Camping is a great way to unplug from the everyday noise we call life and Missouri State Parks wants to help. Director David Kelly wants Missourians to consider camping at their nearest state park.

“We’ve got great camping opportunities all around the state from backpack camping if you want to have a more remote experience to hike out to a backpack camp,” he said. “We’ve got those available up to platform tents where you can actually have a tent at your site or yurts or camper cabins and then of course, you know, regular tent camping sites too. So, we kind of run the whole gamut.”

Missouri is home to 92 state parks and historic sites, of which you can camp at 41 of them.

Kelly adds that if you want to camp through Missouri State Parks, be sure to make a reservation.

“You can book up to a year out and a couple of years ago we added same day reservation,” Kelly explained. “So, if you decide last minute you want to camp and you can actually book a campsite now on the way out to the park and which is kind of interesting. We have folks that actually will get up and even on a busy weekend they’ll check and there may have been a cancellation at a very popular park, and they will actually get in. So, that same day reservation has been a real popular feature.”

Missouri State Parks wants to encourage you to enjoy the great outdoors.

“We saw that you know, especially during the pandemic, we saw record numbers as people got outside and saw the health benefits of camping and hiking,” according to Kelly. “Both our day use and our camping increased dramatically. I think we were up 24% on camping and it’s still, almost down from those peaks, it’s still pretty high. So, I think more people discovered those benefits and they’re sticking with it.”

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