Institute for Water Resources

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Value to the Nation

Recreation: Recreational Facilities

When you arrive at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lake your eye might first be drawn to a wide stretch of beautiful water, forest or grass. Then you notice people swimming, bird watching, sailing or fishing. You begin to understand why the Corps, with its 402 lakes across the country and dozens of activities, is the foremost federal provider of outdoor recreation facilities and why one in ten Americans visit Corps lakes, for a total of about 335 million visits per year.

Corps lakes serve as community gathering areas for leisure and family time. Drawn by the water, these recreation areas lure people from miles around and strengthen social connections through healthy, active outdoor fun.

People come together to participate in their favorite sports and hobbies and get much-needed fresh air and exercise. Boaters keep their boats at the same marinas year after year so they can meet up with old friends and new. Thousands of people converge for special events such as Fourth of July fireworks, arts festivals and other activities.

The Corps provides thousands of opportunities to while away a day, week or month. Visitors to Corps lakes value the proximity to their homes (90 percent of Corps lakes are within 50 miles of a major city), the good value, the clean facilities and the bike trails.

Graphic illustrating recreational activities