Army Corps reopens public beaches and visitor center at Tioga-Hammond and Cowanesque Lakes

Published June 30, 2020
Updated: June 30, 2020

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, reopened public beaches at the South Shore and Ives Run Recreation Areas, located on Tioga-Hammond and Cowanesque Lakes, on June 27 as part of the phased reopening of recreation facilities following COVID-19 closures. Both public beaches are open daily from sunrise to sunset.  The beach at Tompkins Campground is now also open to campers from sunrise to sunset.

In the interest of public health and safety during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, all life jackets have been removed from the life jacket loaner stations at all beaches and put in storage. The Corps asks that visitors plan accordingly and bring their own life jackets if recreating in or near the water.

Boat launches and most public restroom facilities are open and available to all visitors.

In addition, the Tioga-Hammond and Cowanesque Lakes Visitor Information Center at Ives Run will reopen Wednesday, July 1. Business hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Masks will be required upon entry.

Shelter reservations will also resume on July 1 and all previously scheduled reservations for these recreation facilities will be honored. New reservations can be made by visiting

America the Beautiful passes will not be available for sale locally but can be obtained through the U.S. Geological Survey store at

Fishing tournaments and other previously approved special events will now resume as scheduled. Individuals or groups wishing to schedule new events and/or activities may submit their inquiries for review to Molly Wilson, Tioga-Hammond and Cowanesque Lakes park ranger, at

The Corps requests that all visitors recreate responsibly by following the guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control, Corps and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:

  • 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 a life jacket if recreating in or near the water.

  • We highly recommend that you utilize the day-use restroom facilities 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 re-contamination 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 Corps will continue to monitor COVID-19 guidance from local, state and federal officials as the pandemic continues and as information evolves, and may update their phased reopening plan and/or operating conditions.

The public is encouraged to monitor the Tioga-Hammond and Cowanesque website and Facebook page for the most up-to-date information.

Stephen Sporer, Supervisory Park Ranger
Brittany Crissman

Release no. 20-015