Several parks and recreational areas at Lake Waco and other area lakes that were closed because of the COVID-19 outbreak will reopen Thursday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced Wednesday.
With social distancing and other health-related restrictions in mind, corps officials plan to open for day use only the Twin Bridges beach and picnic area, the Reynolds Creek picnic area and boat ramp, as well as the equestrian trails that run through Reynolds Creek.
Also set to reopen are the three-mile hike-and-bike trail on the dam and all parking lots associated with the trail’s three access points on Lake Shore Drive, Airport Drive and off Skeet Eason Road.
Bosque Park, a popular fishing spot near the spillway that also has a launching ramp for kayaks and other small watercraft, also will be open for day use, said Mike Champagne, lead park ranger for the Army Corps of Engineers at Waco Lake.
Koehne Park, which has a popular boat ramp, has remained open, and boat ramps at Midway Park, Airport Park, Twin Bridges, Flat Rock Park and Lacy Point also will remain open, Champagne said.
Camp grounds are not open yet and no date has been set for them to reopen, he said.
“It is still a fluid situation,” Champagne said. “We are working with state and local authorities to make sure we are all on the same page and that one agency isn’t opening too early. We are all working together to create these openings.”
The group pavilion and playground at Twin Bridges will be closed, as well as the playground at Reynolds Creek, he said.
“We know people want to get back out, and we encourage people to still practice social distancing and to follow local city of Waco and McLennan County guidelines, as well as those from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention),” Champagne said.
Corps officials said in a press release that the decision to reopen is specific to each recreation area and is based largely on the safety of its staff and visitors. They recommend that visitors contact the lake project office for specific site openings or view the latest status at www.swf-wc.usace.army.mil/lake/lakefacilities.htm.
“The health of our team and the community is our top priority,” said Col. Kenneth N. Reed, USACE Fort Worth District commander. “Protecting our team includes mitigating the spread of the virus and ensuring personnel have the most up-to-date information on appropriate measures to prevent potential spread of COVID-19.”