Thurmond Lake to resume full camping services in 2020; McDuffie County to lease and operate Big Hart campground

USACE, Savannah District
Published Dec. 16, 2019

SAVANNAH, Ga. – McDuffie County, Georgia, has agreed to lease the Big Hart Campground on Thurmond Lake from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and operate it as a county park, the Corps announced this week. In addition, the Corps will reopen all other camping and day-use areas on its normal seasonal schedule in 2020.

A funding shortfall for recreation at the popular reservoir caused the Corps of Engineers to suspend reservations of certain day-use and camping areas for the upcoming recreation season. Reservations for all areas except Big Hart Campground have been released and are available for booking through the website. McDuffie County recreation officials will handle reservations for Big Hart Campground.

The suspension of reservations for certain areas led to rumors that certain areas might not open in the spring. By negotiating a lease agreement with McDuffie County and through reallocation of other funds, officials managed to maintain the normal level of services. Some Thurmond Lake recreation sites closed earlier this year as part of annual, routine winter closures.

“We are excited to work with our partners in McDuffie County to keep Big Hart open,” Brittany White, Acting Chief Ranger for the Thurmond Project, said. “We know the enjoyment our visitors gain from it and all our sites.

Camping season typically begins in early spring with staggered openings at campgrounds on Thurmond Lake. The Corps announces its seasonal openings in the spring.

For reservations at Corps of Engineers sites at Thurmond Lake or other Corps locations, visit or by calling 877-444-6777. Those seeking reservations at Big Hart Campgrounds should call the Raysville Campground number, 706-595-6759.

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Billy Birdwell, Senior Public Affairs Specialist
912-677-6039 (cell)

Release no. 19-035