News Release 167

DNR announces 2009 boost in visitors to Castlewood State Park, 6 percent growth in visitors to State Parks last year

Volume 38-167 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Sue Holst

JEFFERSON CITY, MO., MARCH 29, 2010 -- The Missouri Department of Natural Resources announced today that Castlewood State Park in St. Louis County saw a 20 percent increase in visitors in 2009.  The announcement follows an earlier announcement by Gov. Jay Nixon that Missouri’s system of state parks saw an overall increase in visitors of 6 percent last year.

“Castlewood State Park is just one of the many gems to be found in Missouri’s state park system,” Gov. Jay Nixon said.  “With the opportunities for inexpensive recreation and family activity that Castlewood provides for folks in St. Louis and beyond, it’s no wonder that people flocked to the park last year in growing numbers.”

The Division of State Parks reports that 516,342 visits were made to Castlewood State Park in 2009.  The previous year, the division recorded 429,162 visits to Castlewood.  The 20 percent increase in visitors over the previous year at this park is reflective of a larger trend that shows the number of visitors to Missouri state parks on the upswing for the first time in a decade.

Castlewood State Park, located near Ballwin, straddles both sides of the Meramec River, stretches for five miles and takes in more than 1,800 acres.  The park accommodates fishing, biking and a features hiking trail leading to bluffs overlooking the river.  Castlewood State Park, in Missouri’s system since 1974, was formerly a popular resort during the years 1915 through 1940.

On Friday, Gov. Jay Nixon noted in his remarks at the initial meeting of the Children in Nature Challenge initiative, which he created via Executive Order 10-18 on Feb. 26, that total attendance at Missouri state parks in 2009 had risen to more than 15,890,785 visitors.  This is an increase of nearly one million visitors from the 2008 attendance figure of 14,937,471.

Gov. Nixon has implemented several initiatives encouraging awareness and use of Missouri’s tremendous system of State Parks and Historic Sites.  In addition to the Children in Nature initiative, Gov. Nixon has created the State Parks Youth Corps, which will put one thousand young Missourians to work this summer on projects beautifying and maintaining state parks and historic sites.  He has also worked with the Missouri Division of Tourism to encourage people from Missouri and neighboring states to vacation at or near state parks.   

Castlewood State Park is located at 1401 Kiefer Creek Road in Ballwin.  People requiring special services or accommodations to attend the meeting can call the site at 636-227-4433 or the Department of Natural Resources toll free at 800-334-6946 (voice) or 800-379-2419 (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf). For information about state parks and historic sites, visit the Web at