Changes to camping program at Saskatchewan Provincial Parks

Staff ~ The Grenfell Sun & The Broadview Express
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Improvements Will Allow More People to Enjoy Saskatchewan’s Provincial Parks

Crooked Lake Provincial Park has become one of the campsites designated as a 14-night-maximum stay provincial park. Crooked Lake is being added to the list in addition to Anglin Lake, Blackstrap, Bronson Forest, Chitek Lake and Narrow Hills.

Saskatchewan provincial parks are making changes to their camping program. The changes, which include an expansion of the 14-night maximum stay during peak season and making all regular campsites available for either walk-up or reservation registrations, will maximize the opportunities for visitors to enjoy a camping experience in a Saskatchewan provincial park.

“These changes to our business practices will ensure that our beautiful provincial parks are more accessible to our visitors, while offering an enhanced customer experience,” said Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Bill Hutchinson. “These changes, combined with our new reservation system, will allow many more families to share a park experience.”

The number of campsites designated as 14-night-maximum stay will increase in 25 provincial park campgrounds and recreation sites for the peak period of June 24 to September long weekend. The maximum-stay program is also being added to six additional parks this year including: Anglin Lake, Blackstrap, Bronson Forest, Chitek Lake, Crooked Lake and Narrow Hills. The ministry has piloted this program in a number of parks over the last three years and has found that limiting camping stays to a maximum of 14 nights allows more visitors to experience camping in a provincial park.

System wide, approximately 40 per cent of all nightly campsites will be designated as maximum stay, which will ensure there are still a number of nightly campsites available for extended stays. A full list of parks, recreation sites and campsites included in the maximum stay program is available at saskparks.net.

“From our research, we know the majority of our campers prefer to stay for less than 14 nights in a provincial park and to book in advance,” said Hutchinson.

“The extension of the maximum length stay program, along with making every site available for either reservation or walk-up, will ensure a balanced distribution of these treasured public spaces.”

While there are no changes to the cost of nightly camping or vehicle entry, there will be some small fee adjustments related to making, changing or cancelling a reservation. The cost to make a reservation online remains $10, while the cost to change a reservation will increase from $7 to $10.

A new $10 cancellation fee will be charged for all cancellations that occur later than 48 hours after the original booking. If you choose to use the call centre to make, change or cancel a reservation, an additional $2 fee will apply.

Over the past four years, the Ministry of Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport has been investing in Saskatchewan’s provincial parks in order to offer a better camping experience. The improvements include the launch of a new online booking system, adding electricity to nearly 1,100 campsites, building new service centres, change houses and boat launches. During this period, the number of visits to Saskatchewan parks has grown by more than 11 per cent.

Reservations for the 2012 camping season can be made, in real-time, in 24 parks, starting at 8 a.m. on March 12 through saskparks.net or by calling 1-855-737-7275.

sunnews@sasktel.net

Organizations: Saskatchewan Provincial Parks, Ministry of Tourism

Geographic location: Saskatchewan, Chitek Lake, Crooked Lake

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