Some people unable to access Kinbrook day use area on long weekend

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SANDRA M STANWAY
Brooks Bulletin

With no room for additional vehicles to park over the long weekend at Kinbrook Island Provincial Park, staff became parking attendants.
“The park rangers said they had never seen that many cars trying to get into Kinbrook Park. They just ran out of parking spots. They turned their jobs from park rangers to parking control. That’s what they actually had to do,” said Andrew Hunt, who manages the dinosaur management area.
Vehicles stopped along the road outside the park until a spot was found or some turned around and went elsewhere.
“It was quite something. They dealt with it quite well. There were some rumours that they were turning some people around. I think more likely they were informing people that there was just no more parking so to stand by while they could be accommodated.”
One unidentified family of 10 from Lethbridge said they were told by a ranger there was no parking and they could not go in.
“They went to Rolling Hills,” the Bulletin was told.
Hunt said each vehicle was stopped and told there was no parking available although they did eventually use some of the grass as space.
Much of the attraction to the park was the warm temperature and no storm warnings in the forecast.
“We’ve been building up to a lot of this in July and then storm clouds build west of the lake and everybody retreats and all of a sudden it’s back to normal,” he said.
Hunt said two of the parks in the management area – Dinosaur and Kinbrook – had been sold out for weeks but there were some spots at Tillebrook.
“It was the vehicles more than the campers that presented the problem. We’re used to that. That happens almost every weekend,” he said.
There are 270 regular parking stalls for day use and a few stalls for guests who are camping. There are 28 angle parking lanes at the boat launch which are intended for vehicles towing trailers.
The former overflow area was converted into the new J Loop camping area about three years ago.
Now that the peak season is over, Hunt said the day use areas are open with plenty of room for family gatherings.