State Parks Getaways – April 2023

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Getaways header, 100 years of State Parks

Road Trip! South Llano River

Floating S Llano River, with video

South Llano River State Park is a Hill Country wonder. Two things draw visitors year-round: the spring-fed river where you swim, fish, paddle and float, and the night sky. The park has International Dark Sky status, so it's one of the best seats in the world for watching the dance of heavenly bodies. 

There are over 22 miles of hiking trails, including the Overlook Trail with views of the  river valley. In spring, expect to cross paths with wildflowers and a wide variety of birds, including the famous wild turkeys.

Check park events for star parties, special tours and more. It's best to make day or overnight park reservations in advance – reserve now, avoid disappointment later!

7 Hacks for Your Spring Hikes

Hikers with dogs at Franklin Mountains

The weather's gorgeous, birds are singing, wildflowers are blooming – Texas is living its best life and it's time for a hike. We've put together these resources to help you plan a fun, safe experience: 

  1. Trail safety tips
  2. List of different types of hikes and parks that offer them
  3. Park trail maps you can download, including points of interest 
  4. How to Read a Map (video)
  5. Download the free State Parks app to keep trail maps at your fingertips
  6. Tips for hiking with kids 
  7. Tips for hiking with dogs (video)

BANFF Film Fest ad, with link

Don’t Miss the 100-Years Collector's Issue

100 Years of Our State Parks special issue cover

Coming soon – a special issue of Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine celebrating 100 years of Texas State Parks.

The collectible, 100-page issue has info about state parks that you won't find anywhere else, and it's yours when you subscribe to the print edition of the magazine. It makes a great gift for moms, dads, grads and anyone who loves parks.

This is a limited-time offer – subscribe to the print version of Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine today to be sure you get a copy of this one-of-a-kind issue celebrating 100 years of your parks. 

Spring Photo Contest, Winter Winner 

Family in a tent, the Winter Winner of State Parks Photo Contest

Winning winter photo by Jayanthi Murahari

The photo above is the first winner of the Texas State Parks Photo Contest! Jayanthi Murahari won winter's theme, New Year, New Adventure. 

Kids on bench looking at sunset Davis Mtns

Photo by William Cavender

There's a new theme every season – the current one is The Joys of Spring. Enter for a chance to win a parks pass, a $100 H-E-B gift card, and more. 

The Origin Story of Your State Parks

One of the earliest families camping at a Texas state park

“A parks system would afford a place where people might go and forget the anxiety, strife and vexation of life’s daily grind.” – Governor Pat Neff, 1923

April is State Parks Month at Whole Earth ad, with link

Your Input Requested: Accessibility Survey

On the trail in wheelchairs

If you have ADA accessibility preferences or priorities regarding state park sites and facilities, please take part in our brief survey by April 21.

Your feedback is confidential, and it will be used to improve our accessibility efforts.  

We're also hosting two Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Priorities Public Meetings, April 12 and 13, to get input on accessibility preferences. These online public meetings will be open to all, and links to join will be posted in April. We look forward to hearing from you! If you have any questions, contact us at

A message from our nonprofit partner Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation:

Give Back to the Parks You Love

Give Back to the Parks You Love, with link

Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation is raising $2 million to fund much-needed projects at all Texas State Parks during their centennial anniversary.

From a pontoon boat for marsh tours at Sea Rim State Park to shade trees at Balmorhea State Park’s iconic pool, projects at all Texas State Parks will bolster park offerings while 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! Give back to the park closest to your heart. Donate today!

Messages from Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine advertisers:

Beaumont Cattail Marsh wetlands ad, with link

Visit South Padre Island ad, with link