The operating manager of Golden Ears and Rolley Lake Provincial Parks is expecting hundreds of campers again this weekend, despite the cooler temperatures over the Labour Day long weekend marking the arrival of the fall season.
Stu Burgess said he is expecting 350 arrivals for the weekend at Golden Ears park and the 64 campsites at Rolley Lake are fully booked.
However, he said, those numbers are not so unusual.
“It’s happened over the last couple of years with COVID and I think people just got used to the idea of extending the season a little bit,”he explained.
The summer season, though, was typically busy, said Burgess.
The only hiccup came a couple of weeks ago when a vehicle hit the side of the Gold Creek Bridge in Golden Ears, causing structural damage. Campers had their reservations cancelled while the bridge was repaired and inspected to be certified for full weight capacity. Work was finished by Aug. 27, he said.
Day use numbers were down over the Labour Day long weekend, due to rain on Saturday.
“We weren’t turning people away or overflowing or anything,” Burgess said.
Burgess noted this past summer was busier than in 2019, but not as busy as 2020/21. The amount of people going to both Golden Ears and Rolley Lake Provincial Parks is trending downwards, he said, back towards what was normal before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Now there’s other activities opening up,” he said, like the Abbotsford Air Show or the Pacific National Exhibition, and, in general, people are allowed to travel again.
Staff at the park are starting work to prepare for next year.
“We’re going to be refinishing probably somewhere in the neighbourhood of 800 picnic table planks, seats and tops,” he said.
They will also be doing vegetation management in addition to general winter maintenance like clearing trails from fallen trees and general debris cleanup of the leaves that fall from the trees in the autumn.
“We’ve got lots to keep us busy,” he said.
He added that there are no plans for any campground expansion at Golden Ears.
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