Free Wireless at Missouri State Parks

If you like to camp out, but aren’t quite ready to leave the digital world behind, we have some good news.

Another state park system—Missouri State Parks, a division of the Missouri Department of National Resources—is now offering free wireless Internet access.

People on their annual summer camping trips, can now get away from it all and still stay connected with free Wi-Fi in Missouri state park campgrounds.

Eleven state park campgrounds currently offer free wireless Internet access for guests and visitors and the service will be added to more campgrounds throughout the summer.

“State parks are great places to get away from a hectic schedule but our campers also requested the ability to stay connected. We listened to our customers and are adding complimentary WiFi to the many services we already provide in our state park campgrounds,” said Bill Bryan, director of Missouri State Parks, a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Campgrounds with wireless access are located in the following state parks:

  • Bennett Spring State Park near Lebanon
  • Montauk State Park near Salem
  • Roaring River State Park near Cassville
  • Table Rock State Park near Branson
  • Meramec State Park near Sullivan
  • Sam. A. Baker State Park near Patterson
  • Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park in Wildwood
  • Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park near Middlebrook
  • Onondaga Cave State Park near Leasburg
  • Long Branch State Park near Macon
  • Finger Lakes State Park near Columbia

Most parks have full coverage in the campgrounds while others have designated hotspots with coverage. Signs will be posted in the campgrounds indicating where Internet access is located.

Renee Bungart, communications director at the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, said the park service plans to have 37 of its 40 parks connected to a wireless service by the end of the year.

The monthly costs associated with providing guests free wireless Internet depends on each park’s size. For example, a smaller park like Babler Park in Wildwood has one 3G connection, which costs $50 a month. Larger parks, with multiple connections, could cost the park system between $200 and $300 a month. The monthly charges don’t include equipment costs, Bungart said.

Results from a 2010 survey indicated campground visitors wanted to stay connected while camping. Survey participants responded that availability of an Internet connection would lead to camping more often and extending their stay.

Wi-Fi availability is just one of the amenities offered in Missouri’s 40 state park campgrounds.

Campgrounds are available for all types of users and range from secluded basic sites to campsites with sewer/electric/water sites. More than 70 percent of the campsites offer electricity. Many campgrounds include modern restrooms, hot showers, dump stations, coin-operated laundry, and firewood.

Details

Missouri State Parks

Camping at Table Rock State Park (Credit: mostateparks.com)

Missouri state parks and historic sites are administered by the Division of State Parks, which is a part of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Its main responsibilities are the administration of the Missouri state park system, and coordination of statewide programs in the areas of outdoor recreation and trails.

The mission of the state park system is to preserve and interpret the state’s most outstanding natural landscapes and cultural landmarks, and to provide outstanding recreational opportunities compatible with those resources.

Missouri’s state park system, which on five occasions has been ranked as one of the top four state park systems in the nation, contains 85 state parks and historic sites plus the Roger Pryor Pioneer Backcountry.

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 176, Jefferson City, MO 65102

Phone: (800) 334-6946

Website: mostateparks.com

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Worth Pondering…

We all live under the same sky, but we don’t all have the same horizon.
—Konrad Adenaur

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