Rules and Regulations
What you need to know
Camping season dates and hours
Dates parks open and close
See our Seasons & Fees for park-specific opening and closing dates.
Hours for park offices and kiosks (yellow phones)
Spring shoulder season: May 20 to June 29
9 am to 11 pm Daily
Summer peak season: June 30 to Sept 5
9 am to 11 pm Sun to Thurs
9 am to midnight Fri to Sat
9 am to midnight Holiday-weekend Sundays
Fall shoulder season: Sept 6 to Oct 17
9 am to 11 pm Daily
Making a reservation
Reservation opening dates
Campsites: April 2 at 9am Atlantic Time, by phone or online
Group camping sites: May 1 through a local Department of Lands and Forestry office only
Arriving at a self-registration park
With a reservation
Go directly to your campsite. If you arrive before 1 pm, you may set up camp as soon as your site is vacant. If you need a gate passcode, use the yellow phone at the kiosk.
Without a reservation
Register with a mobile device if a sign at the park displays an access code (parks with wireless coverage).
Register at the kiosk (yellow phone) during open hours:
- follow the instructions displayed at the kiosk
- if paying in cash, submit exact amount; we can’t make change
Arriving after hours
If the gate is open:
- Go right in and set up on a vacant site
- Register at 9 am when the kiosk opens
If the gate is locked:
- Camp in the parking lot overnight
- Register at 9 am when the kiosk opens
Individual, Family and Group Camping Reservations
Individual and family camping:
Reservations open for the season on April 2 at 9:00 am Atlantic time.
Call toll free from within North America: 1-888-544-3434
Call from outside North America: 519-826-5301
Phones are open 8:00 am to midnight, 7 days a week
Reserve Online: 24 hours/day
Reservation service fee: $9.00 per reservation (non-refundable).
Change/Cancellation fee: $7.00 fee per reservation (non-refundable).
All fees are payable at the time of booking.
Booking for group camping areas opens May 1.
Apply through Department of Lands and Forestry offices only.
Group camping fees apply only to parks with a designated group camping area. In parks where no group camping area exists, groups must acquire individual sites at the non-group rate.
Group Camping Area fees:
For group camping permits in a park with flush toilet and showers:
- $26.70 (including taxes) per day for up to 6 people, plus $2.35 per day for each additional person
Types of groups:
- Youth Group — Any number of persons under the age of 19 years who are sponsored by a non-profit, religious, charitable, or educational organization and are accompanied a supervisor who is at least 19 years of age.
- Family Group — A minimum of four individual family units. A family unit is no more than two parents or grandparents and the children under their immediate care.
- Adult Group — A group not fitting the definition of a youth or family group.
- Contact person
Groups must select a contact person who will handle booking and pre-registration for the group.
We consider the following when reviewing group applications: availability of the group area, size of the group, ability of the site to handle the group’s camping equipment, vehicle parking, potential use conflicts with other groups, and any problems encountered during previous visits. Restrictions may be placed on the number of people or cars allowed on a group campsite.
Alcohol: the consumption of alcohol is not permitted in designated group camping areas.
Group camping booking are not accepted through the website, regular phone reservation numbers, or the yellow phones.
Camping rules and regulations
Until July 5 at 1 pm – All Nova Scotia Provincial Parks are alcohol-free from the park opening date until 1 pm on July 5. Alcohol-free means no alcohol is permitted in the park.
After July 5 at 1 pm – Campers may consume alcohol at their campsite only. Campers are expected to consume responsibly, observe park quiet hours from 10:30 pm to sunrise, and respect other campers. Mid-season changes to this policy may occur if local issues arise. Designated group camping areas are always alcohol-free.
Consequences: Abuse of alcohol or disregard of park regulations may result in cancellation of your camping permit, loss of future camping privileges, and/or a court appearance.
Over half of our parks offer some facilities for people with disabilities, such as wheelchair access to toilets, and we continue to work on more accessibility.
Jerry Lawrence Provincial Park, Halifax County, offers wheelchair-accessible fishing piers, nature trails, picnic sites, and viewing areas.
For accessibility features at specific parks, contact the nearest Department of Natural Resources office or call 902-662-3030.
Campers must have a camping permit and must camp in designated sites. A camping permit is issued to an adult (19 years and older) who is staying at the campsite.
A person who is 16, 17, or 18 years of age may hold a camping permit if accompanied in the park by a person 19 years of age or older who accepts responsibility for the younger campers.
One person may reserve several campsites, but each site must be registered in the name of the person who will pick up the camping permit and stay at the campsite. Reservations cannot be assigned from one person to another person at the time of arrival. If a name change is required, call 1-888-544-3434. A fee of $7 is charged.
A camping permit includes up to 6 people and one vehicle. Fees apply for extra people, unless part of one family. An extra vehicle needs a separate permit.
A camping permit may be issued for up to 14 nights at the same campsite.
A camping permit expires if a campsite is unoccupied for 48 hours.
Checkout for all parks is 1:00 pm. Make sure that your campsite is clean.
Wash dishes at a dishwashing station or at your campsite.
Do not wash dishes at water taps or in the sinks at comfort stations.
Dispose of dishwater at a dishwashing station, when provided, or in a comfort station toilet, vault toilet, or RV dump station.
Do not dispose of dishwater at water taps or campsites.
Dogs and Other Pets
Pets are welcome when owners act responsibly and follow the rules:
- Dogs must kept under control at all times, on a leash no longer than 2.5 metres (6 feet), including at swimming areas.
- Owners must make sure that their dog does not make excessive noise or disturb other park users.
- Owners must clean up their dog’s poop and place it in a garbage container. In the off-season, owners must remove their dog’s waste from the park.
- Dogs and other pets are not permitted in public structures at the park or in any area designated as pet free. Service animals are permitted in these areas. Public structures include washrooms, vault toilets, cooking shelters, change houses, and administrative and program buildings.
Firearms are not permitted within the park.
Fires are allowed within campsite grills only. If the site you reserve does not have a grill, you cannot have a fire.
Buy firewood locally to prevent the spread of invasive species. Moving firewood, even just a few kilometres, can spread invasive insects and diseases to our forests.
- Don't pack wood—buy it locally
- Burn it on site
- Leave un-used wood for the next camper
- Never take wood back home
Fireworks are generally prohibited. Some exceptions are made for special events. Event leaders should seek special permission at least one week in advance from the local DNR district office.
Fishing is permitted with a Nova Scotia sport fishing licence.
Garbage and Recycling
Practice waste sorting and recycling in accordance with provincial and municipal regulations. The required steps will be posted at the park.
Propane canisters and cylinders: never put these in the garbage.
Generators may be used between 9:00 am and 8:00 pm only.
Medical use: If you require a generator for medical purposes, tell us when you arrive at the park. We will try to place you so as not to disturb other campers.
Hunting and Trapping
No hunting or trapping within the park.
Quiet time is 10:30 pm to sunrise.
The Parks Act and Regulations are enforced at all times. Those who fail to comply will be asked to leave the park.
Selling is not permitted in the park.
Advertising or operating a business within the park requires a special permit.
You are allowed up to three pieces of shelter equipment, space permitting.
Showers are for registered campers only.
Speed limit within the park is 15 km.
A camping permit includes one vehicle. An extra vehicle requires a separate permit.
Off-highway vehicles and unlicenced vehicles may not be operated within the park.
Visitors may enter the park up to 10:00 pm.
Visitors must leave by 10:30 pm.
Access by vehicle may be limited to only those who are registered campers. Visitors to a provincial camping park may drive their vehicle through a campground only with permission of the park attendant.
If you are not a registered camper, you may picnic in the day-use area only.
Reserve a Campsite Online