The new year will bring three new state parks to Missouri’s Ozarks, Gov. Jay Nixon announced on Dec. 16.
The parks will showcase the rugged beauty of southern Missouri, featuring clear-water streams, bluffs, knobs and scenic vistas.
The additions to the Missouri state-park system are:
- Eleven Point State Park (shown here): 4,167 acres in Oregon County. It will include six miles of frontage on the Eleven Point River, a nationally protected riverway.
- Ozark Mountain State Park: 1,011 acres in Taney County. This park will feature the ridges and hills of the Ozarks.
- Bryant Creek State Park: 2,917 acres in Douglas County. This park will include two miles of river hills and bluffs along scenic Bryant Creek, as well as thick oak and pines forests.
Plans for development of the parks are in the preliminary stages and the state-park system is seeking input from the public. Visitors will get a sneak peak of the parks during guided hikes in early January. The hikes will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Jan 6, at Ozark Mountain; 1 to 4 p.m. Jan. 7 at Eleven Point; and noon to 2 p.m. Jan. 8 at Bryant Creek.
For details on the hikes, contact Missouri State Parks at 573-751-0761 or by emailing email@example.com. For those unable to participate in the special hikes, there will be a presentation and opportunity to provide feedback online at the website mostateparks.com beginning on Jan. 6.
“These new state parks ensure that we can protect and preserve these valuable natural landscapes for years to come,” Nixon said in a statement. “At a time when other states are closing or even selling state parks or charging daily use fees, we are expanding the system of state parks to offer more opportunities for Missourians to experience the outdoors, at no admission cost.”
The state-park system purchased the land for Eleven Point for $8 million, Bryant Creek for $4 million and Ozark Mountain for $2.8 million.
They were funded by settlements with mining companies that had operated in the Ozarks, and state park funds designated for land acquisition.
Combined with Echo Bluff State Park, which opened this summer, the additions will give visitors a network of parks featuring the beauty of the Ozarks.