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It Could Be A Slow Start To Camping Season

2013 05 camping

A spokesperson with Manitoba Parks says the slow melt may be a factor in why campsites are slow to fill for the May Long Weekend.

"It's probably a little bit slower than we've seen in other years," says Tracy Elbourne, Head of Recreation Programming. "I guess with all the slow melt and the cooler temperatures."

Elbourne says The Whiteshell, Birds Hill Park and Grand Beach are historically the hotspots for May Long. But Elbourne says traditionally, the first long weekend of the camping season will only see about a 50% occupancy rate. "The service sites that provide electrical or water services, those are usually scooped up and the unserviced sites remain," says Elbourne. "And that's very, very typical."

Environment Canada is calling for a good chance of showers all weekend. Elbourne says campground occupancy is very weather dependent. But she says those who go camping May Long Weekend are the hardy types who will come out regardless of the weather.

Elbourne says May Long Weekend continues to offer liquor-free camping from Thursday to Monday. "We've had this program in place for not quite twenty years and it's been quite successful in bringing the campers out for family camping experiences," says Elbourne. She would also like to remind campers that park entry fees are required when entering provincial parks.

Even though there are burning restrictions in place for many municipalities in southern Manitoba, Elbourne does not expect there to be any additional restrictions inside Manitoba campgrounds this weekend.

Elbourne says, even though the snow just melted, she expects all provincial campgrounds will be open, with the exception of a couple of locations around Lake Manitoba still feeling the effects of the 2011 flood. Those, specifically are St.Ambroise and Watchorn, and Elbourne says they're not yet certain what will happen at those locations this year.

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