Mark Twain National Forest in a press release, issued operations changes for the safety of visitors and employees, yet still serve the public.
Offices will be assisting customers virtually; multiple recreation sites have been temporarily shut down, and services have been reduced at many more sites for the health and safety of visitors and staff. All these actions will strongly promote social distancing on the Forest. Although these changes may seem out of the ordinary, they are in line with current national guidance and with what other agencies across Missouri are doing to help reduce opportunities for the spread of COVID-19.
All Mark Twain National Forest offices have implemented virtual services and shut their doors to protect the health and safety of employees and members of the public during the COVID-19 outbreak in accordance with guidance from federal and state authorities. Visitors are encouraged to contact their local forest or ranger district www.fs.usda.gov/detail/mtnf/about-forest/offices for the latest office hours and availability.
Recreation sites temporarily shut down –
Ava/Cassville/Willow Springs Ranger District (417-683-4428): Cobb Ridge Campground; KC Pavilion within Chadwick trails riding area; Shell Knob Recreation Area; Noblett Lake Recreation Area and North Fork Campground
Houston/Rolla/Cedar Creek Ranger District (417-967-4194): Paddy Creek Campground; Lane Spring Campground and Day Use; Pine Ridge Campground; Dry Fork Campground; and Carrington Pits Recreation Area
Salem Ranger District (573-729-6656): Loggers Lake Campground
Potosi/Fredericktown Ranger District (573-438-5427): Wild Boar Campground and Beach at Council Bluff; Pavilion within Berryman Campground; Marble Creek Campground and Day Use; and Red Bluff Recreation Area
Eleven Point Ranger District (573-996-2153): Greer Crossing Campground and Watercress Campground
Poplar Bluff Ranger District (573 785-1475): Pinewoods Lake Campground and Markham Springs Campground
Restrooms have been locked at most of our recreation sites. Other services, like access to pavilions and places where many people traditionally gather, may be temporarily suspended as well.
Some of our sites were already shut down for the off-season. Some of these will remain shut down until further notice. For example: Wild Boar Campground and Chapel Hill Beach at Council Bluff Recreation Area; Loggers Lake Campground; Marble Creek Campground and Day Use Area; and Red Bluff Recreation Area
OPEN SITES Even at open sites, please use social distancing per Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines
- All trails and associated trailheads will remain open for the enjoyment of our users. All trailheads will be signed with information regarding COVID-19.
- Select campgrounds, such as Berryman Campground and Silver Mines.
- Boat Launches, including Council Bluff
Mark Twain National Forest continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation and evaluate potential impacts and adjustments to reservations and our reservation policies through Recreation.gov.
Reservation holders will be notified via email and/or cell phone text messages if there are any changes affecting their reservation. In the event of delayed openings of some, part or all of our recreation facilities, to ensure safe social distancing, you will receive a full refund for your reservation. Please remember to review current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and focus on recreating safely while protecting yourself, Forest Service employees and our volunteers.
As we work through this unpredictable and rapidly changing situation, health and safety will remain our number one priority. We are committed to continuing to support our communities and fulfill our mission as we all work together to minimize the impacts and spread of COVID-19. As changes occur, Mark Twain National Forest will continue to update the public.