State Parks Getaways – June 2022

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Historic Hot Spots to Visit on Father's Day

Figures from history next to Goliad Mission Espiritu Santo, with link

Texas' location at the crossroads of cultures has given it a vivid history, and you'll find parks across the state built around historic hot spots. This Father's Day, give your dad an experience he won't forget – take him to one of the parks known for Texas history, including:

  • Stephen F. Austin – W of Houston, explore the site of the Father of Texas' first settlement and our first Anglo newspaper
  • Hueco Tanks – NE of El Paso, see pictographs and petroglyphs created by early indigenous peoples
  • Goliad – W of Victoria, visit the Spanish mission and General Zaragoza's birthplace 
  • Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm – W of Austin, experience life on a Texas pioneer farm
  • Fort Richardson – NW of DFW, tour this fort built to protect frontier settlers; Buffalo Soldiers were among the Army personnel stationed here. Find out more about them in the Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine story, The Unknown Army.

These are parks as well as historic sites, so make time to enjoy a picnic, fish or watch the sunset – activities also enjoyed by the people who walked in these places many years before you. 

Make Your Holiday Reservations Early

Family at tent

Father's Day weekend is June 17-19. Make your park reservations early for that weekend, even if you only plan to visit for a day. Now is also a good time to nab reservations if you plan a visit during 4th of July weekend (July 1-4). You can reserve day passes up to 30 days in advance.

You can make camping reservations up to 5 months in advance, and we're now accepting reservations through early Nov. Don't wait – reserve a fall campsite now to avoid disappointment later!

Road Trip! Monahans Sandhills

2 kids surfing Monahan's sand dunes

Thousands of acres of dunes up to 70' tall make up Monahans Sandhills in West Texas. Come out and join people of all ages who find serenity in this vast park and surf the dunes – you can rent a "sandboard" at the park. 

Shifting sand against blue skies and sunsets will call to your inner painter and photographer, so bring along your gear. You'll also find a surprising variety of wildlife, including roadrunners – watch for tracks in the sand. 

Plan a trip to Monahans this summer for a truly unique experience. For tips on riding the dunes see the magazine story Sand Surfer and watch our video Monahans Sandhills State Park

6 Tips to Help You and Doggo Beat the Heat

Woman drinking from bottle, video link

We're already seeing triple digit temps, so take a look at these simple ways to stay cool while enjoying the outdoors: 

  1. Dress smart in lightweight clothes, a wet neck bandana and a hat.
  2. Hydrate by drinking 16 oz. of water each hour. 
  3. Eat salty snacks to replace salt lost to sweating. 

Check out the full list of heat hacks. For more tips, watch our short video Heat Hacks for Day Hikes

dog on leash by lake at a park, video link

Dogs are ideal outdoor pals, but they can quickly overheat and burn paws. Help your pet cool off using these tips:

  1. Bring a bowl and extra water just for the dog.
  2. Check paws, they can crack and blister on hot surfaces.
  3. Take breaks in the shade so your dog can cool off.  

On days when it's unusually hot, leave your pets at home. Find more ways to keep Doggo cool in our video Heat Safety for Dogs.

Coming Soon – Your New Texas State Park

Palo Pinto Mountains State Park

Your newest park is slated to open in 2023! Located 75 miles west of Fort Worth, Palo Pinto Mountains has a 90-acre lake and almost 5,000 acres of rambling hills. It will offer hiking, biking, fishing, swimming, camping and more.

Palo Pinto Mountains will be Texas’ 90th state park where you, your family and friends can connect and enjoy nature.

Our fundraising partner, Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, is helping this park become a reality by partnering with Texas-based companies like H-E-B, whose Field & Future by H-E-B™ line of sustainable products helps fund projects like Palo Pinto Mountains, projects that conserve the wild things and wild places of Texas for you and future generations – find out more.

Summer Park Activities for Kids

Kids looking at plants and insects with magnifying glasses

If you're looking for no-cost ways to keep the kids occupied and get them outside this summer, bring them to your state parks!

Children 12 and under always get in free, and we have plenty of kid-focused events. Each park has different options, and you'll find something for all ages.  

kids birdwatching, video link

Check the calendar for specialty events like birding and events accessible to people with mobility impairments

We also have year-round programs for children, like fishing for beginners. Our Junior Ranger program offers free packs that can be checked out. We'll see you this summer! 

Did You Know? We Have Online Events

woman holding paddlefish, link to webinar

If you can't make it out to your parks, we offer free online events about park-related topics. The webinars change regularly, and each one explores something special about a state park. 

Join us on June 16 at 6pm for Live from Outside: Adventure, Conservation and Paddlefish to learn about wildlife conservation at Caddo Lake and the prehistoric paddlefish that live there.

Keep your eye on the Online Events Calendar for more live webinars. 

Toyota Tundra, link

Messages from Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine advertisers:

Visit Clute, Texas, with link

Fish in Port Arthur, with link