Campgrounds at Missouri State Parks, which have been closed during the coronavirus pandemic, will be reopened in phases beginning Monday.
State park campgrounds will reopen to accommodate existing campground reservations beginning at 3 p.m. New reservations will also start to be accepted on Monday for arrival dates beginning Tuesday, May 26.
Missouri State Parks will implement several changes related to campground operations to encourage social distancing and improve the safety of operations for Missouri State Parks’ guests and staff.
The additional measures include:
- Reservations will be required prior to arrival.
- Campground occupancy will be limited at some parks and sites.
- Missouri State Parks will clean shower houses and restrooms more often.
- Campers will use a new contactless, self-check-in feature.
- There will be occupancy restrictions in shower houses and restrooms.
- Missouri State Parks will only accept credit and debit cards.
“We are happy to be able to reopen our campgrounds and provide another outdoor recreational opportunity for our visitors, but, as you might expect, our guests will see some changes,” said Carol Comer, director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, in a news release.
“We hope all of our visitors will continue to be respectful of others, practice social distancing, avoid crowded areas, and do their part to help keep our parks and historic sites safe and clean.”
New self-check-in feature
Before arriving at the state park or historic site, campers will receive an email with instructions on how to access their reservation online and check in on the day of arrival.
Alternatively upon arrival, campers can check in by opening the camera on their smartphone device and hovering over the QR code posted at the campsite, and following the prompt.
Missouri State Parks staff will be available at the park or historic site to answer any questions.
Campers also should be aware that reservations will now be required at most campgrounds and park-run lodging prior to arrival, and can be made up until 7 p.m. CST the day before arrival.
First-come, first-served camping will no longer be available at most state park campgrounds.
New reservations can be made beginning Monday, May 18, for arrival dates on Tuesday, May 26, and beyond, by visiting mostateparks.com.
Missouri State Park beaches will open to the public on Thursday, May 21, with visitors expected to practice social distancing.
“We know people are ready to get outdoors, but we all need to practice social distancing when we do,” said Missouri State Parks Director Mike Sutherland. “The safety of our dedicated parks team and the enjoyment of our visitors depends on all of us being responsible, whether we are indoors or outdoors. If an area or trail is crowded, we hope visitors will use that as an opportunity to explore a new area or trail that is less crowded.”
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