Online reservations for thousands of B.C. campsites set to open on March 8

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VICTORIA — Camping enthusiasts in British Columbia will be able to book summer campsites in parks across the province starting March 8.

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy says in a statement Discover Camping, the online reservation system, will allow campers to book sites up to two months in advance.

Thousands of sites are available, including access to a new, fully serviced 90-site campground that opens this spring in Manning Park, east of Vancouver.

B.C.'s roughly 1,000 provincial parks receive more than 23 million visits every year and the ministry statement says this year's camping season is expected to be busy.

Those seeking a site are urged to have a backup location planned if their first choice is taken and campers must also ensure they meet all provincial public health regulations regarding size limits for gatherings.

When the pandemic hit last spring, camping reservations were delayed until May and the booking system crashed within minutes of launch as more than 50,000 people attempted to log on.

The government says B.C. residents will have priority access to campsites until July 8, when residents from other provinces can sign into

George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, says access to provincial parks has never been as important as it is now.

"We are all looking forward to another summer of camping and outdoor recreation in B.C., and while public health concerns and advice remain, we are asking people to pick a campground as close to home as possible to avoid long road trips and non-essential travel," he says in the statement.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2021.

The Canadian Press