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Vicksburg District to reopen select campgrounds in Arkansas May 20

Published May 8, 2020

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Vicksburg District will reopen select campgrounds at its Arkansas lakes – Lake Ouachita, Lake Greeson and DeGray Lake – beginning May 20.

Campgrounds that will reopen at Lake Ouachita include Brady Mountain, Crystal Springs, Joplin, Tompkins Bend, Denby Point, Stephens Park, Twin Creek, Little Fir, Big Fir, Washita, Irons Fork, Avant, Buckville, Rabbit Tail, Little Fir and Cedar Fourche. The collection of campground fees at Twin Creek has been suspended until further notice to reduce risk to park rangers and visitors.

Campgrounds that will reopen at Lake Greeson include Arrowhead Point, Bear Creek, Buckhorn, Cowhide Cove, Kirby Landing, Laurel Creek, Narrows Dam, Parker Creek, Rock Creek, Self Creek and Star of the West. The collection of campground fees at Arrowhead Point, Bear Creek, Buckhorn, Laurel Creek, Narrows Dam, Self Creek, Jim Wylie and Star of the West has been suspended until further notice to reduce risk to park rangers and visitors.

Campgrounds that will reopen at DeGray Lake include Alpine Ridge, Arlie Moore, Caddo Drive, Edgewood, Iron Mountain, Point Cedar, Shouse Ford, Ozan Point and Lenox Marcus. The collection of campground fees at Ozan Point has been suspended until further notice to reduce risk to park rangers and visitors. The Oak Bower group use area will remain closed until further notice.

Shower facilities, comfort stations and dump stations at each of these campgrounds will be open. Boat ramps, nature trails and fishing areas as well as nearby amenities remain open.

Campsite reservations and payments must be made in advance at Recreation.gov. For campgrounds that require fees, all campsites will be available for reservation at Recreation.gov.

All pavilions, picnic areas, beaches, playgrounds, amphitheaters and drinking fountains will remain closed until further notice. These closures are intended to prevent large gatherings and common use of high-touch surfaces.

All USACE field offices and visitor centers will remain closed to the public until further notice. Applications for special use permits must be submitted online and will be reviewed and approved on a case-by-case basis. The collection of all day use fees have been suspended until October 1.

Visitors to the USACE Vicksburg District’s Arkansas lakes must practice social distancing and adhere to any other mandates issued by local, state and federal officials, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Vicksburg District strongly encourages visitors to wash their hands properly, stay at home if they are experiencing symptoms and follow any guidance provided by local, state and federal officials.

For more information about operational changes, the public may contact the following:

• Lake Ouachita: 501-767-2101

• DeGray Lake: 870-246-5501

• Lake Greeson: 870-285-2151

“After consulting with our local and state partners and other USACE offices, including the Little Rock District and our higher headquarters, the Mississippi Valley Division, we have decided to reopen select campgrounds at our Arkansas lakes,” said USACE Vicksburg District Commander Col. Robert Hilliard. “The health and safety of our team, our community and our visitors remain our top priority, and we are taking measures to reduce risk. The pandemic is an ongoing and fluid challenge, and we will continue to monitor conditions and adjust operations as needed. We are eager to welcome visitors back to our facilities, and we will continue to provide updates about our recreation facilities as they become available.” 

Located in southwest Arkansas, Lake Ouachita, Lake Greeson and DeGray Lake are flood control reservoirs with multiple additional missions, including hydropower, water supply and wildlife management. At these USACE recreation sites, and unlike sites managed by others, employees are responsible for the protection and maintenance of these critical missions. 

The USACE Vicksburg District temporarily closed select recreation site attractions across Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas to the public in March. All Vicksburg District visitor centers, interpretive centers and field offices will remain closed until further notice. 

The Vicksburg District’s Mississippi and Louisiana campgrounds are anticipated to reopen June 1. However, high water conditions and the need to prioritize the projects’ flood control mission may impact plans for reopening. Additional information about the reopening of these recreation sites is forthcoming. 

The USACE Vicksburg District owns and operates more than 100 recreation areas across Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana where millions of visitors enjoy fishing, camping, hunting, boating, hiking, swimming, geocaching and more every year. The district’s 10 flood control reservoirs across Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana provide numerous benefits to the region, including flood risk management, hydropower, water supply, wildlife management and recreation. 

The USACE Vicksburg District is engineering solutions to the nation’s toughest challenges. The Vicksburg District encompasses a 68,000-square-mile area across portions of Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana that holds seven major river basins and incorporates approximately 460 miles of mainline Mississippi River levees. The district is engaged in hundreds of projects and employs approximately 1,100 personnel.

Jessica Dulaney

Release no. 20-041