State Parks Getaways Vacation 2012

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mother, 3 kids on floats in lake

In This Issue: Splashing Towards "Cool" | Enjoying the Texas Night Sky | Our Parks: Love 'Em and Leave No Trace | Star Attraction: Copper Breaks State Park | Cooler Weather Ahead -Think Park Reservations


Splashing Towards “Cool”

kids on a lake beach
River, lake, pool, or beach! Whatever the summer weather, you can always dip into some swimming bliss at Texas state parks.

Here are some examples of what you can find:
Check out all your state park swimming opportunities and then go make some waves.

And of course, no swimming story would be complete without a tip of the hat to the world's largest (this IS Texas after all) spring-fed, ultra cool pool at Balmorhea State Park which covers 1.75 acres and stays at 72-76 degrees year round. Can you say "brrrr"?

Enjoying the Texas Night Sky

moon, dark sky with lighted tent below
Get some stars in your eyes. They’re big and bright in many Texas state parks. In August, three events - two full moons and the Perseid meteor shower - will offer good reasons to stake out your patch of dark sky.

Dark nighttime skies are becoming increasingly rare due to light pollution, but many remote state parks are great for stargazing.

Davis Mountains State Park will host interpreted stargazing programs each Thursday night through mid-August and will offer one of the darkest skies in the nation for the Perseid meteor shower on August 13. Perseid meteors will appear to "rain" into the atmosphere from the constellation Perseus, which will rise in the northeast around 11 p.m.

Join one of many stargazing events at a state park or call a few friends and plan your own state park star party.

You don’t need any special equipment to see the show. Just find a secluded spot away from oncoming car headlights, settle back, and enjoy!

Our Parks: Love ’Em and Leave No Trace

hiker on Caprock rails trail, exiting tunnel
We all know to pick up our trash when having big fun hiking, fishing, wildlife watching, and picnicking in state parks. But that’s just the beginning of taking care of parklands. Habitat, wildlife and other visitors should feel no impact from your visit.

This short video shows how you can help make that happen.

Every visitor plays a role in keeping our parks beautiful and pristine while having a great time. You’ll be doing your part to help keep life better outside.

Star Attraction: Copper Breaks State Park

Red cliffs on right with water, trees and sky
See the night skies as the Comanche and Kiowa, cowboys and settlers saw them at Copper Breaks State Park, known for great stargazing. Then explore the rest of this state park time capsule.

Find rock formations that recorded the wave action when this inland park was under the ocean 240 million years ago. Get up close and personal to some of the official Texas State Longhorn herd. Watch for wildlife including the endangered horned lizard.

Read more in “Park Pick: Longhorns and Starry Skies,” an article by Sheryl Smith-Rogers from Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine.

Quanah Parker, the last great Comanche chief, may have slept here. You can too. Make your overnight reservations.

Cooler Weather Ahead - Think Park Reservations!

rock cabin with lake behind, deer in foreground
You know it's coming. It happens every year: cooler weather returns to tempt us into the outdoors. For those cooler nights and hints of fall color, it’s great to be in a Texas state park. Imagine your favorite cabin or a park you’ve been meaning to visit but never have.

Now’s the time to make your overnight reservations, so you can dream away some hot summer days.
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