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Mo. State parks, historical sites prepare for 2021 camping season

Updated: Mar. 13, 2021 at 8:26 PM CST
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JACKSON, Mo. (KFVS) - Missouri State Parks and historic sites are preparing for 2021 camping season, this year with added procedures to ensure a safe and healthy camping experience.

“Reservations are highly recommended,” said Denise Dowling, the park superintendent of Trail of Tears State Park in Jackson.

This year, nest procedures have been set, and campers must pay the camping rate prior to occupying the site. Regular cleaning schedules will be set for shower houses, and things such as firewood and ice will be available for purchase during operating hours.

“In the off season we winterize all those things, so the shower houses are closed,” said Dowling.

Missouri State Parks started taking reservations when they noticed more campers last year, and they expect higher numbers this season.

“Depending on the park you probably need to make it sooner than later,” said Dowling.

She said the pandemic drove everyone a little crazy. Camping allowed people a chance to go outside without worry.

“I figure we’ll have some more people camping this year because they discovered some parks last year that they may not have been familiar with,” said Dowling.

Keith Tormanen, a camper at Trail of Tears, said he’s noticed campsites are more crowded than previous years, especially before the beginning of the season.

“I was surprised there was this many people camping this early,” said Tormanen.

He explained people are wanting to get out, and get away from everybody.

“It’s always a good way to enjoy the outdoors, so it’s a perfect way to social distance,” said Tormanen.

Dowling said it’s encouraging to see people enjoying the outdoors a lot more during the pandemic. She is hopeful for another successful camping season.

“We’re always excited to have campers come out to the park and enjoy to the park and the river,” said Dowling.

Dowling said they still have spots open for this camping season, but recommends making reservations. You can click here for more information on 2021 camping procedures

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