COE Campgrounds: Are They Worth the Hype?

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Avid campers may find many different campgrounds all across the country. You may stay in state and national parks or at a COE campground. COE stands for the Army Corps of Engineers. They work on over 400 lake and river projects throughout the country. Let’s learn more about COE campgrounds and if they are worth the hype.

What Is a COE Campground?

All COE Campgrounds are managed by the Army Corp of Engineers. It may surprise you to learn that the Army Corps of Engineers control over 450 campgrounds in 43 states.

You’ll often find these campgrounds near lakes or rivers. This means that many offer fishing, boating, and other popular aquatic activities. If you’re a fan of these activities, a COE campground may be worth looking into for your next trip!

The Benefits of Using COE Campgrounds

You’ll find many benefits of staying in a COE campground. Let’s take a look at what many campers love about these parks.

Federally Owned Campsites

Rangers take good care of federally owned campgrounds. The COE has worked since 1779 as an environmental planner for some of the nation’s most important infrastructures. These projects include dams, hydroelectric plants, and controlling flood plains.

The federal government began creating campgrounds for the public to enjoy. These campgrounds typically offer water, electric, or dry camping options with unbeatable locations.

Waterfront Locations

If you enjoy waterfront campgrounds, COE campgrounds are for you. Many of these camping locations center around water recreation. You’ll most likely have no trouble finding a place to fish, boat, or hike. Some campgrounds even offer snorkeling, windsurfing, and whitewater rafting. 

A COE campground with trees and RVs along a lake.

Well Maintained Roads

The federal government maintains these parks, meaning that when one of the roads develops a pothole or crack, they address it immediately. While other campgrounds may wait until the situation worsens to fix the road, COE campgrounds jump on it.

Great Amenities

While not every COE campground offers full hookups, you will have plenty of amenities. As we’ve already mentioned, many of these campgrounds provide waterfront sites or have easy access to the water. Whether you plan a weekend of boating or fishing on the lake, you’ll have an incredible time.

Many campers love that many of the campgrounds hire cleaning and mowing services for their properties. This means you won’t have to worry about a dirty bathroom or a campsite with knee-high grass. 

Locations Across the United States

One of the best things about COE campgrounds is that they don’t target one specific region or area of the country. There are 450 campgrounds in 43 states, and so you have a good chance to find one near you.

How Much Does It Cost to Stay at a COE Campground?

Costs will vary from one campground to another and based on the campground’s location. Individual campsites range from $18 to $56. You don’t have to spend a fortune, and you may be eligible for a discount. The amenities at these sites will vary from dry camping to full hookups, but some RVers brag about finding free primitive spots. 

Are There Any Discounts at COE Campgrounds?

Yes, COE campgrounds offer discounts. The America the Beautiful pass for seniors 62 and older offers 50% off the fees at federal campgrounds. This pass is a no-brainer if you’re eligible, as it can amount to quite the savings if you frequent COE campgrounds.

However, you don’t have to be 62 years old to qualify for a 50% discount. Those with permanent disabilities can also get the America the Beautiful pass. The disability doesn’t have to be 100% disability, and it’s valid for the pass holder’s lifetime.

How Do You Find COE Campgrounds?

You can find COE campgrounds by using Campendium or AllStays. These two popular campground databases allow you to filter campgrounds based on their type.

However, if you don’t have a cell signal or internet, you can grab all 288 pages of Camping with the Corps of Engineers on Amazon. You can quickly and easily find some of the best campgrounds available. When buying a physical book, it’s important to remember that it won’t have up-to-date information like the online resource.

A COE campground with RVs and trees set against the lake.

Are COE Campgrounds Worth the Hype?

Staying at a COE campground is most definitely worth the hype. This is especially true if you enjoy water activities. These parks provide something for everyone, and rangers and park staff take good care of them. We don’t think you’ll be disappointed if you choose to stay at one of these beautiful parks throughout the country.

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