Texas parks closed until further notice

by From the Texas Parks and Wilflife Department

AUSTIN — As of Tuesday, April 7, all state parks are closed to public use until further notice, at the direction of Governor Greg Abbott, in order to stop the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and to maintain the safest environment for visitors, volunteers and staff.

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.”

Despite the implementation of increasingly restrictive visitor use measures to help minimize the transmission of COVID-19 at parks, 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. Difficulty in ensuring compliance with social distancing, problems in maintaining adequate supplies and keeping park facilities sufficiently sanitized are only a few of the challenges encountered by state park staff.

“To our loyal Texas State Parks Pass holders: We are extending the life of your Texas State Parks Pass by two months,” TPWD officials posted on the department’s social media sites. “Additional time may be added if closures continue. We truly appreciate the continued trust and loyalty that you place in us. We look forward to welcoming you to a Texas state park in the future.”

Customer Service agents will contact those with reservations through April 30 to offer a full refund. with no cancellation fees. Cancel reservations for April and May, without penalty, by calling (512) 389-8900. Do not cancel reservations online, as the system may assess cancellation fees.