Provincial parks are a great place for people in B.C. to get out and enjoy nature, while following the social distancing directives from British Columbia’s provincial health officer (PHO).
While BC Parks is bringing in some new novel coronavirus (COVID-19) protocols, people throughout B.C. will still be able to enjoy day-use parks as a positive way to connect to nature.
Some day-use services and facilities are currently available at the following provincial parks:
- Mount Seymour Provincial Park – access restricted to some lower-elevation trails. Parking and road access are closed.
- Cypress Provincial Park – access restricted to some lower-elevation trails. Parking and road access are closed.
- Goldstream Provincial Park
- Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park
- Miracle Beach Provincial Park
- Wells Gray Provincial Park
“Nature provides the perfect environment to promote health and well-being,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “We are following the advice of the provincial health officer to help people get outside, while ensuring they are following the PHO’s direction and guidance to stay healthy. Our government is taking every necessary step to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We look forward to a time when we can return to full operations at our provincial parks.”
People will continue to be able to day hike and recreate in most all other provincial parks. However, there will be a temporary suspension of services and facility closures as a result of the ongoing provincial response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Campgrounds and camping opportunities will be closed and existing reservations will be automatically refunded.
The temporary measures include the suspension of services at marine parks, visitor centres, nature houses, washrooms and day-use facilities. Provincial park visitors may continue to use trails and areas where accessible. Visitors should be aware parking lots in some parks may be closed and gated where necessary.
Provincial parks can attract large numbers, particularly those parks close to urban centres. Visitors should keep this in mind when choosing which park to visit. People are also reminded to keep at least two metres apart from each other during this time. In addition to social distancing, people may need to be extra patient and aware of their impact on the environment.
Full provincial park closures are also being implemented on a case-by-case basis, where required, to address concerns regarding health and safety. Visitors should be mindful that they are responsible for their own safety and that washroom facilities may not be available in most parks. They are asked to check the BC Parks website for any updates before heading out. Any changes to services at provincial parks will be posted to the BC Parks website: http://bcparks.ca
In alignment with Parks Canada, all campgrounds, camping opportunities and accommodations will be closed until at least April 30, 2020. Refunds will be provided to those with existing reservations during this time.
The Discover Camping reservation system has been suspended for all new reservations. No action is required for people with reservations to receive a refund. Refunds will be done automatically and are expected to take seven to 10 business days. A public notice will be issued once facilities are reopened and the system is able to accept new reservations.
Many tourism operators and other businesses have permits to offer services and trips within BC Parks. This closure may affect the availability of services provided by commercial operators permitted to operate in BC Parks. Park visitors are advised to check with them directly before visiting to determine if there have been any changes to their services.
BC Parks continues to monitor the COVID-19 outbreak closely and is following recommendations set out by the provincial health officer and minister of health to assess when to reopen facilities and services and return to full operations.
For non-clinical information on COVID-19, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/COVID19
The latest information on COVID-19 protective measures is available through the BC Centre for Disease Control by calling 1 888-COVID19 or at: BCCDC.ca
BC Parks website: http://bcparks.ca