Due to the threat of COVID-19 in Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott has issued an order to close all of Texas State Parks to public access, effective at the close of business Tuesday, April 7.  The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) will continue to stay current with the latest public health recommendations and will announce when a definite reopening date has been determined.

“Given the myriad of challenges and heightened risks of operating the parks at this time, we believe this is the best course of action right now in order to meet the health and safety expectations the state has set out for the citizens of Texas,” said Carter Smith, Executive Director of TPWD. “All state parks will remain temporarily closed until public health and safety conditions improve. During the closure, staff will continue to steward and care for the parks to ensure they can be immediately reopened to visitors at the appropriate time.”

Outdoor recreational opportunities such as hunting, fishing, biking, jogging, walking, hiking, wildlife viewing, and the like are essential activities for Texas citizens and the Texas Parks & Wildlife will continue to do its part to actively encourage and promote these activities in ways that are safe in areas close to home.

Despite the restrictive implementations, TPWD has reached a point where public safety considerations of those in the parks, and in the surrounding communities, must take precedence over continued operations.  While parks are closed to the public, the department’s staff will be working to help maintain the standard upkeep, maintenance, stewardship, and continued regular cleaning of site facilities.

The Texas State Parks Customer Service Center is currently working toward contacting customers with upcoming overnight reservations to reimburse stays booked through the reservation system. Group and facility reservations have been cancelled until April 30. Cancelled reservations will not be charged normal administrative fees.

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Hayden Walker
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Hayden Walker is the Editor in Chief and Director of Operations for Austin Food Magazine

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