Army Corps announces Tioga-Hammond and Cowanesque Lakes facility openings, face mask & life jacket requirements

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District
Published April 29, 2021
Updated: April 29, 2021

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District (USACE), will open Ives Run Campground from May 1, 2021, until Oct. 31, 2021. The Cowanesque Lake, Tompkins Campground, will open from May 15, 2021, until Labor Day. USACE reminds all visitors, volunteers and employees to wear a face mask in all USACE buildings and facilities or outdoors if physical distancing cannot be maintained.

This requirement complies with President Joseph Biden's Executive Order issued in January, as well as guidance established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:

  • Practice responsible social distancing by staying at least 6 feet away from those outside your household unit.
  • Face masks must be worn if physical distancing cannot be met outdoors on USACE-managed lands and recreation areas, such as hiking on trails or visiting sites that may be popular or crowded.
  • 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.
  • 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 recontamination to your hands.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, we highly recommend using hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent 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 COVID-19.

Visitors who actively engage in water-related activities with a clear and immediate risk of masks becoming wet may temporarily forgo wearing masks. These activities may include but are not limited to swimming, waterskiing, riding on personal watercraft, kayaking and other boating-related activities.
However, physical distancing must always be maintained whenever possible.

The Lambs Creek and Lawrence Recreation areas are currently open. Visitors may continue to use the Tioga-Hammond and Cowanesque Lakes' trails and boat ramps, which remain open year-round. The Ives Run, South Shore and Tompkins beaches are scheduled to open the Thursday before Memorial Day.

Camping and picnic shelter reservations are to be made by visiting or calling the toll-free number 877-444-6777.

Boaters using Tioga-Hammond and Cowanesque Lakes are reminded that Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission mandatory life jacket wear remains in effect until April 30, 2021. As a visitor safety precaution, boaters should always wear life jackets when recreating on or near the lakes to reduce water-related casualties.

Based on USACE statistical trends, the Corps Foundation found that the highest risk group is adult men between the ages of 20 and 60. For more information, visit the "Life Jackets Worn…Nobody Mourns" campaign at

For questions and concerns, the Ives Run Visitor Information Center will remain open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., when staffing permits. As mentioned above, masks will be required upon entry. To reach the Ives Run Visitor Information Center by phone, please call 570-835-5281. America the Beautiful passes can be obtained at

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


Stephen Sporer

Release no. 21-035