Many Vancouver Island provincial parks remain closed despite reopening plan
Among those not reopening Thursday is Juan de Fuca Provincial Park, the popular hiking and coastal recreation area on southern Vancouver Island's west coast. (CTV News)
VICTORIA -- Most provincial parks across British Columbia reopened to the public Thursday after more than a month of closures due to COVID-19. But dozens of popular destinations on and around Vancouver Island, as well as Haida Gwaii, remain closed to visitors.
Among those not reopening Thursday is Juan de Fuca Provincial Park, the popular hiking and coastal recreation area on southern Vancouver Island's west coast.
"Parks that attract large crowds will remain closed until it is safe to reopen at a later date," says the BC Parks website. "Backcountry campgrounds in some parks with high day use will also remain closed."
All provincial parks in B.C. closed on April 8 in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Some facilities inside parks will still not be available when the parks reopen, according to the province. For example, some playgrounds, hot springs, halls and picnic shelters will remain closed.
BC Parks plans to reopen most provincial campgrounds and backcountry camping areas on June 1.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday that some national parks will also reopen at the beginning of June, but said returning to nature will look different than it once did due to COVID-19.
Anyone considering going to a provincial park is reminded to follow the province's overarching COVID-19 guidelines, including staying close to home, avoiding travel to small or remote communities, washing hands frequently and staying home when feeling unwell.
Provincial parks on Vancouver Island, the B.C. Gulf Islands and Haida Gwaii that still don't have a date to reopen Thursday are:
- Beaver Point Provincial Park
- Clayoquot Arm Provincial Park
- Clayoquot Plateau Provincial Park
- Dawley Passage Provincial Park
- Drizzle Lake Ecological Reserve Epper Passage Provincial Park
- Eves Provincial Park
- Flores Island Provincial Park
- Gibson Marine Provincial Park
- Gordon Bay Provincial Park
- Hesquiat Lake Provincial Park
- Hesquiat Peninsula Provincial Park
- Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park
- Juan de Fuca Provincial Park
- Kennedy River Bog Provincial Park
- Kin Beach Provincial Park
- Kitty Coleman Provincial Park
- Loveland Bay Provincial Park
- MacMillan Provincial Park
- Maquinna Marine Provincial Park and Protected Area
- Megin River Ecological Reserve
- Mitlenatch Island Nature Provincial Park
- Naikoon Provincial Park
- Pure Lake Provincial Park
- Rose Spit Ecological Reserve
- Schoen Lake Provincial Park
- Sulphur Passage Provincial Park
- Sutton Pass Ecological Reserve
- Sydney Inlet Provincial Park
- Taylor Arm Provincial Park
- Tlall Heritage Site/Conservancy
- Tow Hill Ecological Reserve
- Tranquil Creek Provincial Park
- Vargas Island Provincial Park
- Vladimir J. Krajina Ecological Reserve
- Wallace Island Marine Provincial Park
- Yaaguun Suu Heritage Site/Conservancy
For more information on all B.C. provincial parks, including each park’s status and amenities, visit the parks list on the BC Parks website.