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State park facilities remain closed; outdoor spaces open

Staff Reports
Neosho Daily News

Outdoor spaces and amenities, including day-use areas, lodging, campgrounds, boat ramps and trails, will remain open and available under normal offseason status, unless otherwise designated.

While safety, stewardship and service are all very important to Missouri State Parks, safety is the top priority. Visitors should come prepared and view the online park and site status map before heading to the park for any weather-related closures that may impact their visit. Contact information of staff will be posted on signage throughout the park for visitors who may have questions or need assistance.

“Many people will continue to get outside and enjoy our state parks and we will continue to welcome the public,” says Missouri State Parks director Mike Sutherland. “We hope that our state parks will serve as a break from the stress associated with COVID-19 and provide healthy recreation opportunities during the winter offseason.”

Campgrounds are available on a first-come, first-served basis at most Missouri State Parks campgrounds and some offer reservations during the offseason period. For more information on camping, visit mostateparks.com/activity/camping.

Out of a continued abundance of caution, interpretive programming at parks and sites has been postponed. Many parks and sites have virtual alternatives and are providing other opportunities, such as virtual tours, lesson plans and online programming for visitors, educators and families. Learn more about what is being offered at each location by calling the park or site office or following Missouri State Parks on Facebook.

When visiting a Missouri state park or historic site, visitors are strongly encouraged to follow social-distancing guidelines and be proactive in protecting themselves and others amid ongoing public health concerns. Come prepared with hand sanitizer and bottled water, avoid large and congested crowds and please stay home if sick. Face coverings are encouraged when social-distancing measures are difficult to maintain, and may be required by local orders.

If you have any questions, please contact Missouri State Parks at moparks@dnr.mo.gov. For the latest information on the Missouri State Parks response to COVID-19, please visit mostateparks.com/response.

For more information on state parks and historic sites, visit mostateparks.com. Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

5 Tips for a Safe Winter Hike

The winter season is a great time to get outside and explore the natural and cultural resources of Missouri. When setting out on a hike, please keep these five safety tips in mind: 

1. Keep your cellphone charged.

2. Let your family know where you're going.

3. Come prepared with water.

4. Wear appropriate clothing and shoes.

5. Make sure you have access to a trail map (new PDF maps are now available).

Save your trail map in advance of your trip by choosing your park and selecting Park Trails.