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Update on Edward MacDowell Lake park opening and usage

USACE, New England District
Published June 5, 2020

In accordance with the most recent New Hampshire Department of Public Health guidance, the following COVID-19 closures continue at Edward MacDowell Lake:

  • Public restrooms,
  • Drinking fountains
  • Covered picnic shelters
  • Children’s playground
  • Swim beach
  • Boat launch

Individuals are welcome to canoe or kayak on the lake, but must carry their equipment down from the upper parking lots to do so.

As the beach is officially closed, water quality testing has been suspended and would-be swimmers are advised that the bacteria and other potentially harmful contaminant levels at the swim beach are currently unknown. Additionally, we have not installed our wave attenuation swim lines.  Visitors wishing to swim at the beach acknowledge that they do so at their own risk. 

Additionally, hiking trails, etc. are open given that social distancing guidelines are followed to include:

  • Stay home if feeling sick.
  • Practice social distancing of at least six feet between individuals.
  • Avoid activities where individuals will come in close contact with one another and/or gathering in groups of ten or more.
  • Should crowds begin to form at various locations, visitors are asked to leave that area, choose a different location or return at a later date/time.
  • Practice healthy personal hygiene, such as hand washing for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching surfaces frequently touched by others including, but not limited to, benches, picnic tables, railings and signs. These surfaces are NOT being cleaned. Sanitize your hands if you do.
  • Leave no trace. Take all trash, including pet waste, with you when you leave the property. Violators are subject to fines.

Once allowed, Edward MacDowell Lake will implement a phased reopening of recreation areas access in accordance with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) policies and procedures, the state of New Hampshire and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) due to COVID-19.

These measures are necessary to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), ensure and protect the health and well-being of our visitors, employees, contractors and volunteers, and safeguard our ability to continue our critical Flood Risk Management Operations.

All members of the park staff at Edward MacDowell Lake are happy to see visitors continue to recreate safely during this unprecedented time.  We share your enthusiasm for the great outdoors and all that our shared land has to offer. We continue to monitor federal, state and local guidelines for changes and appreciate your adaptability and assistance in helping us keep the park safe for all who wish to recreate here. 

For further details and up-to-the-minute news before visiting the dam, please visit either our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/EdwardMacDowellLake/ or website at https://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation/Edward-MacDowell-Lake/

Sally Rigione

Release no. 20-048