About US Army Corps of Engineers Campgrounds.
The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) serves the Armed Forces and the Nation by providing vital engineering services and capabilities, as a public service, across the full spectrum of operations—from peace to war—in support of national interests.
The USACE is a natural resources management program that has a mission is to manage and conserve our nation's natural resources. The program acts as a steward of the lands and waters while maintaining the ecosystem and providing outdoor recreation opportunities. The USACE maintains it's position to preserve these natural resources and recreation outposts for current and future generations.
ACE Goal: "At the heart of our effort are soldiers, airmen, their families and the citizens of this great country. Whatever we do must make a positive impact on their lives. That's why we exist."
The campgrounds at ACE facilities are clean and well maintained and offer the basic amenities: Showers, restrooms, water, picnic tables, and fire rings. The areas are otherwise somewhat primitive, but will usually offer services for boaters and fishermen, like marinas, boat launches, and tackle shops.
With over 2,500 recreation areas at 450+ lakes managed by ACE, there certainly are many choices. As with the campgrounds provided by the US Forest Service, all your searching is simplified by Recreation.gov. These river and lakeside areas to the public and provide recreational opportunities for fishing, boating, and camping.
Finding a Campground
If you are interested in camping at one of these sites there are a few resources that make finding and reserving campsites easy. Recreation.gov is a USACE online campground reservation system, which gives you what you need to research and plan a camping adventure at an Army Corps of Engineers lakeside campsite and will help you select a destination lakefront camping destination close to home.
Reserving a Campsite
Each campground page will tell you a little bit about the area and show a detailed map of that campground's layout. You can then choose the area of the campground that interests you and read specifics about each campsite to find one that meets your needs. Information about special events, services and amenities are also provided. Once you have found a campsite you like, just a click of your mouse and you can make a secure online reservation.
RVing at the Campgrounds
Finding an RV site or campground with hook-ups is simple and easy at Recreation.gov or ReserveAmerica.com. You can search for a campground by entering your personal preferences. Be sure to specifically search for RVing sites with hookups or primitive sites that will accommodate an RV.
USACE History Segments
In the early 19th century, the Corps constructed many projects in support of the Department of the Treasury. For instance, the Corps built three customs houses and more than half a dozen marine hospitals (to treat merchant seamen). These hospitals were built at such places as Napoleon, Arkansas; Paducah and Louisville, Kentucky; and Natchez, Mississippi. Also for the Department of Treasury, the Corps built a number of lighthouses. Between 1831 and 1851, engineer officers were regularly engaged in this duty, which often involved extraordinarily difficult and perilous construction challenges. In 1852 Congress established a Lighthouse Board, which included engineer officers, to superintend lighthouse construction. Eventually, Corps officers supervised the construction of dozens of lighthouses along the nation's coasts, including the Great Lakes.
The Corps also contributed substantially to the construction of many public buildings and monuments in Washington, D.C. This work began as early as 1822, when Isaac Roberdeau, a topographical engineer, supervised installation of cast iron pipes to bring spring water to the White House and surrounding executive offices. In 1853 responsibility for constructing permanent water supply facilities for Washington fell upon Lieutenant Montgomery C. Meigs. His project included two bridges later to carry traffic as well as water pipes over Cabin John and Rock creeks. Both bridges were engineering feats in their day. The Cabin John Bridge, built between 1857 and 1864, remained the world's longest masonry arch for more than 40 years and is still in use.
In 1867 Congress gave control of public parks and monuments to the Office of Public Buildings and Grounds under the chief of engineers and in 1878 replaced Washington's elected government with a three-man commission. An Army engineer holding the title of engineer commissioner for the District of Columbia served on that board and had responsibility for the city's physical plant until Congress approved the district's current home rule charter in 1967. During the last half of the 19th century, the Corps improved navigation on the Potomac River and its tributaries; expanded the local water supply system; completed the Washington Monument; helped design and construct numerous structures including the Executive Office Building, the Lincoln Memorial, the Library of Congress, and the Government Printing Office; undertook swamp reclamation which resulted in the Tidal Basin; and developed Rock Creek Park as a major urban recreation area.
Despite continuing congressional reservations about federal involvement, the Corps became involved in flood control after the Civil War. Particularly on large rivers such as the Mississippi, floods impaired commerce, destroyed property, and cost lives. In 1879 Congress created the Mississippi River Commission, composed of seven people: three from the Corps including the commission president, three from civilian life including at least two civil engineers, and one from the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey. Congress created the commission to insure that the best advice from both the military and civilian communities was heard on the subject of improving the Mississippi River for navigation and flood control.
After much debate, the commission decided to rely principally on levees to protect the lower Mississippi Valley. Cooperating with local levee districts, the Mississippi River Commission oversaw the construction of many levees along the river. Later, this levee construction was supplemented with considerable dredging on the river. The commission also attempted to stop the erosion of banks by constructing willow mattresses. In the early 20th century, the Mississippi River Commission experimented with concrete mattresses. Learning both from the successes and failures of these experiments, the Corps developed the articulated concrete revetment that has been used for several decades to protect the banks of the lower Mississippi River.
Beginning in 1893, another important activity of the Corps of Engineers was the California Debris Commission, a three-member body of Army engineers charged to regulate the streams of California that had been devastated by the sediment washed into them from mining operations. Given substantial power by Congress, the California Debris Commission significantly reduced the stream damage caused by hydraulic mining. The Water Resources Development Act of 1986 eliminated this commission. Its work is now the responsibility of the Corps' South Pacific Division.