A temporary bridge will be constructed to allow access next spring until a permanent structure is constructed in July, 2012, after flooding collapsed the only access road into the park. BC Parks will also be replacing damaged drainage culverts with a structure built to withstand future flooding events. The construction will be scheduled to take into consideration weather conditions such as spring flooding, and the best time to build that has the least impact on fish.

“Having this park access out of commission has created hardship in our region. It’s important that we maintain access to this important recreational area as it contributes to the quality of life of families and tourists alike,” said Peace River South MLA Blair Lekstrom in a statement.

Located about midway between Tumbler Ridge and Chetwynd off of Highway 29, Gwillim Lake usually opens around May 1st and closes at the end of September, and is a popular spot for fishing, kayaking and camping.

It is also the site a property leased by School District 59 to provide outdoor education and recreational opportunities to students, though assistant superintendent Rob Dennis said that site is located in a different area of the park that was not affected by the flooding. The Gwillim Lake Outdoor Education Facility gives students an opportunity to study wildlife, wilderness survival and environmental stewardship, while also enjoying activities such as canoeing, camping and climbing on a world-class climbing wall.