As of 9 a.m. on a drizzly Friday morning, Radley and Hirsch Creek Parks officially opened for the Summer 2020 camping season. But rain is nothing new for the West Coast, and there was already a line up down the street outside of Radley Park before 8 a.m.
Cara Bullis and her family, along with three other families, came down as a group from Prince George for a week of camping and fishing.
“We left yesterday, stayed in Terrace last night because we knew the campground wasn’t going to be open, so we got up 5 a.m., sorry, 4:30, made sure we were here just after 7 [a.m.] and they opened just after 8:30,” Bullis said.
9-year-old Emily Coyle is a member of one of the families Bullis came to Kitimat with, and she said she’s most excited to get out of the house for a bit and have a fun week outdoors.
“I’m think [I’m most excited for] like, taking my auntie’s dogs for a walk or playing some games.”
Terry Ritchie, Parks Crew Leader, said it’s a bit soggy in the campground, but that won’t stop people from coming.
“I think this park will probably be full for the weekend [even with the rain],” Ritchie said. “Our first day is usually in May, and usually June isn’t too rainy, but it’s not looking too good so far.”
He said there was a long lineup for Radley Park first thing, and while there was no line up at Hirsch Creek Park, he still expects it to be filled up by the weekend.
Radley Park also has several new campsites for the 2020 season, majority of which were claimed in the first hour of opening. There is also a new section of campground to be built, and Ritchie said work is set to start on that in the fall.
There are several restrictions in place at both parks in the wake of COVID-19, including reminding campers to bring safe hygiene equipment, such as masks and disinfectant wipes, and to not come to the park if they have any flu-like symptoms, if they may have been in contact with someone in the last 14 days who has COVID-19, or if they have been outside of Canada in the last 14 days.
Camping is currently on a first come, first serve basis, with no pre-reservations being taken at this time. Campers can also only pay for two weeks of camping at a time, to allow different people to get spots throughout the summer.
For more information on camping in Radley and Hirsch Creek Parks, visit the District of Kitimat website.