Center Hill Lake Campgrounds and Day-Use Areas Closed During Government Shutdown

October 4, 2013
Dwayne Page

Due to the government shutdown, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District closed all of its campgrounds and day-use parks including those on Center Hill Lake as of noon on Friday, October 4 . The district previously announced it intended to keep these areas open as originally scheduled. However, officials say support to recreation areas can no longer be sustained as the district progresses through its orderly shutdown.

Center Hill Lake campgrounds are located at Floating Mill, Ragland Bottom and Long Branch. Day-use areas are at Floating Mill, Ragland Bottom, Hurricane Bridge, Holmes Creek, Long Branch, Buffalo Valley, and Johnson Chapel.

Campgrounds, primarily for use by reservations only, are for those who want to spend a night or longer on the lake. Many campgrounds offer boat ramps, shower houses, bathrooms, washers & dryers, dump stations, and typically have grills, fire rings, picnic tables as well as other amenities. Campgrounds are gated and during the government shutdown, public access to them will be denied. Typically campgrounds close for the season by the end of October each year anyway.

For persons who wish to spend the day or maybe an hour or two at the lake, the Corps provides day-use areas. Many day use areas have amenities such as swim beaches, picnic tables, grills, restrooms, and launching ramps. Camping is not permitted in day use areas. Day-use areas are not gated and while they are officially closed during the government shutdown, no barriers will be erected to prevent public access to them.

The Corps sincerely regrets the inconvenience and impact this decision may have on customers who have been looking forward to visiting the district’s parks and campgrounds.

"We know that this is a time of year when many vacationing families are using or planning to use Corps recreation facilities, and we will reopen them for public use and enjoyment as quickly as possible," said Lt. Col. John L. Hudson, Nashville District commander.

Corps parks leased to partner agencies and concessionaires will remain open, but cannot be supported by the Corps while the shutdown is in place.

Customers on site prior to the closure going into effect were to be required to vacate campgrounds and parks not later than noon on Friday, October 4. Customers required to vacate campsites early are to receive a partial refund for any unused portion of their reservations. Customers may elect to leave reservations open for possible use after the shutdown is lifted. To request a refund please contact the reservation customer service at 1-888-448-1474 (TDD 1-877-833-6777). If the customer chooses to do nothing, the reservation service will automatically cancel reservations after their departure date during the shutdown period.

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