Texas State Parks have begun a process of expanding capacity statewide, tracking Gov. Greg Abbott’s latest reopening order. The parks encourage masks for visitors, especially when indoors or in areas where it is difficult to socially distance. Also, restrictions affecting group sizes have been lifted.
“We’re excited to welcome more visitors to our parks,” said Rodney Franklin, director of Texas State Parks. “We want Texans to know that the safety of our visitors and our park staff is our top priority as we increase visitor capacity. Prior to COVID-19, and throughout the last year, our parks have seen growing visitation and our teams are working hard to accommodate those who want to get outside and experience the incredible natural and cultural resources our parks have to offer.”
While most parks have had capacity expanded immediately, others may continue to have some capacity limits. A few parks are still recovering from the winter storm and are completing repairs or have other operational considerations. Capacity limits were already typical for some heavily-trafficked parks. These limits protect natural resources and enhance the visitor experience.
Despite the increased availability, many state parks still expect to reach capacity for both campers and day-use visitors on holidays and weekends. Consider visiting on a weekday as parks typically see smaller crowds than on Fridays and Saturdays. Many popular parks, especially those in Central Texas, are already booking up for spring break and the summer months.
Visitors can purchase day passes up to one month in advance, guaranteeing access to parks even during busy times. TPWD recommends checking the state park map, social media pages or calling parks directly for updates on specific park operations or capacity.