The Ministry of Environment has announced the creation of 55 more provincial campsites across the Okanagan.
The new campsites will be available for this summer’s camping season and are located in:
• Okanagan Lake South Provincial Park near Summerland – eight sites
• Badger Lake Rec Site near Heffley – 30 sites
• Scuitto Rec Site near Kamloops – 17 sites
The new campsites are among the first phase of the 1,900 new campsites announced last November as part of the B.C. Parks Future Strategy.
Campsite expansion is occurring in all regions of the province, and the majority will be created where demand is greatest—in the Kootenays, Okanagan, the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island.
Future B.C. Parks expansion will be concentrated in the highest-demand, flagship provincial parks, such as Fintry, west of Kelowna and E.C. Manning in the South Okanagan. Recreation site expansions will take place across the Thomson and the Okanagan, also targeting high-demand areas.
Other new campsites across B.C. include:
• Blanket Creek Provincial Park near Revelstoke – 58 sites
• Halfway Hot Springs Rec Site near Nakusp – 20 sites
• Six Mile Bay Rec Site near Mackenzie – 20 sites
• Garibaldi Provincial Park near Squamish – 20 sites
• Chek Canyon Rec Site near Squamish – 32 sites
• Stave West -Sayres Lake Rec Site near Mission – 60 sites (phase one)
• Desolation Sound Provincial Park near Powell River – 34 sites
• Rathtrevor Provincial Park near Parksville – 30 sites (phase one)
• Goldstream Provincial Park near Victoria – four sites
• Pye Mountain Rec Site near Sayward – 20 sites
• Maple Grove Rec Site near Lake Cowichan – 22 sites
The province says the new campsites are a mix that includes rustic and less rustic sites. Their construction includes any associated infrastructure, such as roads, water and sewer expansions, electrical upgrades, outhouse facilities and shower and toilet buildings. The recreation site expansions will include associated roads, campsites with picnic tables and fire rings, signage and outhouse facilities.
The majority of the new campsites will be available for reservation via the Discover Camping Reservation Service. To reserve a spot, go to: https://secure.camis.com/DiscoverCamping/ReservationService.aspx. Recreations are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
The ministry says it is investing up to $22.9 million to add the 1,900 new campsites over five years. More than 800 of the new sites will be in provincial parks, while more than 1,000 will be in recreation sites.
The province recently announced $35 million over the next three years for 28 more full-time park rangers, new programs to promote and protect the environment and $10 million as an initial endowment to the new B.C. Parks Foundation.
B.C.’s provincial parks receive more than 21 million visits each year and the B.C. parks system is the third-largest in North America behind the United States National Park Service and Parks Canada.