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Nashville District extends campgrounds closure through end of May

Nashville District Public Affairs
Published May 7, 2020
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District is extending its closure of 25 Corps-managed campgrounds within the Cumberland River Basin in Kentucky and Tennessee through at least May 31 in the interest of public safety due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the sign for Cages Bend Campground at Old Hickory Lake. (USACE photo by Lee Roberts)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District is extending its closure of 25 Corps-managed campgrounds within the Cumberland River Basin in Kentucky and Tennessee through at least May 31 in the interest of public safety due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the sign for Cages Bend Campground at Old Hickory Lake. (USACE photo by Lee Roberts)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (May 7, 2020) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District is extending its closure of 25 Corps-managed campgrounds within the Cumberland River Basin in Kentucky and Tennessee through at least May 31 in the interest of public safety due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While an official date for the reopening of campgrounds has not yet been determined, effective today all campground reservations will be cancelled for the month of May. Individuals with reservations impacted by this closure will have an opportunity to modify their reservation in order to avoid cancellation of dates beyond May 31. Those individuals will automatically receive an email notification from recreation.gov with details on how to complete a modification if needed. The deadline to complete any modifications to reservations is May 15, 2020. After that date all reservations will be automatically cancelled and full refunds will be issued with no cancellation fees.

Local managers are committed to the health and safety of recreational visitors and our staff. The Corps is following the guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation, and responding to current conditions.

This affects all Corps-managed campgrounds at Lake Barkley and Lake Cumberland in Kentucky, and Cheatham Lake, J. Percy Priest Lake, Old Hickory Lake, Cordell Hull Lake, Center Hill Lake and Dale Hollow Lake in Tennessee.

Other USACE Lakes in the state of Kentucky are managed by the Louisville and Huntington Districts and are also cancelling camping reservation through May 31 as they develop their re-opening plans. State-operated or concessionaire operated campgrounds at Corps Lakes have their own policies in place. The Nashville District recommends that the public contact the respective state agencies for their operating status.

“We apologize for any inconvenience this causes to our recreating community,” said Diane Parks, Nashville District Operations Division chief. “I can assure you these decisions have not been made lightly, but have been made in the interest of public safety. The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and contractors who manage these campground facilities is our highest priority. We appreciate the patience and understanding during these unprecedented times and look forward to welcoming everyone back as soon as it’s safe to do so.”

The Corps of Engineers reminds all visitors to follow these steps to recreate responsibly: honor the six-foot social distance rule, stay away from parks and recreation areas if you are sick or have symptoms, keep parks clean by practicing “pack in and pack out” etiquette, and always wear a life jacket when near the water.

A determination has not yet been made for when campgrounds and recreational areas will reopen to the public. The Nashville District continues to assess the situation and is developing a phased reopening approach in alignment with current federal, state and CDC guidance. Updates will be provided as they become available.

(The public can obtain news, updates and information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District on the district’s website at www.lrn.usace.army.mil, on Facebook at  http://www.facebook.com/nashvillecorps and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/nashvillecorps.)