B.C. Parks has added nearly 600 new camping and forestry recreation sites to provincial parks across the province, of which 65 will be available this season at Golden Ears park in Maple Ridge.
The 600 new sites are in addition to 431 added in 2018, for a total of more than 1,000 in B.C. over the past two years.
The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy announced the opening of the new sites at Gold Creek Campground in Golden Ears Provincial Park on Thursday.
“Camping is still the most affordable way to spend time with your family,” said Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy George Heyman.
He added there has not been a camping-fee increase to provincial parks since 2016 and that “we are all very fortunate in British Columbia to live in such a biodiverse province in Canada.”
Online reservations for Golden Ears Provincial Park will remain at 85 per cent.
Heyman also said that the province has not consulted with communities enough yet to make a final decision on the percentage of reservable sites and that it is working on improving the real-time online system.
B.C. hosts over 1,500 campgrounds and about 50,000 campsites.
Golden Ears is one of the largest parks in B.C., stretching 62,540 hectares.
Golden Ears is also one of B.C.’s busiest provincial parks, with almost one million visitors in 2018, according to Minister of Tourism and Arts and Culture Lisa Beare (Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge).
Of the new sites, 20 are walk-in, 15 are drive-in and 30 are marine access. The walk-in sites and drive-in sites are currently open for online reservations as well as first come first serve basis.
B.C. Parks is also incorporating designs to make the new sites more accessible for people of all abilities.
“It’s always a beautiful day to go camping,” Heyman said.