Ready to go camping? Here are some recreation sites starting to reopen

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The campground at the East Branch Clarion River Lake has 23 electric and three nonelectric campsites available for rent beginning May 28, 2021, in Wilcox, Pennsylvania. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by an open house event at the East Branch Clarion River Lake on May 27. The reopening celebrates the dam’s return to normal operations and its continued ability to reduce floods, improve downstream water quality and supports the environmental ecosystem. (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District photo by Michel Sauret)

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District says a select number of facilities at district-managed sites are reopening in anticipation of the 2021 recreation season.

Officials say campground reservations can be made online www.recreation.gov at now. Some of the recreation sites have already fully or partially opened, and others are expected to open later this summer.

“We invite the public to come out and safely enjoy our beautiful reservoirs and parks. Our rangers and resource managers across the district have done a tremendous job preparing campgrounds and recreational sites for this year’s season!” said Col. Andrew Short, commander, Pittsburgh District.

Officials say several of the sites’ services, such as campgrounds and restrooms, will only be available at select sites. Those wishing to visit are encouraged to first contact the recreation site to learn more information about the site.

Sites open in the Northern Area include:

  • Shenango River Lake – The Old Duck and New Duck Loops reopened May 14. Officials say a temporary dump station is set up by the boat ramp restroom during road construction. The ongoing road construction will affect when the remaining campsites will reopen.
  • Tionesta Lake – The area’s primitive campsites, which do not include electric hookups, opened in April. The rest of the Tionesta Recreational areas opened May 17.
  • Berlin Lake – Campground will reopen today, Thursday, May 20.
  • East Branch Clarion River Lake – The campground will reopen May 28 for Memorial Day Weekend with cabins and electric campsites available. 
  • Woodcock Creek Lake – The campground will reopen May 28 for Memorial Day Weekend. Officials say the campground will be available for reservations only on weekends and will be closed during weekdays.
  • Kinzua Dam & Allegheny Reservoir – There are no Army Corps-operated campgrounds.
  • Michael J. Kirwan Dam & Reservoir – There are no Army Corps-operated campgrounds.
  • Mosquito Creek Lak – There are no Army Corps-operated campgrounds.
  • Union City Dam – There are no Army Corps-operated campgrounds.

Sites open in the Southern Area include:

  • Youghiogheny River Lake – The Outflow Campground reopened April 16 and the Mill Run Campground reopened May 1.
  • Loyalhanna Lake – The Bush Recreation Area reopened May 7. Officials say the recreation area now has a new playground and new electrical pedestals will be added soon.
  • Crooked Creek Lake – The campground reopened May 14 and tee pads for all nine holes at the disc golf course are completed. Officials say a new courtesy dock for the boat launch area will be installed soon.
  • Stonewall Jackson Lake – There are no Army Corps-operated campgrounds. The downstream areas are open year-round. By mid-June, the recreational area is expected to add a cornhole play area, information center upgrades with an electronic kiosk and virtual map tour, and an additional shaded picnic site.
  • Mahoning Creek Lake – There are no Army Corps-operated campgrounds.
  • Conemaugh River Lake – There are no Army Corps-operated campgrounds. Officials say a new pavilion has been installed over the outdoor fitness area and improvements made to the existing playground area.
  • Tygart Lake – There are no Army Corps-operated campgrounds. The day-use areas are open year-round.

The Pittsburgh District says they will continue to evaluate a return to full operations. With the safety of the public and staff at top priority, officials say amenities may be limited and closures are subject to change. A current list of the openings and closures at each facility is available online at https://corpslakes.erdc.dren.mil/visitors/status.cfm.

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