Officials to reduce visitor services at Hartwell Lake for 2013 season

Published April 18, 2013

SAVANNAH, Ga. – The Savannah District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, will reduce park operations and visitor services at Hartwell Lake during the 2013 recreation season due to significant projected budget reductions. The Corps will keep closed one primitive campground and partially close six day use areas for the 2013 season in addition to maintaining the reductions in park seasons and service levels implemented in 2012.

"Alternatives considered to maintaining park operations and acceptable visitor services within funding limitations included complete park closures, partial closures, season reductions, and reduced visitor services" said Peggy O'Bryan, Chief of the Operations Division for the Savannah District. "During 2012, the Hartwell Project was able to avoid complete closures of recreation areas by reducing service levels and reducing operating seasons to lower overall operations and maintenance costs. Unfortunately, continued funding constraints and uncertainties have resulted in further actions for the 2013 season."

Reduction in service levels includes reducing frequency in cleaning, mowing, water safety outreach, trash collection and some maintenance. These actions will affect Corps-operated campgrounds and day-use areas that remain open.

Milltown Campground will remain closed for the 2013 season. Poplar Springs and Friendship Day Use Areas will be partially closed during 2013. Boat ramps at these locations will remain open, but all day-use sections/loops will remain closed. Long Point, Stephens County, Mullins Ford, and Lawrence Bridge Recreation Areas will be operated as pack-in/pack-out areas. There will be no restroom facilities or trash pick-up services at these locations, but other facilities such as picnic sites and boat ramps will be open for use during the 2013 season. 

Displaced visitors are encouraged to use other Corps-operated parks that remain open or areas operated by state and local governments or commercial concessionaires. "The Corps, along with our state and local partners, will continue to provide public recreation opportunities," O'Bryan said. "However, fiscal constraints create challenges to recreation program service delivery at Corps projects.

For the most current information on Hartwell Lake park seasons, visit the Savannah District website at then choose the "Recreation" icon, or call the Hartwell Dam and Lake Office toll free at 888-893-0678.

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Billy Birdwell, Public Affairs Officer

Release no. 13-007