State of Missouri expects influx of visitors to state parks into 2021

Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 7:56 AM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The Missouri Department of Natural Resources says they saw more people using their parks in 2020 compared to years past.

They are still calculating final numbers, but they do report a 1% increase at state run campgrounds. That number may not seem high, but the department says many of the campgrounds were closed for a significant part of their summer because of the pandemic.

With more people did come more challenges including those leaving trash behind and not following the rules.

“It’s always going to be a challenge when you have a large amount of visitors in concentrated areas,” said Mike Southerland Director of Missouri State Parks. “That’s why we encourage people to kind of disperse if a place seems crowded when you get there. Go find another area or a park nearby. If it’s not a Missouri state park maybe it’s a conservation area or a county park or a city park that you can enjoy. We are lucky in Missouri that we have great and wonderful places to explore.”

The number of out-of-state visitors to state parks did drop last year.

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