Record-breaking reservation rush for Nova Scotia parks

It was a record-breaking opening day for provincial park reservations in Nova Scotia, which Department of Natural Resources staff credit to a new, user-friendly website. 

Department staff say the overall user experience has improved and booking campsites can now be done from smartphones. 

The booking site went online April 2. That day, 5,372 reservations were made. That's up from the same day in 2016 when 4,047 bookings were made. 

Bruce Nunn, a spokesperson for the department, said 94 per cent of the bookings were made online, while the rest were made over the phone.

Extended season dates

Overall, the bump marks a 33 per cent increase compared with last year.

Last year, the provincial government earmarked $2 million for provincial park improvements in a multi-year plan. Nunn said that money is being spent on better waters systems, improvements to roadways and signage.

This year the province has plans to keep some provincial park campgrounds open later in the fall:

- Mira River Provincial Park in Cape Breton, which used to close on Sept. 12, will stay open until Oct. 15.

- Blomidon Provincial Park in Kings County will stay open until Oct. 9

- Ellenwood Lake Provincial Park in Yarmouth County used to close on Sept. 5. It will also stay open until Oct. 9