KITCHENER -- The Grand River Conservation Authority is opening more programs and amenities at its parks starting in July.

Select parks including Brant, Byng Island, Elora Gorge, Guelph Lake, Pinehurst Lake and Rockwood conservation areas will open for overnight camping on July 10. The GRCA’s reservation system will reopen on July 6 starting at 9 a.m.

“Our board is aware that people are excited to be able to explore the outdoors at Grand River Parks this summer,” Helen Jowett, GRCA Chair, said in a news release. “We are pleased to be able to offer more amenities and programs like camping in some of our parks, but activities will still be limited.”

The campgrounds will have washrooms, but no showers or group camping in 2020.

Conestogo Lake and Laurel Creek conservation areas won't be offering overnight camping this summer. Anyone who booked in advance will be contacted about a refund.

The GRCA says it will limit the number of daily visitors to the conservation areas, along with lowering camping capacity and increasing patrols to follow public health protocols.

Any conservation areas in Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph are subject to mandatory masks in all indoor facilities, including washrooms and gatehouses.

Here's what's currently open in Grand River Parks:

  • Most Grand River Parks, except for Elora Quarry Conservation Area, are open daily from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.; gatehouses are open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Beaches
  • Some washrooms for day use areas
  • Grand River Parks memberships available for purchase at gatehouse
  • Seasonal boat launch passes at Belwood Lake and Conestogo Lake gatehouses

Here's what's opening in July:

Online camping reservations open at 9 a.m. on July 6

Overnight camping at Brant, Byng Island, Elora Gorge, Guelph Lake, Pinehurst Lake and Rockwood conservation areas opens on July 10

Some overnight camping washrooms

Here's what will remain closed for 2020:

  • Elora Quarry Conservation Area
  • Splash pad at Elora Gorge Conservation Area
  • Swimming pools at Brant and Byng Island conservation areas
  • Overnight camping at Conestogo Lake and Laurel Creek conservation areas
  • Showers and change rooms
  • Washrooms at seasonal camping areas
  • Pavilions, picnic shelters and group facilities
  • Playground equipment
  • Food concession stands
  • Group camping
  • Learn to Fish program
  • Fishing equipment rental and loaner life jackets

Boat, canoe and kayak rentals, along with tubing at Elora Gorge Conservation Area, will remain closed until further notice