Castlewood, Elephant Rocks other state parks will close due to overcrowding

DNR officials say they're concerned about public safety during pandemic

March 31, 2020

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KNOU) - Too many people are going to Missouri State Parks, so officials are closing some to the public.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) says overcrowding during the coronavirus pandemic is risking public safety.

Related: St. Louis closing parks to all vehicle traffic in hopes of slowing coronavirus spread

"We’re continuing to evaluate the situation and make adjustments to operations as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves," said Carol Comer, director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. “As conditions and recommendations change, we will make additional closures as needed."

The changes will take effect at 5 p.m. on Thursday and include the following:

- Castlewood State Park will close.
- Elephant Rocks State Park will close.
- Watkins Woolen Mill State Historic Site and Park will close.
- Weston Bend State Park will close.
- St. Joe State Park will close the off-road vehicle riding area.
- Gates to individual parking lots may close at all state parks when the lot reaches capacity.

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