Last year, outdoor enthusiasts had to vie for the 10,700 campsites managed by BC Parks.
This summer, there are 431 more spots where they can pitch their tents.
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.
Existing facilities and infrastructure have also been upgraded or added in many campgrounds. This includes:
- roads, water taps, power, dishwashing stations, accessible toilets, trails and a new large shower building at the Hampton campground in E.C. Manning Provincial Park
- a new playground at Shuswap Lake
- individual food caches at walk-in sites at Montague Harbour
Want to go camping but don't have a car? Don't forget that Parkbus is offering a free shuttle bus service between Vancouver and Golden Ears Provincial Park thanks to support from MEC and TD.
In addition, the BC Parks Foundation has launched the Healthy By Nature initiative. One-hundred health-care providers led walks in 100 parks throughout B.C. to highlight the health benefits of spending time in nature, including one on Mount Seymour.
Here are some quick facts to entertain you while waiting for your marshmallows to turn golden in the heat of your campfire:
- More than 21 million people visit British Columbia's provincial parks each year.
- There are 1,033 provincial parks, recreation areas, conservancies, ecological reserves and protected areas, covering more than 14 million hectares, or approximately 14.4% of the provincial land base.
- BC Parks manages the third-largest parks system in North America, exceeded only by the United States' National Park Service and Parks Canada.
- As of June 30, 2018, BC Parks had nearly 168,000 reservations made through the Discover Camping reservation service, with the majority of reservations originating within B.C.
- Of the 10,700 campsites BC Parks manages, approximately 55 per cent are reservable, and 45 per cent remain available on a first-come, first-served basis.