All of B.C.’s recreation site facilities and campgrounds have closed indefinitely.
The full closure was announced March 25 by Recreation Sites and Trails BC (RSTBC) which said it’s doing its part to limit the spread of COVID-19.
RSTBC manages more than 1,350 recreation sites and more than 800 trails across the province. Recreation sites offer a rustic camping experience, different than staying in a provincial park or commercial campground. Sites are usually located in more remote areas, generally with basic amenities like fire rings, picnic tables and outhouses. No power or potable water is provided.
The closure includes recreation facilities where people gather and use frequently-touched surfaces such as fee collection booths and kiosks, overnight shelters, backcountry cabins, day-use shelters, as well as facilities used for winter sports and all-season activities.
As part of the closure, RSTBC has also prohibited overnight camping and gatherings at all of its rec sites.
Some sites may be available for day-use only, but it’s at the discretion of local recreation officers. RSTBC said washroom facilities might not be available at all sites.
While sites are closed, recreation trails are still available “for local use,” RSTBC said.
“Visitors are reminded of the directives from the PHO (provincial health officer) to avoid gathering in groups and to keep at least two metres apart from each other when using trails,” said RSTBC. “Trail users are responsible for their own safety and should exercise additional caution and be careful to limit injuries as trails may not be groomed or maintained during this time.”
The full list of closures is on RSTBC’s website and has some popular Campbell River-area sites including:
- Apple Point
- Brewster Lake
- Camp 5
- Campbell Lake
- Elk Bay
- Little Bear Bay
- Sitka Spruce Beach (unsafe boardwalk, closed for repair)
- Stella Beach
The RSTBC is recommending that people avoid travelling outside of their communities for recreation purposes.