CONCORD, Mass. --
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District recently released its online recreation brochure highlighting recreational opportunities at USACE projects, the Cape Cod Canal, and federal flood risk management reservoirs throughout New England.
The brochure, entitled “Recreational Opportunities at Federal Flood Risk Management Reservoirs and the Cape Cod Canal 2022,” is available online on the District website at https://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Portals/74/docs/Recreation/Recreational-Opportunities-2022.pdf.
Specific information about facilities and fees is listed in the brochure, as well as local contact information and links for each location. Most recreation areas are open from Memorial Day through the middle of September, except for fishing opportunities, which comply with state fishing seasons. Most areas usually feature small lakes with facilities designed for day use such as picnicking, swimming, boating, fishing and hunting. There are also a few facilities for overnight camping.
Fishing is permitted at all federal flood risk management reservoirs in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. The only requirement to fish is a state license and adherence to state regulations. Check with state agencies for seasons and complete regulations.
Developed facilities are available at a number of locations. Many of these areas are open to individuals or small groups free of charge. Large groups may be required to reserve group use picnic shelters, with picnic tables and grills, which are available at many sites, with additional fees for extra tables and for a 15-amp electrical circuit (if available). Special use permit fees are required if an individual or group/organization is conducting a nonpublic use activity (field trials, race event, camporee, boat regatta, fishing derby, music/cultural festival) where management control is appropriate. It should be noted that extra sanitation, trash collection, or grass mowing are to be provided by the permittee, and a performance bond may be required. Athletic playing fields, available at many sites, may be reserved for a fee.
The Recreation One Stop makes it possible for campers to make reservations for campsites at the District’s three campgrounds, in addition to nearly 40,000 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and USDA Forest Service campsites nationwide. The toll-free phone line is 877-444-6777 or visit www.recreation.gov for more information.
Outreach programs and presentations by USACE Park Rangers on a variety of subjects are available to schools and civic organizations by request. Popular subjects include environmental education, the water cycle and conservation, water safety, and the history and functions of USACE. In addition, during the summer, interpretive programs are scheduled for visitors at many projects. Programs may include visits to the dam, natural science lessons, local history, recreation safety, "Junior Park Ranger" programs, fishing, etc.
Approximately 240 USACE recreation projects nationwide began issuing America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Interagency Passes on Jan. 1, 2016. These include:
- 1) Interagency Senior Pass, $80, valid for lifetime of the pass owner and available to U.S. citizens and permanent residents age 62 or older.
- 2) Interagency Senior Annual Pass $20, valid one year from month of purchase, available to U.S. citizens or permanent residents 62 or older, the Senior Annual Pass can be upgraded to the Lifetime Senior Pass by exchanging four previously purchased Senior Annual Passes or paying the difference between the purchase of one to three Senior Annual Passes to equal the value of the Senior Lifetime Pass, $80.
- 3) Interagency Access Pass, free for lifetime with documentation of permanent disability for U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
- 4) Interagency Annual Pass, $80, anyone can purchase this pass.
- 5) Interagency Military Pass, free to current U.S. military members and their dependents.
- 6) Interagency Every Kid in a Park 4th Grade Pass, free to current 4th grade students with valid Every Kid in a Park voucher (visit: www.everykidinapark.gov for details).
- 7) Interagency Volunteer Pass, earned with 250-plus hours of volunteer service on public lands.
These passes allow their holders free access to boat launches and swimming beaches managed by USACE. Senior and Access America the Beautiful passes also provide holders a 50 percent discount on campsites at USACE-managed campgrounds. Additionally, USACE will continue to sell its own annual day use pass for $40, which allows visitors free access to boat launches and swimming beaches managed by USACE.
All America the Beautiful passes are available or can be purchased online at http://store.usgs.gov/pass/annual.html. For more information, visit the website or phone 1-888-275-8747, option 3. Additional information about USACE recreation is available at www.corpslakes.us.
All U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District news releases are available online at https://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Media/News-Releases/.