Peak recreation season beginning at state lakes

Published 2:38 pm Monday, April 1, 2019

Enid Lake News

March 1, marked the beginning of Peak Recreation Season for all campgrounds at Enid Lake. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Enid Lake operates 5 Class A and 2 Class C campgrounds.

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The 5 Class A campgrounds include: Wallace Creek, Persimmon Hill, Chickasaw Hill, Ford’s Well, and Water Valley Landing. These campgrounds offer a RV pad at each site with water, sewage, and electrical hookups available. A dump station is also located at the entrance of each campground as well.

All Class A campgrounds have comfort stations, shower houses, playgrounds, and a boat ramp, with the exception of Ford’s Well not having a boat ramp. Camping fees at all Class A campgrounds are $20 a night. Class C campgrounds include: Plum Point and Long Branch. These campgrounds are primitive areas, but offer potable water, comfort stations, a playground, and a boat ramp. Camping fees for Class C campsites are $10 a night.

Campsites in Class A campgrounds can be reserved through the National Recreation Reservation System (NRRS) by calling toll free 1-877-444-6777. Campers can reserve sites in these areas by logging onto the NRRS website at Campsites at Ford’s Well Campground are not part of the National Recreation Reservation System. Campsites at Ford’s Well Campground are all first come first serve.

All anglers and boating enthusiasts should be aware that there is a $5 boat launching fee or display of appropriate pass required at designated boat launching ramps excluding: Bynum, Plum Point and Point Pleasant recreation areas.

Enid Lake maintains five designated swimming beaches, which are scheduled to open on April 1. Visitors to these beaches are required to pay a user fee or have an annual pass affixed to their vehicle. The fee for using one of these designated beaches is $5 per non-commercial vehicle per day, $20.00 per bus or commercial vehicle per day, and children under the age of 16 are admitted free.

Visitors to the beaches are urged to practice water safety. Each of these beaches is marked with orange buoys and all swimmers are required to stay within this designated area. There is also a “Rescue Device Station” on each beach, which has a throw bag, a reach pole and instructions on proper use.

These devices are to be used only for emergencies or for water safety demonstrations by rangers.  If anyone would like to practice with one of these devices, request the assistance of a ranger.  The white depth marker poles located on the beaches are intended to give swimmers the approximate depth of the water in feet.

Annual Passes and Passports

Annual passes allow visitors to launch a boat or use designated swim beaches without having to pay every time they utilize these facilities. The Annual Pass can be purchased from any Corps of Engineers Field Office for $40. Annual Passes are valid for one year from date of purchase.

Enid Lake personnel reminds visitors that Golden Age and Golden Access Passports are accepted at Enid Lake, but no longer can be purchased. The America the Beautiful Passports are also accepted at Enid Lake, and can be purchased at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Field Offices including: Enid, Sardis, Arkabutla, and Grenada Lakes.

These passports allow campers and visitors half price on camping and waive day use fees. Visitors interested in acquiring information about passport programs may contact the Enid Lake Field Office at 563-4571.

Picnic Shelter Reservations

Enid Lake offers visitors use of 16 large picnic shelters/pavilions, which are available for reservation. These shelters are great for large crowds, and are located at Wallace Creek, Persimmon Hill, Outlet Channel, Riverview, Ford’s Well, Water Valley Landing, and Chickasaw Hill recreation areas.

Amenities include: picnic tables, electricity, potable water, lights, grills, and service tables. Shelters may be reserved by calling the Enid Lake Field Office at 563-4571 Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The cost of reserving a shelter is $50.00 a day and they are available from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. of the reserved date.

Rising Water at Enid Lake

During the months of February and March Enid Lake and the surrounding areas have received almost twenty inches of rain. Currently, the lake level at Enid Lake is 261.5 feet above sea level, which is 25 feet above normal lake stage.

Visitors should pay special attention to all signs and barricades. Numerous secondary roads around the lake have become inundated and are marked with barricades. Motorist are reminded not to drive through water covering roadways. Visitors are reminded to drive slow on secondary roadways and pay attention to all signs and barricades.

Boaters should also take precautions. As the lake levels come up many obstacles that were once visible may be covered with water. At some boat ramps: signs, guardrails, and rip rap rocks may be under water. When possible these features have been marked with buoys and/or barricades.

Other hazards boaters need to be aware of are stumps, snags, lake points, etc., that have not been inundated in the past several years. Boaters are reminded to use extreme caution when boating in unfamiliar areas. Above all, Enid Lake wants to remind all visitors to slow down, take your time, and be safe.    

For more information on Enid Lake’s recreational opportunities and high water please contact the Enid Lake Field Office at 563-4571.