By Clay Coleman
Mark Twain Lake—On Monday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced re-opening dates and reservation changes at campgrounds located throughout Mark Twain Lake, after closing down the park earlier last month because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding during this time as the campground opening schedule has developed,” the USACE stated in a news release. “(We) need to implement changes to the camping policy to protect the health, safety, and security of the public and USACE employees.”
Opening back up on May 22, all campground sites will have to be reserved beforehand, as gate attendants will be unavailable to make reservations.
“All campground sites will change to 100 percent reservable to provide increased public access to Mark Twain Lake in a manner that is consistent with CDC guidelines and practices in fighting COVID-19,” USACE said in its statement.
Reservations will no longer be “first come, first served” and must be made at www.recreation.gov. Reservations are accepted up to six months in advance, and campsites can be reserved the day of Monday – Thursday, and two days prior for Friday – Sunday visits.
The David C. Berti Shooting Range and the Frank Russell Archery Park will also be open to the public on May 22.
The USACE reminds visitors that no more than eight people are allowed at each campsite, and playgrounds, picnic shelters, fish cleaning stations, the Visitor Center, beaches, picnic facilities, group campgrounds, and primitive camping will remain closed for the time being.
“Thank you for your patience, cooperation, and commitment to maintaining social distancing protocols while enjoying Mark Twain Lake as we work through these unprecedented issues together,” noted USACE. “Additional information on modifications, closures, openings, or other restrictions related to USACE facilities at Mark Twain Lake will be announced as these situations are reevaluated.”
For more information, contact the Mark Twain Lake Project Office at 573-735-4097, follow them on Facebook at Mark Twain Lake – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.