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Come see what a Nashville District lake has to offer this summer

Nashville District Public Affairs
Published Feb. 1, 2016
Lillydale Campground at Dale Hollow Lake is one of 25 campgrounds at eight lakes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District operates every recreation season.  The public is encouraged to begin reserving for the 2016 recreation season at www.recreation.gov.

Lillydale Campground at Dale Hollow Lake is one of 25 campgrounds at eight lakes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District operates every recreation season. The public is encouraged to begin reserving for the 2016 recreation season at www.recreation.gov.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Feb. 1, 2016) – In just a few months it will be time to get wet, sunbathe, fish, hike, camp and go boating at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District lake.  Vacationers and locals alike are encouraged to come see what the 10 lakes in the Cumberland River Basin have to offer this summer.

The Nashville District offers a variety of recreation opportunities with 25 developed campgrounds, 146 recreation areas, and primitive camping within the states of Tennessee and Kentucky. 

“Camping with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is for everyone.  We can accommodate any type of camper.  We offer sites for tent campers who want the primitive experience, boat in sites along the shoreline, and sites equipped for motor home type campers,” said Mark Klimaszewski, natural resources specialist with the Nashville District. 

Eight of the 10 lakes in the Nashville District have at least two Corps of Engineers managed campgrounds to offer their visitors.  Many of the campgrounds have playgrounds, restrooms, electric hookups, shower houses, sewage hookups and laundry facilities. A night’s stay can range from $12 to $32 depending on the amenities, allowing for an affordable vacation.

Klimaszewski said the uniqueness of the district’s 25 campgrounds is the fact they are situated adjacent to lakes.  Because of this, they are located minutes from one the many U.S. Army Corps of Engineers managed boat ramps, commercial marinas, and majority of the time - a town.

The campground operational dates vary with the earliest campground open for business on March 16 at Defeated Creek Campground on Cordell Hull Lake.  Kendall Campground at Lake Cumberland stays open until Nov. 27, the last night to camp.  The remainder of the campgrounds open no later than mid-May.

Camping may be the last thing people are thinking about with the frigid temperatures outside, but spring is fast approaching.  Many campgrounds fill up quickly depending on the holidays or local events taking place.  A complete list of Nashville District campgrounds and their corresponding details is available on the district’s webpageCampers may make their reservations 180 days in advance through the National Recreation Reservation Service by calling toll free at 1-877-444-6777 or online at www.recreation.gov.

Several lakes across the district offer a primitive camping program.  J. Percy Priest and Center Hill Lakes manage a permit system, free of cost, to reserve a stay at the designated camping areas along the shoreline.  Dale Hollow Lake offers the same program, but is managed through the same reservation system as the developed campgrounds, National Reservation Recreation Service, for a small fee of $3 per night.

Park Ranger Dylon Anderson, a natural resources specialist at Old Hickory Lake in middle Tennessee, said many locals come to enjoy the camping because of the one-of-a-kind views and the vast amount of amenities the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has available. 

“We have waterfront sites with launching ramps nearby each of our campgrounds, as well as four public beaches and group picnic shelters that can be reserved around Old Hickory Lake,” Anderson said. 

Since the campgrounds and recreation areas are located near the water, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wants visitors to think safety.  There were 12 water related fatalities at Nashville District lakes during the 2015 recreation season 11 were confirmed not wearing their life jacket.

"Be careful on Old Hickory Lake, or any lake in the district.  Educate yourself on how to navigate by obeying channel markers and informational buoys.  Remember to wear your life jacket,” said Anderson.

“If you see a park ranger when enjoying your visit to a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lake please feel free to ask us about our lakes,” Anderson added.  “We want to ensure your visit to a Nashville District lake exceeds your expectations.”

Campgrounds throughout the Nashville District are still seeking park attendants to help support the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer mission of recreation.  To place a bid for the 2016 recreation season please visit www.fbo.gov or contact J.W. Purcell, contract specialist with the Nashville District, at 615-736-7674.

(Important water safety resources are available at the district’s website.  For more news, updates and information follow the Nashville District on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nashvillecorps and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/nashvillecorps)