Army Corps announces phased re-opening of Robert W. Craig campground and trails at Jennings Randolph Lake

Published June 9, 2020
Updated: June 9, 2020

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, has announced the phased reopening approach of Jennings Randolph Lake’s (JRL) Robert W. Craig campground, restrooms and trails that were closed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The phased reopening approach in response to COVID-19 will begin with:

  • Howell Run Picnic Area to reopen on June 8.
  • Robert W. Craig Campground to reopen to all registered campers on June 10. Due to the ongoing pandemic, a strict no-visitors policy is in place at the campground until further notice.
  • Song Bird Trail, Dike Fishing access, Sarbanes Hiking Trail, Maryland Boat Launch and the Maryland overlook remain open.
  • Howell Run Boat Launch is also open for public use, but please note that the launch’s restroom is closed for remodeling until further notice. An outside portable toilet is available.

Shaw beach and the life jacket loaner station, the West Virginia Overlook, and JRL’s administrative and ranger offices will remain closed to the public at this time. An official date for the reopening of these facilities has not yet been determined. All special events and group gatherings, including fishing tournaments, have also been cancelled until further notice.

Individuals wishing to make camping reservations at JRL may resume online reservations by visiting Patrons who had reservations at campgrounds booked through May 31, 2020, will be contacted by email about cancellations and full refunds will be automatically processed by with no cancellation fees. If you still have not received a full refund, please wait 10 business days after the start date of your reservation to be processed.

“The health and wellness of our employees, volunteers, partners and the visiting public is our top priority. We understand the frustration everyone must be experiencing, however we sincerely appreciate the public’s patience and understanding during this time,” said Ken Fernandez, JRL operations project manager, Baltimore District. “We will continue to work diligently while assessing the to best proceed with our phased reopening plan going forward."

The Army Corps requests that all visitors recreate responsibly by following the guidelines established by the Army Corps and the state of West Virginia:

  • Practice responsible social distancing by staying at least six feet away from those outside of your household unit.
  • When social distancing is not possible, we strongly encourage the use of a mask or face covering.
  • Stay away from recreation areas if you are exhibiting cold or flu-like symptoms.
  • Properly dispose of your waste and items such as masks and disposable gloves.
  • Bring your own lifejacket if you plan on recreating in or near the water.
  • We highly recommend that you utilize the day-use restroom facilities available at Howell Run Picnic Area and Robert W. Craig Campground to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after blowing your nose, coughing, and/or sneezing.
  • When using and exiting public restrooms, whenever possible, use a paper towel to grab the door handle to avoid recontamination to your hands.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, we highly recommend the use of a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Please keep in mind that some people without symptoms may be able to spread the virus.

The Army Corps will continue to monitor COVID-19 guidance from local, state and federal officials as the pandemic continues and as information evolves, may update their phased reopening plan and/or operating conditions.

The public is encouraged to monitor the Jennings Randolph Lake webpage and Facebook page for the information, or call (304) 355-2346.


Brittany Crissman
(410) 202-6509
Jennings Randolph Lake Project Office
(304) 355-2346

Release no. 20-013