News Release

Ozark National Scenic Riverways is Modifying Operations to Implement Latest Health Guidance

a frame sign that says attention in front of a visitor center
The Visitor Information Center at park headquarters in Van Buren provides information on the front porch to minimize entry into the building for staff and visitor safety.

NPS Photo

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News Release Date: March 20, 2020

Contact: Dena Matteson, 573-323-4814

Van Buren, MO – Ozark National Scenic Riverways is announcing modifications to operations to implement the latest guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and local and state authorities to promote social distancing. As of March 20, park information, brochures and souvenir passport stamps will be provided under the covered porch on the Visitor Information Center located at park headquarters in Van Buren. Public entry into the facility will be limited, but park rangers will be available by phone at (573)323-4236 ext. 0, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily.  The park’s bookstore, which is managed by America’s National Parks Store, has also suspended operations.

Outdoor spaces, campgrounds and restrooms will remain open to provide healthy options for the public as long as it is possible to adhere to the latest health guidance. Visitors are welcome to take advantage of the park’s outdoor spaces for viewing the springs and scenery, floating the rivers, hiking the trails, fishing, birding and other outdoor recreational activities. 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 is our number one priority. The National Park Service (NPS) is working with the federal, state, and local authorities to closely monitor the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. We will notify the public when we resume full operations and provide updates on our website and social media channels.  

The NPS urges visitors to do their part when visiting a park and to follow CDC guidance to prevent the spread of infectious diseases by maintaining a safe distance between yourself and other groups; washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze; and most importantly, staying home if you feel sick. Group activities involving more than 10 individuals are discouraged.

For high-risk populations, such as the elderly and people with underlying conditions, we ask that they take extra caution and follow CDC guidance for those at higher risk of serious illness.  

Updates about NPS operations will be posted on For up-to-date information about operations at Ozark National Scenic Riverways, please visit the park website at, 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, and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube


Last updated: March 20, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 490
Van Buren, MO 63965


(573) 323-4236

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