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Provincial parks near Prince George reopening this week, COVID-19 distancing encouraged

BC Parks closed north-central facilities for over a month due to pandemic

Good news for outdoor hikers and trail-blazers in Prince George!

B.C. is set to open several of its small- and medium-sized provincial parks tomorrow (May 14) and that includes those within driving distance of the city.

Ancient Forest/Chun T’oh Whudujut Provincial Park along Highway 16 east is one of those selected to open.

It’s been closed the longest in the north-central region as a result of earlier efforts by the province to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Other parks near Prince George scheduled to reopen this week consist of:

  • Bobtail Mountain Provincial Park
  • Crooked River Provincial Park
  • Dahl Lake Provincial Park
  • Eskers Provincial Park
  • Fort George Canyon Provincial Park
  • Purden Lake Provincial Park
  • Three Sisters Lake Provincial Park
  • West Lake Provincial Park

However, parks that attract larger crowds are going to stay closed in continuing to abide by physical-distancing measures in the pandemic.

“These high-use parks require substantial staff presence, high service levels, and in-person visitor management,” BC Parks said online. 

“Given how busy some of our most popular parks can get, these environments do not easily allow for the physical distancing recommended by the public health officer.”

Remote parks, and those that primarily revolve around camping, are also staying closed and it’s expected that the parks that are opened on Thursday will be busy.

“If you arrive to find the parking lot is full, you may have to reschedule your visit for another day or another time,” BC Parks said, adding that parking on nearby roadways is not permitted.

The B.C. government plans to open provincial camping on June 1.

A full list of open and closed facilities can be found on BC Parks' website.

- with files from Colin Dacre, Castanet