Due to an increase in visitors at the Missouri state parks and historic sites, visitors and locals are urged to help the park staff protect and preserve the state parks’ natural and cultural resources by practicing “LEAVE NO TRACE”.

Missouri State Parks is a proud partner of the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics. The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is a national organization with a mission of protecting the outdoors by teaching and inspiring people to enjoy it responsibly.

There are 7 Principles that visitors should follow to do the “LEAVE NO TRACE”:

1. Plan ahead and prepare. Ensure you have trash bags and don’t leave the trash bag just anywhere. Before getting out of the vehicle, make sure that all members of the family or friends know about your “LEAVE NO TRACE” plan so that they’ll be supportive and comply.

2. Travel only on designated paths, trails, and areas. This ensures that everyone doesn’t damage sensitive plants and unique features.

3. Trash your trash. All food scraps, bottles, containers, and wipes should be placed inside a trash bag. Carry reusable bottles for water to avoid bottles being disposed of while hiking or when exploring.

4. Take only pictures and leave only footprints. Leave behind the flowers, rocks, and any other treasures for others to see.

5. Minimize campfire impacts. If making a fire, use a provided campfire ring or picnic grill. Check local fire restrictions. as much as possible, make your picnics fire-free.

6. Respect wildlife. Do not allow any member of the family to feed wild animals or handle them. Enjoy wildlife at a distance.

7. Respect other visitors. Keep voices low and respect other people’s right of way. Do not use speakers when listening to music and try your best not to disturb other visitors.

For more information on general park rules, visit: mostateparks.com/page/55063/laws-and-regulations and mostateparks.com/page/54939/camping-rules-and-regulations.

For more information on state parks and historic sites, visit mostateparks.com.


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