I think most of us were just waiting for the first of April to come around so we could get back to the outdoors and camping in Missouri. The smell of dinner on the grill, the anticipation of s'mores around the campfire and the sound of laughing kids splashing in a stream are all memories of that favorite camping trip in a Missouri state park campground.

The 2021 camping season unofficially got underway on April 1 at Missouri state parks and historic site campgrounds. To ensure a camping spot, campers are strongly encouraged to make a reservation prior to arrival at the park. Most campgrounds are fully reservable and any campsites not reserved are available on a walk-in registration basis.  Campers must pay the camping rate prior to occupying the site.

Electric hook-ups are available year-round at most state parks, while water and showers are usually available in the on-season, which is typically  from April 1 through Oct. 31. A two-night minimum stay on the weekend (Friday and Saturday or Saturday and Sunday) is required at most state parks for reservations.

Many parks contain rules and policies that are specific to the individual park and its resources. Please call the individual park to inquire of specific rules and, upon your arrival, check the park's bulletin boards for additional rules. For more information on your upcoming camping event at state parks in Missouri you can go to mostateparks.com.

When visiting a Missouri state park or historic site, visitors are strongly encouraged to follow social-distancing guidelines and be proactive in protecting themselves and others amid ongoing public health concerns.

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