While the weekend is shaping up to be a wet one, some Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows residents might still be interested in taking a trip to their local parks to hike and enjoy the outdoors.
Golden Ears and Rolley Lake Provincial Parks will both be open from 7 a.m to 11 p.m.
All trails and the boat launch are open at Golden Ears park, but camping is still prohibited for another 10 days.
The lakeside loop trail at Rolley Lake park will be open but it shall be designated as a one way trail, that will travel clockwise around the lake.
Parking will be limited at both provincial parks.
Golden Ears will stop visitors after 700 vehicles have entered the park. Ordinarily, they have parking for approximately twice that many but have put in the measures to ensure physical distancing guidelines are met.
“When we get 3200 cars descending upon us in one day, people are going to get turned around,” said Stu Burgess with Alouette Park Management, the park operator for both Golden Ears and Rolley Lake, referring to the rush of visitors who pitched up on Victoria Day.
“When we’re limiting it that severely to half or so of normal capacity, there are going to be a lot of people who get disappointed because they get turned away,” he continued.
“I think that’s going to be the case everywhere over the next few weeks, and as we get into summer.”
Parking at Rolley Lake will be restricted to 70 vehicles in a parking lot which can hold upwards of 90.
Burgess added camping will be available at both parks on June 1.
“Our camp grounds at Golden Ears are normally open all-year – weather permitting in the winter,” he said.
“So no camping at this time of year is really unusual. I don’t think it’s ever happened before.”
There will be little change to the set up in both parks.
“The campsites are fairly well spaced apart, so there won’t be closing of every other campsite,” Burgess said. “Most campsites will be available.
“The only change being made is double sites are going to be treated as single sites. A double site is normally two single sites side-by-side, and it’s now going to be one single site, so people will be limited to one camping party on a double site.”
Hayward Lake is looking to open their facilities for public use in the next few weeks.
Their recreation areas were closed in late-March due to a high concentration of visitors and the need to adhere to the Public Health Office order on large gatherings.
The BC Hydro managed property is taking a staged approach to safely reopen.
“Our target for reopening Hayward Lake trails, beaches and picnic areas is early June,” said senior media relations advisor, Susie Rieder.
“We’re carefully making plans to reopen this area in a way that continues to adhere to provincial health guidelines and prioritizes the health and safety of visitors.”
She added BC Hydro is pleased with the public for respecting the limitations on park use during the shut down.
“We know the vast majority of people have respected our signs and barricades, and we really appreciate that,” she said.
Updates on the reopening can be found at bchydro.com/recreation.