No matter where you live, you’re likely within a short drive to a Municipal, Regional, Provincial, or National (if you’re really lucky) park. With warmer weather and longer days ahead there is no reason not to get out and enjoy what these parks have to offer.
Municipal and Regional parks are a great place to spend the day picnicking and recreating. Bring food, re-useable non-single use plastic supplies for a BBQ, and your appetite. Most parks have fire pits for cooking or allow propane based camp stoves (briquette fires not allowed). Bring a football, soccer ball, baseball and mitt, or volleyball net, and some friends for a friendly game. Even a tube of bubbles or water guns can provide endless hours of outdoor fun for the wee kids. No supplies or on a budget? Games like freeze tag, capture the flag, hide-and-seek, kick-the-can are all free ways for kids and even adults to get outdoors and play. I recently played freeze tag on a school field trip and it was so much fun to run around and feel like a kid again.
Recreational activities such as running, walking, hiking, biking, fishing, horseback riding, camping, canoeing, kayaking, etc are options in many parks. The Regional Park where I work has many multi use trails of various length and difficultly perfect for all ages and ability. Check the websites for parks in your area to find out what recreation activities are available to you, and if they are in designated areas such as horseback riding and camping.
Camping is one of my most favourite things to do. Our parents took us camping almost every weekend for years while growing up. It is a great way to unwind, unplug, and restore your energy. There is nothing like sitting by a fire, cooking food on a stick, and telling stories. Our mom has told some pretty tall tales in front of a campfire. For anyone wanting to book campsites at a Provincial Campground registration was open as of March 15th on a first come, first serve basis, so don’t delay! I’ve been trying to get to Porteau Cove for years, but am always too late. BC Parks two great websites here and here to help you decide where to go and how to book your campsite. Keep in mind backpacking permits for places like the West Coast Trail and Bowron Lake Chain book up really fast and may have waiting lists.
Things to keep in mind:
- Some parks have entrance and parking fees. However, in 2017 and 2018 Parks Canada is waiving all admission fees for National Parks to celebrate 150 years of Confederation. Get planning now!
- Don’t approach or feed wildlife, even for a great photo op. Telephoto lenses are relatively inexpensive, making for beautiful photos without the danger. Rule of thumb is keep back three school bus lengths or 100m.
- Dogs must be on a leash and on designated trails only. Most Provincial parks don’t allow dogs on certain trails and Municipal/Regional parks may have designated off-leash areas.
- Pack it in, pack it out. No one likes a Litter Bug.