Elk Island National Park (EINP) is excited to see visitors during what they expect to be a busy long weekend. 

The park opened up on Friday (May 19) and is asking anyone thinking about coming to the park for the weekend to make their reservations as soon as they can. 

"We're definitely anticipating a lot of visitation for this weekend especially if the weather holds out," said Erin Davidson, a visitor services team lead at EINP. "In terms of campgrounds, we are almost completely booked." 

"We have a very limited number of walk-on sites that are non-reservable." 

You don't have to stay overnight at the park to enjoy what it has to offer, though there are a few times throughout the day that are better than others. 

"We encourage people to come in earlier in the morning before 11 a.m. or later into the afternoon or evening after 4 p.m.," said Davidson. "Both those times, coincidentally, are some of the best times to see the wildlife in the park." 

The drivable bison loop road will be open to allow people to slowly and safely observe some of the park's world-famous bison in their natural habitat. 

After you are done taking in some wildlife you can then hit the water at Astotin Lake. 

"We will have a new vendor operating kayak rental, canoe rentals, and stand-up paddle boards," said Davidson. "It's a really great place to try it out, hopefully, the wind will keep it down, but that is a really good chance for people to get out onto the water at Astotin Lake." 

If you're looking for a more educational vacation, the Astotin Theatre will also be opening up for the weekend. 

"We have some of our interpretation team in there who are more than happy to share information about the park," said Davidson. 

Davidson's favourite program being offered this weekend is the EINP Bison Back Stage program. 

"It gives you a really exclusive behind-the-scenes look at bison history in the park and the role Elk Island plays," said Davidson. "It's a one-hour walking tour but it's one I definitely encourage people to try out." 

Apart from that, there are also plenty of trails, both short and long, for people to embark on hikes. 

Keep in mind that a fire ban is in effect at the park. 

Booking can be made online at the Parks Canada website here