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B.C. parks see camping record

Sep 01 2012
A new online reservation system and park upgrades are credited with boosting camping reservations to record numbers. 

A new online reservation system and park upgrades are credited with boosting camping reservations to record numbers.

Photograph by: Lyle Stafford , timescolonist.com (June 2012)

As campers pack their tents and head to provincial parks for the Labour Day long weekend, they are taking part in B.C. Parks' busiest year yet for reservations.

Nearly 105,000 reservations have been made so far this year - a new record and the first time the 100,000 mark has been surpassed.

As of last Sunday, camping reservations at B.C. Parks had increased by 11 per cent from the same period last year.

Environment Minister Terry Lake credits both the new online reservation system and investments into park upgrades for the record numbers.

The online reservation site, discovercamping.ca, launched a first-come, first served availability tool this year. The program shows the likelihood of being able to nab a walk-in campsite.

Vancouver Island, which saw 478,422 campers during the 2010-11 season, is one of the most popular camping destinations in the province.

Vancouver Island's Rathtrevor Beach Park had 78,739 visitors during the 2010-11 season, making it the second most popular park in B.C.

The Island, the Lower Mainland and the Okanagan account for about 57 per cent of all campers in B.C. Golden Ears, a large park near Maple Ridge, was the most popular park last season.

All B.C. provincial park campgrounds are open over the Labour Day long weekend, and many remain open in September - including Goldstream park, which offers an opportunity to observe spawning salmon.

Parks reopen for the 2013 season on March 15.

son on March 15. mkaralis@timescolonist.com

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