Halfway Hotsprings receives major upgrade
If you’ve been to the Halfway Hotsprings recently, you might have noticed some changes to the site.
Recreation Sites and Trails BC (RSTBC) temporarily closed the hot spring back in July in order to complete about $50,000 in upgrades to the facility. These upgrades have been in the planning stages for the last two years.
Before work could begin, a trained stability assessment had to be done because the area is high risk for landslides. An archaeological impact assessment was also done. After both assessments were complete and recommendations were given, work began.
“We enhanced the upper parking lot and made it a lot bigger and put an outhouse there,” said Justin Dexter, recreation officer for the Kootenay Boundary District. “We did 12 vehicle camping spots, where you can back in a small trailer, where you have a picnic table, and a small fire ring for campfires.”
In addition, five outhouses have been added to the site, as there have been issues in the past with people doing their business in the bushes.
Starting on Aug. 15, the site will have a site host and there will be a $12 fee per camping party. A camping party consists of a group of up to six people per site. This was not in the initial plans for the upgrades.
“Initially we were going to put it back to the public free of charge, but it’s only been two weeks and I’ve already received quite a few phone calls of people being disrespectful, mainly around garbage, and rowdiness in the evening, and disrupting other users,” said Dexter.
The site host will be living on the grounds and will do their rounds visiting everyone, collecting fees, and providing receipts.
Though it has only been two weeks since the upgrades have been complete, campers are already praising the site. Justin Brand and Candace West, visiting from Kelowna, discovered Halfway Hotsprings when they came across an online copy of an old edition of Travel Magazine.
Even though this was their first time at Halfway, they were very impressed.
“Our first impression, other than the nice bumpy drive, is that it’s a very nice campground,” said West. “I think we’ve both done our fair share of camping, mostly in Ontario, and Manitoba, and Saskatchewan, but it’s very nice.”
While work on the campsite has been completed, there are plans to do more work in the spring.
“What we want to do is make it a bit bigger,” said Dexter. “The locals and the public really want it to be natural. All the wooden tubs and structures are going to be removed, and we’re going to replace it with more natural seating, and a kind of rocky pool with cobbles and stone and stuff like that.”
Dexter said maintaining the campsite is important for everyone.
“We need to make sure people who want to go there and have a good experience are able to have that.”