Alberta begins to relax restrictions surrounding provincial parks and public lands

“We’re excited to welcome you back to your local park soon. Non-essential travel is still not recommended. Please respect the health and safety of small communities by planning your trip without stops for gas or food.”-Alberta Parks on twitter.

Effective May 1, vehicle access restrictions at parking lots and staging areas in provincial parks and on public land are lifted.

As the provincial parks in Alberta reopen, the authorities are encouraging anyone visiting the parks and public land for recreation purposes to follow public health guidelines. Visit parks near your home. Now is not the time for long road trips or non-essential travel.

Washrooms and garbage pick-up aren’t available yet and campgrounds don’t open until June 1.  It will take time to get these services in place. If you’re visiting our parks or public land, respect the land and pack out what you pack in for the safety of wildlife and our staff. Plan ahead to ensure you have enough food and water and remember to have sanitizer on hand.

Everyone needs to work together by physical distancing, wearing masks when possible and not gathering in groups to minimize the chance of a second wave of the virus.

Remember, a fire ban is still in place in our provincial parks and in the Forest Protection Area.

Camping

The online campsite reservation system will reopen May 14 for campsite bookings starting June 1 onward. We’re still dealing with COVID-19, so extra steps need to be taken this summer to ensure everyone’s safety. That’s why they are limiting occupancy to 50 per cent capacity to ensure we’re respecting physical distancing. The sites are  are open to Albertans only.

Only individual and backcountry campsites can be reserved.

Boat Launches

Access to select boat launches is posted here. We will be working to have all boat launches open by May 14.

Fishing

If you are an Alberta resident between the ages of 16 and 65, you must obtain an Alberta angling license to fish. Non-residents must obtain an Alberta angling license regardless of age. The Alberta Guide to Sportfishing Regulations has detailed information on season and catch limits. More info on fishing in Alberta’s Parks.

Fire ban

fire ban remains in place for all Alberta provincial parks and protected areas until further notice. We are asking Albertans to comply with the fire ban. Non-compliance may result in extreme fines.

Approved activities during a fire ban are available on this site.

Off-highway vehicles

Off-highway vehicle recreation use is permitted on designated trails at this time. Please always check for bans before you ride.

Backcountry safety

The Kananaskis Country public safety team is asking for cooperation from Kananaskis backcountry users. Backcountry use has the potential to add unnecessary stress to the health care system and put public safety staff at risk, including to exposure to COVID-19, which could then impact resources to support search and rescue. This applies to all Alberta Parks’ backcountry areas.

Visiting Alberta Parks During COVID-19

We know our parks play an important role in both the physical and mental wellbeing of Albertans. We need your help to reduce the spread of COVID-19 so the parks can stay open, safe and accessible.

      • Continue to practice physical distancing and only visit a park with members of your household, or your cohort family.
      • Visit parks near your home. Now is not the time for long road trips or non-essential travel.
      • Please respect the health and safety of small communities by planning your trip without stops for gas or food.
      • Don’t visit if you’re sick or were recently exposed to someone with COVID-19. Bring a cloth mask and wear it when you’re near other people.
      • Only visit parks or go hiking where you can maintain at least two metres of physical distance at all times.
      • Visit early in the day, so you can head somewhere else if a parking lot is full. If parking lots are full, please consider visiting at a different time. Do not park on the shoulder of roads.
      • Please come prepared with your own water, snacks and hand sanitizer.
      • Dispose of your trash in appropriate receptacles or pack it out to keep both wildlife and our maintenance staff safe.
      • Follow all the advice of the public health experts to protect yourself and others during this pandemic.

We’re all in this together. Thank you for loving and supporting Alberta Parks, and for helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by following these guidelines.

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