Areas along the West Coast Trail, Broken Island Groups and Long Beach Unit will remain closed to public for overnight camping in 2020. (Photo: Pacific Rim National Park Reserve/Facebook)

West Coast Trail to remain closed to overnight camping for rest of the year

Broken Islands and Long Beach Unit of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve also off limits

Several overnight backcountry camping areas in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve will remain closed for the rest of 2020, including the West Coast Trail, the Broken Group Islands, and the Long Beach unit.

Parks Canada announced the decision to close these areas was done in consultation with local First Nations in response to concerns voiced by these communities about ongoing risks of COVID-19.

Overnight experiences on the West Coast Trail, including Keeha Beach, Tapaltos, all other locations in the Cape Beale region, and the Nitinaht Triangle are suspended for 2020.

One-way trails in the Long Beach unit, including Schooner Cove, Combers Beach, Nuu-chah-nulth, South Beach, Willowbrea and Halfmoon Bay will be closed.

The visitor centres, visitor services, interpretive programs and all group activities and special events throughout the national park reserve will not be operational.

Limited day use opportunities are still available in some backcountry areas of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. However, motorized and non-motorized vessels, including kayaks, are not permitted to land anywhere within the West Coast Trail Unit.

All reservations for the Broken Group Islands and West Coast Trail will be automatically cancelled with all fees refunded.

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve falls within the traditional territories of nine Nuu-chah-nulth Nations. First Nations communities are among the most vulnerable to COVID-19 and visitors to backcountry areas in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve pass through Indigenous communities, Indian Reserve lands and Treaty Settlement lands.

Indigenous people are also present on these lands for cultural, ceremonial, and harvesting purposes. Visitors often interact with Beachkeepers in the Broken Group and Guardians on the West Coast Trail, who maintain infrastructure and provide guidance and cultural information to visitors.

Although B.C. has moved into phase 3 of its reopening, First Nations indicated that they were not ready to reopen and expose their territories to the risk of COVID-19.

Judith Sayers, president of the Nuu-chah-nulth Nations, along with the Heiltsuk and Tsilhqot’in First Nations had said on June 23, that travel in their respective territories will be restricted until safety concerns are met.

READ MORE : B.C. reopening travel not sitting well with several First Nations

Pacific Rim National ParkParks Canada

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ballenas students help keep essential community services going

Club donates $1,000 to SOS Grateful Hearts campaign

Rebound recovery program helps more than 50 PQB businesses remain open

Nearly $90K in aid received through Oceanside Initiatives plan

Parksville-area family receives anonymous letters complaining children are being too loud

Letter said the noise of kids playing in the backyard is ‘unbearable’

PQBeat Podcast: Beloved Parksville volunteer Joan LeMoine

Discussion includes childhood memories, receiving the key to the city and more

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Cooler days help crews fighting fire on mountainside southwest of Nanaimo

Firefighters making progress, but it’s ‘slow-going,’ says B.C. Wildfire Service

Crews work overnight to try to put out wildfire on Pender Island

Fire department and B.C. Wildfire Service crews extinguishing fire in ‘extremely difficult terrain’

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Woman arrested near Nanaimo beach after alleged road rage incidents

37-year-old woman facing charges including assault, assaulting a police officer, impaired driving

Most Read