State Parks Getaways – February 2023

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5 Parks for Chasing Sunsets

Caprock Canyons sunset, video link

Caprock Canyons State Park

Watching a sunset is a way to turn off your mind, relax and be in the moment. Your parks offer spectacular frames for sunsets, with wide-open skies that allow you to take it all in. Gorgeous sunsets aren't always guaranteed, but these parks have had quite a few:

Palo Duro – Panhandle

Lake Livingston – N of Houston 

Franklin Mountains – El Paso area

Inks Lake – Hill Country

Lake Corpus Christi – NW of Corpus Christi

If you enjoy taking sunset photos, the Blue Hour following sunset also has exceptional lighting. Find photography tips for capturing this fleeting light in the Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine story Picture This: the Blue Hour.

Your parks aren't as crowded in February as they will be later in the year, but it's always a good idea to make a reservation for a campsite or a day pass before you head out. 

Picture Yourself Entering Our Photo Contest

Female photographer in winter with pink hat

Join us in celebrating our 100-year birthday by entering the Texas State Parks Photo Contest. There will be 4 winners chosen throughout the year, and each will receive a State Parks Pass, a $100 H-E-B gift card donated by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, and a shot at our grand prize – which includes all the above, plus a curated experience at a state park!

The contest is free to enter. Each season will have its own photo-theme, and the first one is "New Year, New Adventure at Texas State Parks." Check out the entries we've already received in the Gallery

We'll need your help at the end of the year, when the public will vote to award the grand prize. So even if you're not taking pictures, you can still join in this celebration of your parks. Find out more about the contest in our press release.

5 Nature Dates for You and Your Valentine

couple camping on a beach

This February, share your love of parks with a loved one. Make a unique nature date around any of these park activities:

  • Hike or stroll – good for almost any fitness level. 
  • Volunteer – check out volunteer opportunities, some last less than a day. It's a bonding experience to work side-by-side. 
  • Camp – It's the perfect time of year for campfire cuddling.
Two kayakers, video link

Add on a picnic and a sunset, and you'll have a date to remember.

Tent license plate supports state parks, link

Join Us to Celebrate Black History Month

Buffalo soldier demonstrating marching to kids, video link

Celebrate Black History Month at a variety of events in parks across the state, including popular Buffalo Soldier events

A few of the parks hosting events and activities for Black History Month include: 

Feb. 4 at Ray Roberts Lake and Cooper Lake 

Feb. 18 at Brazos BendAtlantaCaddo Lake and Ray Roberts Lake  

Feb. 25 at Lake Livingston

Check the events at a park near you for more opportunities to join us in celebrating Black history.

A message from our non-profit partner, Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation:

A Centennial Birthday Gift for State Parks

Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, with link

For 100 years, Texas state parks have been places of awe and discovery. In honor of this milestone, Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation is raising $2 million to fund exciting projects for all state parks across Texas.

From dark sky viewing equipment, to water bottle filling stations and so much more, these projects will allow Texas State Parks to continue delighting visitors for generations to come.

We’re not the only ones excited about this effort: A group of Centennial Champions are matching all gifts dollar-for-dollar!

Learn more and give back to the park closest to your heart, donate today!

Did You Know?

If you want to take a short hike, choose "Nature Trails" and "Interpretive Trails." These generally take less than an hour to walk, and they're suitable for all ages.

Messages from Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine advertisers: 

Matagorda Bay Birdfest, with link

Bobwhite Brigade ad with link