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Old 05-12-2020, 04:08 PM   #1
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Army COE Texas Parks open 5/20

Just today the Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth District announced that Parks will open for overnight camping on May 20th, a week from tomorrow.

So, we got a 4-night reservation at our favorite COE CG on Lake Waco about 165 miles from our home for May 27 thru May 31.

It will no doubt be different - but it's a huge park with a number of smaller sections and our section only has 7 sites all spread far apart. We got a shaded hilltop back in site with a 90' paved site (50-amp with Water) and a huge view out the front window of the Lake.
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Old 05-13-2020, 10:05 AM   #2
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Just today the Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth District announced that Parks will open for overnight camping on May 20th, a week from tomorrow.

So, we got a 4-night reservation at our favorite COE CG on Lake Waco about 165 miles from our home for May 27 thru May 31.

It will no doubt be different - but it's a huge park with a number of smaller sections and our section only has 7 sites all spread far apart. We got a shaded hilltop back in site with a 90' paved site (50-amp with Water) and a huge view out the front window of the Lake.
That is great. Looks like a very nice park too. Wife and I are so tired of being stuck in place. We need a trip somewhere soon. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 05-15-2020, 07:14 AM   #3
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Just today the Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth District announced that Parks will open for overnight camping on May 20th, a week from tomorrow.
Are COE parks open to the general public? Or only to specific groups like the military parks?
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Old 05-15-2020, 08:34 AM   #4
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COE parks are open to everyone. They are gems and located at COE water projects all over the country. Many are full hookup, some like the park we’re going to are water and 50-amp. Prices are usually about $30 a night or less and you get a 50% discount with a number of Government passes like the lifetime Senior pass or even the annual discount pass that get you into national parks and discounts in NFS campgrounds. I have the Senior pass so I pay $15 a night. Many COE campgrounds charge only $22 a night so I pay only $12 a night. You can’t beat that.

Waco Lake where we are going is a large water control project near Waco TX. They have 4 or 5 COE parks around the lake, though only 3 have camping.

They have hundreds around the country.
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Old 05-15-2020, 09:22 AM   #5
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COE parks are open to everyone. They are gems and located at COE water projects all over the country. Many are full hookup, some like the park we’re going to are water and 50-amp. Prices are usually about $30 a night or less and you get a 50% discount with a number of Government passes like the lifetime Senior pass or even the annual discount pass that get you into national parks and discounts in NFS campgrounds..
We have never stopped at COE campgrounds because I never knew who was allowed to use them. I thought they might be like the military campgrounds and only open to active duty military personnel so this is good to know.

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I have the Senior pass so I pay $15 a night. Many COE campgrounds charge only $22 a night so I pay only $12 a night. You can’t beat that.

Waco Lake where we are going is a large water control project near Waco TX. They have 4 or 5 COE parks around the lake, though only 3 have camping.

They have hundreds around the country.
I assume you meant $11 a night, not $12?

I am going to see where I can find a list of them as it would be nice to add another group of interesting places to stay. Thanks for this information.
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Old 05-15-2020, 11:03 AM   #6
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COE CG in Arizona and Nevada are pretty sparse. Alamo Lake in Wenden is operated by the COE but it also seems to be a State Park CG.

https://corpslakes.erdc.dren.mil/vis...cfm?Id=L100190

States with a lot of dams on rivers for water and flood control have the most.

Here's a link to find COE CG by state:
https://corpslakes.erdc.dren.mil/visitors/camping.cfm

There are 450 nationwide!

Yes, $11 on the $22 a night campgrounds with the Lifetime Senior pass. We also get 50% off National Forest Campgrounds, too. In AZ there are a number of these around Flagstaff. One oddity. Some NFS CGs charge one thing for the camping and an additional amount for electricity. When you use your discount at these places the camping is 1/2 off but you pay full price for the electricity. So, far we've never seen that at a COE campground.
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Old 05-15-2020, 11:19 AM   #7
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In AZ there are a number of these around Flagstaff. One oddity. Some NFS CGs charge one thing for the camping and an additional amount for electricity. When you use your discount at these places the camping is 1/2 off but you pay full price for the electricity. So, far we've never seen that at a COE campground.
Until recently we used the NF campgrounds heavily since many of them are at higher elevations and cooler in the summer, but few that we have been to had electricity and the ones that did sold out very, very quickly.

About 18 months ago we boondocked for the first time and since then that has been our default camping method. It is not really the monetary savings since we only pay 1/2 of the campground fee, but we like the peace and quiet and the feeling of nature all around us. We still go to the NFCGs sometime just because the ones we use have potable water and fire rings, but we boondock a lot more than I ever thought we would.
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Old 05-15-2020, 01:59 PM   #8
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We started in the corps parks and once you get used to them, the thought of a commercial campground just really falls flat!
There are some really great upsides if you feel that way but there are folks who do not want to go to a places where drinking is controlled and setting up all night playing loud music is not allowed, so do some thinking which group suits you before heading out? One reason so many of the campgrounds of this type had to close was the lack of personnel to control the people in the wrong group !
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Old 05-15-2020, 04:58 PM   #9
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Thanks creativepart for that link, i had no idea COE had parks. I guess one good thing about being stuck at home is more time to plan future trips and learn new things from this site. Looking forward to trying one in NC. I got to take the dogs camping this week but only because our neighborhood has its own RV park, (200 yards from the house..) part of a convention / retreat complex in NC which is closed to the public. Great fun but not the same as a real road trip.
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Old 05-15-2020, 05:35 PM   #10
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Does anyone know when the Army COE campgrounds open in Virginia ?
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Old 05-16-2020, 03:14 PM   #11
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The opening will likely be a spotty, case by case thing when we look at what it takes to open each park. Their are some which are lower on the things provided and also need less or fewer maintenance people, while others have far more items to keep them closed as there are not enough folks on hand, both paid, contract, and volunteer to let them open and there is also the big difference in the political nature of each section of the country.
If the public could be trusted, there are more places which could be open but just as we saw the vandalism in the national parks, the same holds true of any place we open. Anybody who has walked up the steps of the capital in Washington, DC to see the way the railings are treated can see what happens if folks are out in the open with nobody to watch them.
You don't have to spend much time in RV parks to find that not all RV folks are good folks! Even with the parks being closed there will be a massive amount of cleanup and repair before we can get back to useful operation in some parks.
When you feel it is right for you to venture out and risk it, I would suggest calling each specific park to see what the conditions are there.
In Texas, the death and infection rates have started going up faster, so I do not see going out very soon.
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Old 05-20-2020, 05:54 PM   #12
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There are also several COE parks dotting the banks of Lake Whitney. All are very nice, and the ones with no hookups have no charge, even though they still have a relatively level pad, picnic table and in many instances - a cover for the table.
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Old 05-20-2020, 06:45 PM   #13
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There are also several COE parks dotting the banks of Lake Whitney.
Where is Lake Whitney?
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Old 05-20-2020, 08:16 PM   #14
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ERR? Would I get slapped if I said Whitney?
North of Waco to Hillsboro then west to Whitney, Tx!
One we like but almost too close to home is Jim Hogg park on the North side of Lake Georgetown. Short distance West of Georgetown! Almost too close to town if tenting but for hard sides it works. Scouts in tents have some noise problems as there are rumble strips on the highway and they can't keep the trucks off them.
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Old 05-20-2020, 09:14 PM   #15
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ERR? Would I get slapped if I said Whitney?
Never heard of it. So, I had no idea.Texas is a big place. I've only lived here for 39 years and so I'm still a new comer.
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Old 05-21-2020, 06:22 AM   #16
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Wisconsin Dells has started to reopen in all areas. KOA will be full this weekend so if u r considering a visit up here I suggest u make a reservation asap.
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Old 05-21-2020, 05:59 PM   #17
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They are very convenient, and have a selection of parks, like Lake Waco (enjoy the Airport and Midway parks).

Here is their website: https://www.swf-wc.usace.army.mil/whitney/

ETA: Here is a better link: https://www.swf-wc.usace.army.mil/wh...Corpsparks.asp
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Old 05-21-2020, 06:51 PM   #18
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They are very convenient, and have a selection of parks, like Lake Waco (enjoy the Airport and Midway parks).

Here is their website: https://www.swf-wc.usace.army.mil/whitney/

ETA: Here is a better link: https://www.swf-wc.usace.army.mil/wh...Corpsparks.asp
We haven't tried Midway Park yet. We like Airport Park and Speegleville Park. We'll have to check out Midway and Lake Whitney.

We also like Waco. The Texas Ranger Museum, all that Magnolia stuff, great HEBs and good Pizza joints. It' a fun trip. We come up Hwy 281 which is MUCH more fun than coming up I-35. I'm sure it's faster up I-35.

Have you been to Mother Neff State Park? It's south of Waco but is a great state park. It was the first SP in Texas. And, it was very old and kind of run down. Then a flood wiped it out and they built a brand new modern park that is the jewel of the SP System. Paved, full hookup sites. Just a great place. It's not far from McGreggor where SpaceX builds and tests their Falcon 9 rockets. Very interesting little Texas town.

We pick up the RV from storage tomorrow - it's silly but we're very excited to see it back at home getting ready for a trip. And we have a BIG trip planned for July now, too.
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Old 05-21-2020, 11:14 PM   #19
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Looks nice. Thank you for sharing. I’m in CA, so won’t be taking up any space there, but nice to see the SIP order, might extend to our own self-contained homes...
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Old 05-22-2020, 10:56 AM   #20
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If interested in history/nature, don't miss the mammoth park near Waco as a good look at the how and why of the find.
College kids out poking around a creekbed, found a bone sticking out, threw it in the back of the pickup to take to town and now there a national park there!
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