The new Mount Benson parking lot is now open for public use. This new lot will accommodate the increasing number of visitors to the park with over 100 parking spots, and a new trail that leads from the parking lot to the mountain is scheduled to be completed by June 28, 2019. While the new trail is being completed, a detour to the existing route will be provided along the south side of Witchcraft Lake, with temporary signage directing visitors to the detour.
Overlooking the City of Nanaimo, the 211-hectare Mount Benson Regional Park features rough, mountainous terrain and panoramic views of the Salish Sea. The pre-existing parking lot at Witchcraft Lake provided insufficient capacity to meet the needs of increased patronage; therefore, in consultation with the public, property for the new parking lot was acquired in 2018, and construction began in the spring of 2019.
“The growth and maintenance of our parks and trails systems calls for long-term and sustainable servicing,” said Chair Ian Thorpe. “The new parking lot and trail at Mount Benson Regional Park is designed to meet rising demands, and this infrastructure will provide visitors with ample parking and safe access to one of our regions treasured landmarks.”
Gates at the new parking lot will be open from 5 AM – 11 PM in the summer months and 5 AM – 8 PM in the winter months. The Witchcraft Lake parking lot and floating boardwalk will remain open, and a usage report for both parking areas will be prepared in the summer of 2020
For more information about Mount Benson Regional Park, please visit rdn.bc.ca/mount-benson-regional-park. Details about the Mount Benson parking infrastructure project can be found at getinvolved.rdn.ca/mt-b-parking.