Release Date

Social distancing measures in place

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, MAY 11, 2020 – Elephant Rocks and Castlewood state parks open Monday, May 11, to the public with social distancing measures in place. While the parks will be open for day-use, capacity will be monitored closely in order to prevent overcrowding. If a park is nearing capacity, gates or parking lots may close temporarily.

"Missouri State Parks is experiencing record crowds as people take advantage of the outdoor opportunities we have to offer," said Mike Sutherland, director of the department's Division of State Parks. "We ask for everyone’s patience and cooperation as we implement measures to minimize congestion and maintain social distancing at our facilities."

All visitors must remain diligent and come prepared to enjoy the outdoors responsibly by following the guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Governor Parson:

Keep a minimum distance of six feet between you and others.
Avoid crowded areas and groups of people.
Stay close-to-home and travel with only those from your household.
Wash your hands often.
Come prepared and carry hand sanitizers, soaps, wipes and water.
Share the trail and warn other trail users of your presence as you pass.
Avoid touching your face, handshakes and hugs.
Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
Pack out what you pack in.
Be kind and considerate of others.
Most importantly, stay home if you are sick.

Visitors are encouraged to visit to find a park close-to-home and to check for individual park advisories before heading to the park.   

Visitor centers, park offices, tours, programs, group camps, enclosed shelters, playgrounds, pools and beaches remain closed.

For the latest actions by Missouri State Parks in response to COVID-19, visit Missourians are encouraged to review COVID-19 information provided by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

If you have questions regarding Missouri State Parks, please contact us at For more information on state parks and historic sites, visit Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Contact Information