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Camping season officially begins
Resident excited to pop a tent, sit by a fire and enjoy the outdoors with friends

Miranda Scotland
Northern News Services
Published Friday, May 17, 2013

For weeks Yellowknifer Becky Davis has been counting down to the start of camping season and now that it has arrived she says she can't wait to get out to Reid Lake Territorial Park park to enjoy the outdoors.

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Jeany Juntilla stopped by Fred Henne Territorial Park on Thursday to check out the campsite she booked for the following day. - Miranda Scotland/NNSL photo

It's just so much fun sitting by the fire, enjoying some smokies while telling stories and sharing laughs with friends, Davis said, adding she's glad the weather has warmed up lately.

"It's actually probably going to be quite nice this weekend because there will be less bugs," she said. "Just being outdoors right now is so nice."

The three territorial parks - Fred Henne park, Reid Lake park and Prelude Lake park - opened for the season this past Wednesday.

To prepare for the kickoff, parks officers were hired back and new officers were brought in where needed. Parks staff also had to reopen all the buildings on the properties and do a general cleanup.

"This winter we tried to make sure all the garbages were kept clean and emptied throughout the winter at our wayside parks so it made cleaning up this year a lot easier for us," said Tracy St. Denis, North Slave regional superintendent for the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment.

According to St. Denis, on opening day a total of 60 sites were booked between the three campgrounds. However, the weekend will be much busier, she said. By Thursday Fred Henne had 92 reservations for the weekend while Prelude Lake park had 24 and Reid Lake park had 62.

As a result of the recent warm spell, Denis warned, some of the sites maybe a little bit soggy.

"That does happen because the ground is frozen and the water is melting on the top ... it can't always absorb," she said, noting that it isn't any different than previous years.

Visitors, she said, should know that there will be limited access to the Prospector's Trail at Fred Henne park because it runs into the new bypass road that's being built to the Ingraham Trail.

There will likely be some noise from construction on the new road but it shouldn't be overly disruptive, said Earl Blacklock, spokesperson for the Department of Transportation.

"Blasting will not necessarily be something that people would even notice. Blasting is just sort of a pop sound. It's rare for there to be a major blast," Blacklock said, adding blasting won't continue after 11 p.m. anyhow.

Meanwhile, St. Denis said, work to add additional campsites to Fred Henne Territorial Park won't start until the end of the season.

"The new loop will be done after the park season is over ... in order to not disrupt people's camping experience," St. Denis said, adding that visitors can also help ensure everyone has a good camping trip by keeping the noise to a minimum after 10:30 p.m. and keeping fires to a manageable size.

"Just a reminder for people to be safe out there and be respectful of other campers. Just be mindful of the quiet hours and to enjoy themselves."

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