Dive in for free at Thousand Hills State Park

Good news for Memorial Day weekend. Missouri State Parks are opening Friday.

The beach at Thousands Hills State Park is becoming a free beach.

Park Superintendent Brent Steacy said they made this change because the park was losing too many customers. He said people that could not pay would leave and go to another park.

â??This will definitely be a good thing for the park,â?? Steacy said. â??It will allow us to expand the hours of the beach. In addition to receiving complaints about having to pay to go swimming, probably the second most common complaint were the hours. The beach was operated from noon to 6 p.m. This will allow us to expand the hours to open up at 10 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.â??

With this change from a paid beach to a free beach, it means no lifeguards. Steacy said it will be swim at your own risk, as are all the other beaches in the state park system.