Release Date

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, OCT. 21, 2020 – With increased visitation at Missouri state parks and historic sites, it’s important for visitors to remember their role in protecting and preserving Missouri’s natural and cultural resources, while considering the health and safety of others. Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is a national organization with a mission of protecting the outdoors by teaching and inspiring people to enjoy it responsibly.

  1. Plan ahead and prepare. Look for information before heading to a park or historic site by visiting Research whether the park is open or if there are any temporary closures, what recreational opportunities exist, length of the trails and availability of water and public restrooms. Always carry hand sanitizer, soap, bottled water and wipes in case services are limited.
  2. Always travel on durable surfaces by staying on designated paths, trails and areas, protecting the wildlife, unique features and any sensitive plants or areas along the trails.
  3. Trash your trash. Always pack out trash, including food scraps, water bottles, wipes, plastic containers, etc.
  4. Take only pictures and leave only footprints. Leave behind the flowers, rocks and any other treasures for others to see.
  5. Minimize campfire impacts. If making a fire, use a provided campfire ring or picnic grill. This is especially important during dry spells as a fire could easily spread to unwanted places. Check for any local fire restrictions.
  6. Respect wildlife. Enjoy their sights and sounds from a distance and never feed them. This protects visitors and the wildlife.
  7. Respect other visitors. Always keep a 6-foot physical distance from others, talk with inside voices, respect trail right of way and always wear headphones when listening to music. If a trail is busy, warn others when passing.  

Missouri State Parks is a proud partner of the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics and believes in the stewardship of America’s public lands.

While state parks and historic sites are open, capacity is monitored closely in order to prevent overcrowding. If nearing capacity, parking lots or gates may close temporarily. Plan ahead with the park and site status map at

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

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