Provincial parks such as Saysutshun Newcastle Island will be open for hiking and other day uses starting Thursday, May 14, when the province re-opens provincial parks that have been closed since April 8. (News Bulletin file photo)

Provincial parks in and around Nanaimo will re-open in time for the long weekend

Saysutshun Newcastle Island Marine Provincial Park and others re-opening Thursday, May 14

People who enjoy their breath of fresh air in the great outdoors can return to provincial parks in the area starting this week.

As of Thursday, May 14, and just in time for the Victoria Day long weekend, people will once again be able to roam around local provincial parks that have been closed since April 8 as part of efforts to restrict coronavirus transmission.

Trails will be open for hiking, biking and horseback riding, where permitted, but camping facilities and playgrounds will remain off-limits, at least until the beginning of June.

Provincial parks in and around Nanaimo, from north to south, include Saysutshun Newcastle Island Marine Provincial Park; Petroglyph Provincial Park; Gabriola Sands, Sandwell and Drumbeg provincial parks on Gabriola Island; Morden Colliery Historic in South Wellington; Hemer in Cedar; and Roberts Memorial Provincial Park in Yellow Point.

Together, provincial parks in the region add an additional 546 hectares of parkland to Nanaimo’s 880 hectares of city parks and the Regional District of Nanaimo’s 300 hectares of regional parks.

According to B.C.’s recently released restart plan, provincial parks will open for day use only and will include opening day-use and recreation sites that can “safely provide existing service levels, such as garbage disposal and washroom facilities.” Playgrounds, picnic shelters and visitor centres will remain closed. Overnight camping at provincial parks will re-open June 1 with some exceptions.

To get updates on provincial parks and parks facilities openings and closures, visit

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