Missouri Adding Three New State Parks, Bringing the Total to 91.
Missouri is getting three new places for the public to enjoy the outdoors. And Missouri Governor Jay Nixon says they’ll have some of the state’s most distinctive natural landscapes and features.
The new state parks are all located in the southern part of Missouri. They include:
- Ozark Mountain State Park, which encompasses 1,011 acres in Taney County northwest of Branson along Highway 465. It features an open, grassy, flower-filled landscape of ridges and hills, known locally as knobs. It also is home to an old one-room schoolhouse.
- Bryant Creek State Park, with 2,917 acres, along Bryant Creek in Douglas County about 22 miles southeast of Ava. It consists of thick oak and pine forests and nearly two miles of river hills and bluffs.
- Eleven Point State Park, with 4,167 acres in Oregon County about 45 miles east of West Plains. The park includes six miles of direct river frontage on the Eleven Point River, a nationally protected river corridor.
Bill Bryan, director of Missouri State Parks, says the land was acquired to fill natural history gaps that weren’t represented in the state park system. According to Bryant, the park system has been looking to add properties with these unique natural features for more than 20 years.
According to a news release from the governor’s office, “the new park lands were selected based on goals identified in the 1992 Missouri State Park and Historic Site System Expansion Plan, which was developed following a nearly five-year process of public meetings, research and staff input. In 2004, Missouri State Parks also completed Missing Masterpieces: A Survey About Missouri State Parks and Historic Sites. The extensive survey gathered public input regarding the standards the division uses to evaluate potential new areas for their worthiness to become new Missouri state parks.”
Plans for development of the properties and future use are in the preliminary stages. Early development will focus on natural resource stewardship.
The park system plans a series of events, including guided hikes, to allow the public to see the properties and provide feedback on park planning. Dates of the guided hikes are:
- Ozark Mountain State Park in Taney County from 2-4 p.m. on Jan. 6.
- Eleven Point State Park in Oregon County from 1-4 p.m. on Jan. 7.
- Bryant Creek State Park in Douglas County from noon-2 p.m. on Jan. 8.