News Release

Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield is increasing recreational access to the tour road, trails, and battlefield

Civil War cannon in field

Charles Dischinger

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News Release Date: May 6, 2020

Contact: Kristine Abbey, 417-732-2662 x231

Republic, Mo. – Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield is increasing recreational access. The National Park Service (NPS) is working servicewide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.

Beginning at 7 a.m., Thursday, May 7, 2020, Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield will reopen access for the following areas:  
  • Tour Road
  • Battlefield
  • Trails (including horseback riding)
Entry fees are waived. With public health in mind, however, all face-to-face programs previously scheduled for May are cancelled including Arts in the Park on May 9, 16, 23, and 30. The following facilities also remain closed at this time:
  • Temporary visitor center
  • Bookstore
Because of ongoing renovations at the park’s permanent visitor center, the following facilities remain closed:
  • Permanent visitor center and bookstore
  • Permanent visitor center bathrooms
  • Museum exhibits
  • Library
Portable restrooms with a hand washing station are available in the parking area near the main gate. We also ask that visitors continue to practice social distancing and good hygiene. We encourage visitors to use masks, but wearing masks is not required at this time. 

While some areas are accessible for visitors to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to be phased and services may be limited. When recreating, the public should follow local area health orders, practice Leave No Trace principles, avoid crowding and avoid high-risk outdoor activities. Visitors should be aware that the park has locked or removed all trash cans in the park in order to reduce risk of COVID-19 for employees and visitors. Visitors should pack out all trash.

“Park staff look forward to welcoming visitors back to Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield for outdoor recreation and reflection,” said Acting Superintendent Russ Runge. “We appreciate the enthusiasm those in the community have for our park. We encourage visitors to follow social distancing guidelines and other good hygiene practices. With health and safety in mind, we are working on plans to increase face-to-face services and special programs safely in the months to come.”

The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners continues to be paramount. At Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, our operational approach will be to examine each facility function and service provided to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance, and will be regularly monitored. We continue to work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public and workspaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners, and volunteers.  

The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We will continue to monitor all park functions to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19, and will take any additional steps necessary to protect public health.

We have amazing virtual tours of Wilsons’ Creek National Battlefield, so for people who are still home schooling or not traveling at this time, check out our virtual tour page and the Virtual Civil War digital curriculum materials on our website.  

Details and updates on park operations will continue to be posted on the Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield website at and Facebook page at:

Updates about NPS operations will be posted on

Administered by the National Park Service, Wilson's Creek National Battlefield preserves the site of the first major battle of the Civil War in the West. The Confederate victory on August 10, 1861, focused greater national attention on the war in Missouri, leading to greater federal military action.
Wilson’s Creek Administrative Office is located 10 miles southwest of Springfield, Missouri at 5242 S. State Hwy ZZ, Republic, Missouri 65738.   


Last updated: September 3, 2020

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5242 S. State Hwy ZZ
Republic, MO 65738


417 732-2662

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