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Maple Ridge parks, trails see record number of visitors during pandemic

Citynews 1130 Vancouver

Last Updated Sep 24, 2020 at 2:45 pm PDT

Whonnock Lake Park also saw heavy use in July and August, with visitations increasing by about 57 per cent compared to the same time in 2019. (Courtesy Whonnock Lake, Instagram)
Summary

Parks and trails in Maple Ridge have seen record numbers of visitors during the pandemic

More than 630,000 visitors were recorded at five city parks, another 130,000 at eight trails

Data was collected using sensors installed at entrances and parking lots

MAPLE RIDGE (NEWS 1130) — Parks and trails in Maple Ridge have seen record numbers of visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Between April 1 and Aug. 31, more than 630,000 visitors were recorded at five city-operated parks.

During the same five-month period, another 130,000 visits were tracked at eight city trails.

Data was collected using sensors installed at entrances and parking lots.

“Since the start of the pandemic and especially this summer, we’ve seen unprecedented traffic at parks and trails across Maple Ridge,” said David Boag, general manager of parks and recreation for Maple Ridge.

The most popular destination was Maple Ridge Park, with more than 250,000 visitors entering its main parking lot over the spring and summer.

Whonnock Lake Park also saw heavy use in July and August, with visitations increasing by about 57 per cent compared to the same time in 2019.

On weekends, the park was full between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Average trail usage was also up across Maple Ridge, with most monitored trails experiencing a 50 per cent increase in use year-over-year.

On peak days, certain trail locations recorded up to 700 users throughout the day.

City bylaw officers ensured that everyone respected physical distancing orders, patrolling parks.

“When discovering Maple Ridge’s amazing green spaces, let’s all be mindful of others by respecting the direction of Dr. [Bonnie] Henry to stay healthy and enjoy the outdoors at two metres apart,” Mayor Mike Morden says in a release.

“We all need to continue to do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19 and end this pandemic.”

Maple Ridge is also home to Golden Ears Provincial Park, which set a record in June, when more than 50,000 vehicles reportedly entered.