. This includes roads, water taps, power, dishwashing stations, accessible toilets and a new playground has been installed at Shuswap Lake.

Most of the new campsites in BC Parks are either on the Discover Camping Reservation Service, or will be for the 2019 camping season. Camping for recreation sites is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Reservations can be made online: https://secure.camis.com/DiscoverCamping/Home.aspx.

Related: Minister’s take on camping

“The expanded mix of BC Parks and forestry recreation site campsites is very welcome news,” said Joss Penny, chair, Camping and RVing BC Coalition. “More than two million campers from B.C., Alberta and Washington are expected to camp or RV in British Columbia in the next two years.”

In addition, the BC Parks Foundation will launch the Healthy By Nature initiative, where 100 health-care providers will lead walks in 100 parks throughout B.C. to highlight the health benefits of spending time in nature. To register for a walk near you, visit: healthybynature.ca


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