Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and Thanksgiving holiday, Missouri state parks and historic sites remain open, including day-use areas, lodging, campgrounds, boat ramps and trails.
However, in response to the virus threat and beginning this week, Missouri State Parks will temporarily close indoor spaces, including visitor centers, nature centers, museums and offices.
Park and historic site outdoor spaces and amenities will remain open and available under normal off-season status, unless otherwise designated.
According to a state parks news release, visitors should come prepared and view the online park and site status map before heading to the park. Contact information of staff will be posted on signs throughout the park for visitors who may have questions or need assistance.
“Many people will continue to want to get out and enjoy our state parks and we will continue to welcome the public,” said 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 through the holiday season.”
Campgrounds are available on a first come, first served basis at most Missouri State Parks campgrounds and some offer reservations during the off-season period. For more information on camping, visit mostateparks.com/activity/camping.
While 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.
For the latest information on the Missouri State Parks response to COVID-19, visit www.mostateparks.com/response.
For more information on state parks and historic sites or to view the park and site status map, visit www.mostateparks.com. Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
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