Echoing what Parks Canada reported about national parks, B.C. Parks has also observed an increase in visitors at provincial parks along with a lack of adherence to health advisories about social distancing.
After concerns from the public, First Nations, RCMP, and regional and municipal governments, BC Parks announced on March 24 that it is closing specific parks in the province.
The closures include the following provincial parks:
- French Beach Provincial Park
- Goldstream Provincial Park
- Gowlland Tod Provincial Park (closure restricted to McKenzie Bight and Tod Inlet)
- Juan de Fuca Provincial Park (includes China Beach, Sombrio Beac,h and Botanical Beach)
- ȽÁU,WELṈEW̱/John Dean Provincial Park
- Spectacle Lake Provincial Park
- Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park
- Joffre Lakes Provincial Park
- Murrin Provincial Park
- Shannon Falls Provincial Park
- Stawamus Chief Provincial Park and Protected Area
- Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park
- Ancient Forest/Chun T’oh Whudujut Provincial Park
- Liard River Hot Springs Provincial Park (hot springs and campground closed previously; now full closure)
Previous full and partial park closures:
- Flores Island Park and Gibson Marine Park (closure of Wildside Trail)
- Maquinna Marine Provincial Park (full closure)
- Nisga’a Memorial Lava Bed Provincial Park (full closure)
Additional closures may follow if necessary.
Previously, B.C. Parks suspended services and facilities (including washrooms, day-use areas, visitor centres, and nature houses) in provincial parks, and—in tandem with Parks Canada, which also closed all vehicle access to national parks by midnight on March 24—all campgrounds are closed until April 30.
Recreation Sites and Trails B.C. is also closing its campgrounds (and amenities), which are located in remote areas and provide basic facilities (potable water and electricity aren’t provided). Closures include backcountry cabins, warming huts, toilets, kiosks, ticket booths, and overnight and day-use shelters.
Although backcountry trails will remain open, maintenance services are suspended.
Meanwhile, Metro Vancouver announced today (March 25) that it is closing Brae Island Regional Park in Langley and parking lots at Boundary Bay Regional Park, Deas Island Regional Park, and Delta Heritage Airpark in Delta.
Both Langley and Delta have declared a state of emergency.
While all other Metro Vancouver regional parks remain open, park facilities such as playgrounds, docks, rental facilities, and picnic areas are closed.
Metro Vancouver has increased staff, parking lot traffic management, and signage but warn that regional parks will be closed where rules, including social distancing, aren’t being abided by.
"As the COVID-19 situation continues to unfold, every one of us must adapt our daily behaviours to reduce the burden on our healthcare system," Metro Vancouver's Regional Parks Committee chair John McEwen stated in a news release. "Metro Vancouver will continue to monitor and manage visitor behaviour in all of its parks, and will take the necessary action to protect public health and safety throughout the system.”
Metro Vancouver's Regional Parks system has 23 regional parks, five greenways, two ecological conservancy areas, and two regional park reserves.