Where to go this weekend? The backyard seems like a good bet - InfoNews

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Where to go this weekend? The backyard seems like a good bet

With a number of COVID-19 induced restrictions in place, the most relaxing outdoor part of British Columbia this weekend might be your own backyard.
April 09, 2020 - 5:00 PM

It’s the first long weekend of spring, and the weather looks good for a first camping trip of the season.

But this Easter weekend is obviously much different from those of past years.

With the COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying restrictions in force, what can you do and where can you go to enjoy the great outdoors this year?

The best answer is probably to just stay home and enjoy your backyard. It’s what the authorities are recommending, and with the number of restrictions in place for public areas, there probably aren't very many places you can go, or things you can do, without violating COVID-19 induced restrictions and closures.

Here’s a rundown of the recent restrictions placed on recreation and parks use in the province:

Burning

Campfires are currently allowed in most of the province including much of the Thompson and Okanagan, but individuals are advised to check with their local government authorities to see if they have implemented burning bylaws.

Campfires have been banned in the Central Okanagan.

A provincewide open burning ban goes into effect until April 16 for other fires such as fireworks, sky lanterns and burn barrels.

Provincial regulations are also in effect, restricting category 2 burning of fuels such as forest slash and agricultural materials.

Camping at provincial parks, forestry recreation sites and private campgrounds

The province of B.C. closed all provincial parks earlier this week, including visitor centres, nature houses, washrooms and day-use areas until April 30.

In addition to BC Parks closures, the Recreation Sites and Trails of BC branch of the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development is closing its forestry recreation sites and amenities in response to COVID-19.

That doesn't leave many camping options open in public backcountry places.

Backcountry trails remain open but maintenance services have been curtailed.

Anyone hoping to use a private camping facility this weekend is advised to call ahead first, as some may be open, or only partially open.

For example, Gold Mountain R.V. Park & Cabins owner Danny Kin says his campground in the Similkameen valley is open this weekend, but on a limited basis with no washroom facilities.


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