Tips for Exploring BC Parks in the Campbell River & Strathcona Region

Oh, happy day! BC Parks has announced its plan for a phased re-opening. Starting with re-opening the majority of parks for day use on May 14th. While this is (very) welcome news it’s important to continue to follow public health guidelines, only visiting parks near your home and avoid travelling to small communities. In order to help, we have prepared a quick guide on how to enjoy the BC Parks in the Campbell River and Strathcona Region.

What’s open 

First things first, our region is lucky to have 5 Provincial Parks. However, not all of them are going to be opening up on May 14th. **Please note: Both Loveland Bay and Morton Lake Provincial Parks will remain closed**. Have no fear though, Miracle Beach, and Strathcona parks will be opening for day use on the 14th of May. Elk Falls Provincial Park will be partially open on the 14th. The suspension bridge and millennium trail will remain closed. For more info on what parks will be open on the 14th click here

*Please note that while BC Parks in our neighbouring communities of Quadra Island, Cortes Island, Sayward, Gold River, Tahsis & Zeballos are re-opening, they are not ready to receive visitors from other parts of BC.
***Before travelling to a Provincial park in a small community check for any local advisories.

tips for visiting parks

Social Distancing is still strongly recommended by the BC Health Authority, we recommend only exploring the parks with members of your household. Remember to be considerate when sharing trails; stay 6ft apart from other hikers, step off the trail if necessary and communicate with other parties. Greeting other hikes with a smile and a wave is strongly encouraged! 

If you can, consider exploring the parks away from peak times. Visit on a weekday or in the early morning or evening. This will help prevent large crowds from gathering in the parks. 

Be Cautious, help out first responders and SAR, by sticking to trails you’re familiar with and well within your skill level. With Strathcona Park re-opening and many of the trails beginning their spring thaw now is not the time to try and bag a new peak. Luckily Strathcona is chock full of trails with plenty of old favourites to revisit, which are lower risk. Be mindful. 

Be aware of your surroundings, wildlife patterns may have changed during the shutdown and there is the possibility for more encounters. Before heading out refresh bear and cougar safety

Be Prepared while some trails and recreational areas will reopen be mindful that those that are not Provincial areas are used at your own risk. Be aware that surfaces, hand railings and other structures will not be cleaned regularly, ensure you have sanitizer with you, water, food, and a first aid kit. 

Continue to follow Leave No Trace best practices and pack out what you pack in. It is a good idea to bring an extra bag with you for garbage. You can find suggestions for practicing LNT during COVID-19 here.

Available Facilities 

Washrooms and pit toilets will be re-opened in day-use parks. 

Boat launches will also be opened at Strathcona Provincial Park.

If you have any other questions about the BC Parks re-opening plan you can visit their FAQ page here

Share how you’re enjoying the parks in our region while staying safe by tagging us on Instagram @discovercampbellriver.