More Sask. campsites to operate at full capacity after some COVID-19 restrictions are lifted

Saskatchewan is lifting some of the booking limits to allow campgrounds to operate at full capacity.

Campers will be allowed to shower at provincial park facilities

Campers and campgrounds must abide by a list of rules as Saskatchewan's reopening plan rolls out. (Submitted by Karla Sastaunik)

Saskatchewan is lifting some booking limits to allow campgrounds to operate at full capacity.

Campgrounds were permitted to open to the public in June as part of the province's five-phase reopening plan. Campers and campgrounds must still abide by a list of rules as the restrictions lift. 

Nightly, group, double and equestrian campsites that were previously closed due to COVID-19 restrictions have already started to become available to book. More sites will become available in the province's online booking system in the coming days and weeks.

Camp-Easy sites will be available for reservation starting July 9 and will open for the season on July 16.

The province said showers will reopen, with increased cleaning and sanitization. Laundry facilities and shared cookhouses in day-use areas will remain closed until further notice.

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Only Saskatchewan residents are permitted to camp or visit the parks in the province.

Although non-essential travel between provinces is strongly discouraged, cabin or property owners living in other provinces will not be denied access to properties they own within provincial parks or privately operated campgrounds. They will also be allowed access to lakes and boat launches, but are asked to limit travel within the parks.

Campers are asked to provide proof of residence when making reservations.

The province allowed playgrounds and beaches to reopen earlier this month. Saskatchewan's chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said that people should "give space" on the beach, grass or in the water.

Beach guidelines

The province posted its guidelines for beaches around the province:

  • Stay home if sick.
  • Different groups must maintain a physical distance of two metres outdoors, indoors, on the beach and in the water.
  • Towels and beach gear should be set up with four metres between groups to allow physical distancing.
  • Groups must remain within the gathering limit.
  • Do not share towels, food or toys between groups.
  • Beaches that are controlled should enforce a maximum occupancy.
  • Public washrooms will be open.

Campsites may allow boats to launch, as long as campers are observing physical distancing rules. 

Physical distancing rules still apply to campers in Saskatchewan. 

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Where to go

CBC Saskatchewan's The Morning Edition held a contest last year asking people submit their favourite nature spots to visit in Saskatchewan. Here are some entries to inspire your next trip.

Southeast Saskatchewan

Among the places suggested were White Bear Lake Resort, Kenosee Lake, the Big Muddy and Mission Lake. 

Duck Mountain Provincial Park was a beautiful place to Rachel Yvonne Marie. (Submitted by Rachel Yvonne Marie)

Southwest Saskatchewan

Ideas in the area included Frenchman River, Mary's Labyrinth, Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park and Grasslands National Park. 

Julie Dima captured this night sky in Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park. (Submitted by Julie Dima)
Barbara Levorson's new favourite places is Mary's Labyrinth by Val Marie, Sask. (Submitted by Barbara Levorson)

Northeast Saskatchewan

For people looking around Tisdale and Nipawin, some suggestions were Greenwater Lake, Tobin Lake, and Narrow Hills Provincial Park. 

Donna Greuel recommends the Esker Trail at Narrow Hills Provincial Park. (Submitted by Donna Greuel)
Mary Coyle said it is hard to pick just one place in Sask but she'd go with Anglin Lake. (Submitted by Mary Coyle)

Northwest Saskatchewan

In the La Ronge, Buffalo Narrows and Meadow Lake area, some suggestions were the sand dunes around Buffalo Narrows, Little Raspberry Lake, Beaver River, and Meadow Lake Provincial Park. 

Mary Deane said Prince Albert National Park is great in the fall and winter. (Submitted by Mary Deane)
Mitchell McEachern picked a lake only accessible by boat in the summer as his favourite place in Saskatchewan. (Submitted by Mitchell McEachern)

Seasonal and nightly campsites can be reserved through the online system or through the call centre at 1-855-737-7275. Customers are encouraged to purchase their annual park entry permits online when making their campsite reservation to limit in-person contact.

Camping will be offered in all Saskatchewan Provincial Parks until Sept. 30 with most services available. 

-with files from CBC's Laura Sciarpelletti

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