On May 5, 2024, Van Pugh Park South became reservation-only day-use.

“For people who make reservations, it will be like having your own day-use park,” said Travis England, public affairs officer for the US Army Corps of Engineers’ Mobile District. “You can reserve one of the parks’ campsites for the day and be certain that you have lake access.”

Each site reservation is $15 for up to 15 people and three cars in each site; the park is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

“As the summer season gets busier on Lake Lanier, this is a good way to bring your family or friends to the lake without worrying about a park being at capacity and being turned away.”

England said one of the most frequent complaints that park rangers hear in the summer is that a park has reached capacity and visitors are turned away.

“We want to ensure a good experience for our lake users and putting this system into place at Van Pugh South is a way to help alleviate being surprised when some of the more popular parks are full,” he said. “Yes, it requires planning ahead and the number of visitors at each campsite cannot exceed 15 people and three cars, but you have the option to reserve more than one campsite.”

Van Pugh South has 54 sites. Each reservation is site-specific. The park gate will be manned.

“We realize that many people enjoy recreation at Lake Lanier and this is just one of the ways that we can ensure that people can access the water,” England said. “It’s going to be an excellent and busy season and we’ve listened to people who visit the lake regularly about how we can make the Lake Lanier experience better.”

To reserve a day-use site in Van Pugh South, visit recreation.gov. The website can also be used to reserve campsites and shelters at other Corps of Engineers’ parks, not only at Lake Lanier but at other Corps’ projects.

View of a covered sitting area and campsite with pine trees and Lake Lanier.

A scene at Van Pugh North day-use park.

Other park news at Lake Lanier

Van Pugh North day-use park is open this season. It can be accessed on a first-come, first served basis; the park offers picnic areas and restroom facilities, plus a boat ramp, grills, a playground and beach access.

The Corps of Engineers and Hall County are nearing completion of a lease agreement that will transfer operations of Sardis Creek Park to Hall County.

For more information, visit www.sam.usace.army.mil.