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Policy updates for the length of stay, use of low speed vehicles in U.S. Army Corps campgrounds

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District recently announced the update of two recreational policies at Arkabutla, Enid, Grenada and Sardis lakes that includes how long visitors can stay in the campgrounds and who can use a golf cart while there.

The length of stay for camping at Arkabutla, Enid, Grenada, and Sardis lakes is 14 consecutive days. At the end of a camper’s 14-day stay, the camper may apply for an extension for up to 14 additional days.  During the peak season of March through October, one extension may be granted per visit for a total stay of 28 consecutive days. In non-peak season, November through February, up to two extensions may be granted per visit for a total stay of 42 consecutive days.

At the end of the campers’ stay, they must leave the campground for 14 days before returning but may move to another campground at the same lake during this time. Prior to this, the lakes had different peak seasons and length of stay policies differed from lake to lake and sometimes campground to campground.

The low-speed vehicle policy will primarily affect golf cart use within campgrounds. For years, campers have been allowed to operate golf carts within campgrounds at these lakes. The policy update will limit golf cart use to only persons with permanent disabilities. Persons who wish to operate a golf cart in campgrounds will be required to obtain a free permit from the field offices at each of these lakes. Each permit may be used for a period of one calendar year, and permit holders will be given a decal to affix to their golf carts.

Safety plays a key role in the update of the low-speed vehicle policy. Many of the roads at these campgrounds are narrow, which makes navigating difficult for the numerous large vehicles and campers. Reducing the amount of cart traffic will significantly decrease the likelihood of a serious accident. Updating these policies will also ensure a more consistent visitor experience, not only among the north Mississippi lakes but also within other Corps projects in the state.