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Contact: Dena Matteson, 573-323-4814Van Buren, MO – Ozark National Scenic Riverways is announcing additional modifications to operations to support federal, state, and local efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
As of March 27, Ozark National Scenic Riverways will offer limited services outside those that support visitor or resource protection. The following facilities will be closed by the end of the day on March 27:
• All designated campgrounds and campsites
• All shower houses
• Many restrooms and vault toilets (see below for a list of those remaining open at key locations)
• Picnic pavilions
• As previously announced, visitor contact stations will remain closed. Self-serve souvenir passport stamp stations are available on the porches at both the headquarters Visitor Information Center and the Alley Spring General Store. Junior Ranger activity books and informational brochures are stocked at those locations, also.
The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners at Ozark National Scenic Riverways are our number one priority. The National Park Service (NPS) is working servicewide with federal, state, and local authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic. We will notify the public when we resume full operations and provide updates on our website at www.nps.gov/ozar and on Facebook @ozarkriverways.
Many outdoor spaces at Ozark National Scenic Riverways remain accessible to the public for daytime use in accordance with the latest federal, state, and local health guidance. However, some outdoor areas where it would be extremely difficult to maintain safe social distance will be closed. These include:
• The spring branch trail at Alley Spring
• The spring branch trail at Big Spring
• The staircase into Devils Well
In order to provide some restroom facilities for visitors in outdoor spaces and at key river access points, several facilities will remain open as long as they can be safely maintained in accordance with the latest health guidance. Routine cleaning procedures, which require the restrooms to be closed and vacant for a recommended length of time, could also make them unavailable periodically. Please be aware of the possibility that restrooms may be temporarily closed for cleaning when you visit. The following restrooms and vault toilets are currently expected to remain open:
Along the upper Current River:
• Baptist Camp vault toilet
• Akers contact station restroom
• Akers river access vault toilet
• Devils Well vault toilet
• Pulltite contact station restroom only (no showers)
• Carr's Store restroom
• Round Spring day use area restroom
Along the Jacks Fork River:
• Buck Hollow vault toilet
• Burr Oak day use area restroom (restroom will reopen after flood repairs complete)
• Alley Spring pavilion restroom (restroom will reopen after repairs complete)
• Shawnee horse staging area vault toilet
• Two Rivers boat ramp vault toilet
• Rocky Falls vault toilet
• Powder Mill vault toilet (will reopen after flood debris is cleared)
• Blue Spring on the Current River vault toilet
Along the lower Current River:
• Pin Oak vault toilet
• Waymeyer vault toilet
• Big Spring boat ramp restroom
• Big Spring restroom near open field
• Chubb Hollow vault toilet
The NPS encourages people who choose to visit Ozark National Scenic Riverways during this pandemic to adhere to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local public health authorities to protect visitors and employees. As services are limited, the NPS urges visitors to continue to practice Leave No Trace principles, including pack-in and pack-out, to keep outdoor spaces safe and healthy. Social distancing is strongly encouraged even in outdoor spaces.
Updates about NPS operations will be posted on www.nps.gov/coronavirus. For up-to-date information about operations at Ozark National Scenic Riverways, please visit the park website at www.nps.gov/ozar, or @ozarkriverways on Facebook. You can also call (573)323-4236 ext. 0, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. seven days per week.
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 419 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov, and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.