Popular recreation site to become pay-for-service campground next year

The recently installed dock at Martin’s Lake will continue to be available to the public free of charge.

A hot spot near the Town of Princeton will be a fee-for-service provincial campground next year.

Recreation Sites and Trails B.C., under the authority of the provincial forestry ministry, has begun construction on ten campsites at Martin’s Lake. They will eventually be available to campers for between $10 and $12 per night.

Tim Bennett, district forest operations officer, said developing the area into a campground with some supervision makes sense.

“We had a call from a local resident who wanted to the see the site maintained a little better,” he said. “The site has been very localized to the community. It’s a bit different from our normal recreation sites.”

That neighbour to the campground will be its operator, he said.

Martin’s Lake, just 3 km from town on Princeton Summerland Road, has always been the responsibility of the province but it’s been undeveloped for several years.

Regional district Area H director Bob Coyne said he welcomes the news, adding that the site has become problematic with visitors leaving garbage and overstaying their welcome.

Last year, the RDOS partnered with the fisheries ministry and several local businesses to build a fishing dock for local and tourist enjoyment.

“It was an overwhelming success. So the site got an awful lot of use this year to the point where we had people who decided it would be a great place to live.”

Camping on Crown land is limited to 14 nights.

“Sites and trails had to get involved…they had to get involved and get the RCMP involved and come and basically move some people along.”

Once camper squatted at Martin’s Lake from May through August, and there were reports of rowdy parties being held in the area, he said.

The province’s plan “is really good stuff. We are going to end up with a pretty nice campsite there and I think it’s fantastic.”

Bennett said improvements to the site will cost approximately $50,000. That includes the grading of the designated campsites, the installation of fire rings, bathroom facilities and picnic tables.

The picnic tables alone cost $1,400 each.

Bennett said he recognizes developing the site into a pay-for-service campground may frustrate some local users, but added there are numerous provincial camping spaces in the area that are available at no charge.

The park will be open, free of charge, for day use like swimming and fishing, he said.

“The money being [collected] isn’t going back to the government….They go back to the site operator for services and supplies and surplus funding would go back to the site.

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

Just Posted

UPDATE: Wildfire forces evacuation of homes between Summerland and Penticton

Emergency vehicles are at the scene near Sage Mesa, evacuation centre set up in Penticton

Morning Start: Water can freeze and boil at the same time

Your morning start for Thursday, August 6, 2020

Hunting cabins were built west of Summerland

Area around Darke Lake was once known as the Piggeries

COLUMN: COVID-19 contact tracing app offers innovative approach

App designed to help monitor spread of pandemic in Canada

Dry Lake wildfire now classified as held

Wildfire was burning out of control north of Princeton for three days

Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

Both BC Transit and TransLink made the announcement in separate press releases on Thursday

Molotov cocktails thrown at Revelstoke home in arson attempt

The flames were extinguished before they spread

British Columbians worried as end of COVID-19 rental supplement looms

Single mom struggles as supplement was her saving grace

Fire at Marble Point near Sicamous now under control

Two days of work on the fire has reduced its size and controlled it

Driver rescued after car goes down embankment near Kelowna

The Kelowna Fire Department performed the high-angle rope rescue around 7:10 p.m. on Aug. 5

Arson suspected in several wildfires lit near Kootenay town

RCMP making progress in arson investigation of Marsh Creek fires

Three screening officers at Vancouver airport test positive for COVID-19

The public is not believed to be at risk of exposure

VIDEO: B.C. conservation officers free not-so-wily coyote with head stuck in jar

Poor pup was found with a glass jar stuck on its head in Maple Ridge

Most Read