The Williams Lake Cross Country Ski Club manages the ski trails at Bull Mountain Ski Area. (Williams Lake Tribune file photo)

Williams Lake ski trail, Chilcotin rec site among dozens in B.C. closed due to COVID-19

Government asks people to avoid travelling outside of their communities for recreation purposes

Bull Mountain Ski Trail just outside of Williams Lake and Horn Lake rec site near the Chilcotin community of Tatla Lake is now closed due to COVID-19 health and safety concerns.

The provincial government’s Recreation Sites and Trails BC announced dozens of temporary site closures of recreation facilities and campgrounds as another measure to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic in B.C.

“Recreation Sites and Trails BC’s (RSTBC) number one priority is the health and safety of our staff, partners, volunteers, and visitors. We are following the advice of provincial health experts and doing our part to limit the spread of COVID-19,” the government stated in a news release Wednesday, March 25.

“Effectively immediately, RSTBC is temporarily closing recreation facilities and suspending services at many recreation sites and trails across B.C. We are also recommending that people avoid travelling outside of their communities for recreation purposes at this time. Our response to COVID-19 continues to change based on direction from the British Columbia Provincial Health Officer (PHO).”

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For now, visitors can expect the following:

“Recreation trails offer local opportunities for people to get outside. Recreation trails are available for local use at this time. Visitors are reminded of the directives from the PHO to avoid gathering in groups and to keep at least two metres apart from each other when using trails. Trail users are responsible for their own safety and should exercise additional caution and be careful to limit injuries as trails may not be groomed or maintained during this time.

“Recreation facilities where people gather and are in contact with frequently touched surfaces will be closed. Closures will apply to fee collection booths and kiosks, overnight shelters, backcountry cabins, day use shelters, and other related infrastructure. This includes facilities used for winter sports and activities (e.g. snowmobiling, nordic skiing, etc.), as well as all-season activities such as mountain biking and hiking.

“Overnight camping and gatherings are prohibited at all recreation sites. Camping areas that have yet to open for the season will remain closed for the foreseeable future until otherwise directed by provincial health experts. Recreation sites may be available for local day use activities, at the discretion of local recreation officers. Visitors should be mindful that washroom facilities may not be available at most recreation sites.

“Visitors should check out the RSTBC website before heading out to be prepared for their visit and to be aware of any closures.”

RSTBC continues to monitor the COVID-19 outbreak closely and is following recommendations set out by the PHO and provincial health experts to assess when to reopen facilities and services and return to full operations.

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More information:

A current list of closures can be found on the Current Site Closures page of the RSTBC Website.

For information about COVID-19, how to protect yourself, your family and your community and what to do if you suspect you have the virus please visit the BC Centre for Disease Control’s website.


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