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Where to find campgrounds in the Central Okanagan when provincial parks are full

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June 29, 2016 - 8:00 PM

KELOWNA - If you failed to secure a campsite at one of B.C.’s Provincial Parks this long weekend, we've got you covered. There are plenty of other places to pitch a tent, haul a trailer, and enjoy some of that peace and tranquility that camping is all about.

Forestry camping is a fun — usually free — alternative to the crowded hustle and bustle of those traditional hot spots like Bear Creek, Fintry and Ellison provincial campgrounds.

If you can convince your family to shrug off conventional comforts (like flush toilets, power hook-ups and Internet access) then a new camping world awaits.

B.C. recreation sites differ from provincial campgrounds in that they do not require reservations and fees are low or non-existent compared to their more mainstream counterparts.

The B.C. Government website sitesandtrailsbc.ca lists more than 120 different sites of varying sizes and levels of service within the Okanagan region, including more than 30 in the Kelowna, Lake Country and West Kelowna areas.

Postill Lake

Postill Lake.
Postill Lake.
Image Credit: sitesandtrailsbc.ca

Located outside of Lake Country, it is one of the better known campgrounds in the area and can be reached in a motorhome. There are just five sites with a boat launch and toilets. Activities include fishing and hiking and the lake can accommodate cartop boats.

 

Hydraulic Lake

Hydraulic Lake.
Hydraulic Lake.
Image Credit: sitesandtrailsbc.ca

Located near Kelowna and has 18 campsites with tables and toilets. Fishing, horseback riding, dirt bike riding and sledding are listed as activities. Fee for camping there is $12 per night from early May to mid-October. Motorhomes can make it up there too.

 

McCulloch Reservoir

McCulloch Reservoir.
McCulloch Reservoir.
Image Credit: sitesandtrailsbc.ca

On the other side of the lake is the Mcculloch Reservoir, offering 12 sites with hiking and fishing for activities. There’s tables, toilets and a cartop boat launch. Motor homes can make it and there is also a marked canoe route.

 

Lambly Lake

Lambly Lake outside West Kelowna offers 17 sites with tables and toilets. Activites include hiking and fishing but only electric boat motors are allowed on the water. Fees are $12 per night from early May to mid-October and the site is accessible to motorhomes.

 

Peachland Lake

Peachland Lake.
Peachland Lake.
Image Credit: sitesandtrailsbc.ca

Another local site is Peachland Lake, an eight-site campground with tables and toilets. There are no fees and the lake and surrounding area is good for fishing and hiking.

 

B.C. Parks advises campers to ensure they are adequately equipped for forestry camping where facilities may not match those in provincial parks and retail opportunties are rare or non-existent.

If forestry site camping is in your future, brush up on what you need to know before heading out.


To contact a reporter for this story, email John McDonald or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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