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Limited overnight camping returns to state parks on May 18

Limited overnight camping returns to Texas State Parks
Posted at 1:29 PM, May 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-06 14:31:58-04

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas state parks will resume limited overnight camping beginning on May 18 as part of a broader reopening of the state.

This reopening will be limited at all Texas State Parks to varying degrees depending on the individual park occupancy in order to align with safe business practices currently followed in Texas.

Some existing reservations will be honored, but to prevent overcrowding and continued social distancing and safeguard public health, no new reservations will be made for now.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will notify the public once new reservations can be booked.

“After careful consideration, we are taking this additional step towards returning to normal operations in our parks by resuming some overnight camping at Texas State Parks,” said Carter Smith, the TPWD's executive director. “As overnight campers are welcomed back to their favorite natural spaces, our team will continue maintaining the cleanliness of frequently used facilities such as campsites, cabins and restrooms to ensure that visitors, volunteers and staff can continue to enjoy Texas State Parks safely.”

The TPWD recommends visitors continue to adhere to local, state and federal travel restrictions and other guidance for safety and social distancing before traveling.

Additionally, all visitors are required to pre-purchase and print day-use and overnight camping permits through the Texas State Parks Reservation System before traveling to a park.

All reservations can be made online here or by calling 512-389-8900.

Existing social distancing standards and public health recommendations remain in effect including the recommendation to wear face coverings and bring one’s own supply of hand sanitizer.

The state parks will also continue a the requirement of a six-foot distance from individuals outside of their party, including the prohibition of the gathering of groups larger than five that are not part of the same family or household.

Texas State Parks will continue to operate at a limited capacity. Operational changes still in effect at parks include the suspension of all transactions at parks, equipment rentals and in-person interpretive programs.

All group-use facilities, visitor and nature centers, headquarters and other enclosed spaces where people congregate will remain closed.

The continuation of overnight reservations and other facets of park operations will be subject to change and is dependent on current data, staffing levels and public health recommendations.