Plans are underway for a new loop with 16 drive-in campsites and two outhouses at the Northwest Territories' Prelude Lake Territorial Park.

Unlike the existing loops at the park, "[these sites] are designed differently in that you don't have to back in or pull in — you can just drive straight through them," said Kris Johnson, the regional superintendent for the North Slave region for the Department of Industry Tourism and Investment. 

The department is seeking a three-year land use permit from the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board for construction of what it's calling "Loop D."

"Prelude Lake Territorial Park is one of the most popular parks in the N.W.T. and a new loop is needed to add capacity to satisfy a growing number of recreational users using the campground," reads the department's application.

The average daily occupancy at Prelude Lake park on weekends during the 2014 season — the worst fire season on record for the territory — was 79.4 per cent, compared to 112 per cent in 2013.

'Concerns raised from titled land owners' 

Loop D would be located in a treed sand plain close to the park entrance, near the trailhead and parking lot for the Prelude Lake Nature Trail.   

According to ITI, "The new loop location takes into consideration concerns raised from titled land owners by being located away from residents."

The parking lot for the trail will remain in its current location, while the trailhead will be moved northeast to accommodate the loop entrance. The new trailhead will link up with the existing trail after approximately 100 metres.

The estimated budget is $250,000, with construction expected to begin this spring and be completed by 2018.