In 2021, campers flocked to national and provincial parks in Nova Scotia (Canada), and more are anticipated this year.
According to a report, in 2021, 91,000 overnight reservations were reported in 20 provincial parks as COVID-19 restrictions were relaxed during the summer camping season.
Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site have also seen thousands of people leave their homes and head to the park to take in the beautiful outdoors.
Camping reservations at provincial parks will open on April 5 and April 7. For parks located in Queens and Lunenburg counties, reservations for Rissers Beach and Thomas Raddall are being accepted on April 5 and April 7 for Graves Island.
Sandra Fraser, Nova Scotia’s parks promotion and development officer, said that following a delay in opening last year due to COVID-19 restrictions, they hope that things will get back to more normal this year.
“We expect to be opening on time this year, which begins on May long weekend for most of the parks, while a few will open in June.”
Last year, the opening of parks for camping was delayed by around 11 days until the beginning of June due to health restrictions.
“Last year, we definitely heard from people that they enjoyed coming to parks where they could feel a sense of normalcy and get away from it all, and have those physical benefits of being in nature and just have a relaxing atmosphere,” she said.
According to Fraser, one of the more positive side-effects of the pandemic is an increase in the number of Nova Scotians who are staying closer to home and taking advantage of their parks.
With the expected rise in visitors to all provincial parks this year, Fraser gave some tips for making reservations.
She suggested that campers plan ahead by going to the website https://parks.novascotia.ca/ and make sure they are registered and everything works. A new reservation system was introduced last year, and if the camper did not register through the system the previous year, a re-registration would be required.
The acting visitor experience manager for Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site, Mark Schmidt, stated that they are expecting an extremely busy summer.
Reservations began on February 17, and that morning, 9,167 reservations were made. The number of visitors will increase to 78,000 or 79,000 again, as seen prior to 2020.
Kejimkujik National Park will open for the summer season on the May long weekend and continue through the end of October.
This story originally appeared on Toronto Star.