What exactly is a COE campground?
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, also known as COE, plan, develop, and maintain many of our rivers, dams, and other waterways within the USA. Much of their work focuses on flood control, conservation, and recreation.
Over the last few decades, they have developed hundreds of recreation
areas throughout the country, including many campgrounds.
The COE maintains and operates hundreds of recreation campgrounds throughout the U.S. About 90% of the COE recreation areas are located within 50 miles of a city, making for a great day trip or a quick weekend getaway.
Many of these parks are along lakes or rivers, providing visitors with recreational opportunities such as fishing, boating, hiking, and camping.
Campsites generally have basic amenities such as picnic tables, fire rings, and grills.
To put it in perspective, a visitor to COE recreation areas would find that there are:
- COE campgrounds in 43 states
- 92,588 campsites
- 3,754 boat ramps
- 55,390 miles of shoreline
A small fee is often required for day-use and an additional fee for overnight stays at campgrounds. These fees are considerably cheaper than many other campground options.
You can make reservations, check campsites availability at https://www.recreation.gov, or calling 1-877-444-6777.
Holders of a national pass receive 50% discounts on camping fees at COE managed areas:
- Golden Age Passport
- Golden Access Passport
- America the Beautiful
- Federal Recreational Lands Pass Program’s Senior Pass or Access Pass
- America the Beautiful
You can purchase a pass in person at most parks or by mail. To learn how to get your pass by mail or for more information, visit https://store.usgs.gov/pass/index.html.
Some of the COE lakes have campgrounds that are not managed by the COE, such as state parks and private concessionaires who lease space at the lake. These campgrounds generally do not accept Senior Pass or Access Pass discount cards, but it is always a good idea to ask.
Additional pass information can be found on our site
This map shows the 596 COE campsites across the USA. The RED flags indicate seasonal campsite, while the BLUE flags indicate those campsites that are open year-round. Some of the open year-round campsites are non-reservable, resulting in “first come – first served.”
Selecting the box at the top left of the map labeled MASTER will provide a list of the various campsites. Selecting the square box at the top right of the map and the wheel on your mouse will enlarge the map.