Army Corps Waives Day Use Fees at Thurmond, Hartwell Lakes for MLK Day

USACE, Savannah District
Published Jan. 8, 2024

SAVANNAH, Ga. -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced it will waive day use fees at its more than 2,850 Army Corps-operated recreation areas nationwide, to include Hartwell and J. Strom Thurmond Lakes, in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Jan. 15, 2024.

The waiver covers fees for boat launch ramps and day use areas. The waiver does not apply to camping and camping-related services, or fees for specialized facilities and events. Other agencies that manage recreation areas on Army Corps of Engineers’ lands are encouraged, but not required, to offer the waiver in the areas they manage.

Visitors are encouraged to contact the lake projects office before visiting to ensure recreation areas are open. More information can be found at or Hartwell Lake or J. Strom Thurmond Lake.

The MLK Day fee waiver began in 2023 to honor the life and legacy of Dr. King, a national leader of the 1950s-1960s Civil Rights movement who continues to inspire the pursuit of civil rights today. Currently, MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a ‘day of service’ to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities.

The Army Corps also offers other fee-free days throughout the year to mark days of celebration and commemoration, including the Army Corps’ birthday; Juneteenth National Independence Day; Veterans Day; and National Public Lands Day.

The Army Corps of Engineers is one of the leading federal providers of outdoor and water-based recreation, hosting millions of visits annually to its more than 400 lake and river projects. It’s estimated that 90 percent of the Army Corps-operated recreation areas are within 50 miles of metropolitan areas, offering diverse outdoor activities for all ages close to home.

To discover other Army Corps’ recreation sites, please visit Corps lakes erdc visitors or visit

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Cheri Pritchard, Media Operations Chief
912-677-6039 (cell)

Release no. 24-001