State Parks Getaways – May 2023

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Getaways header, 100 years of State Parks

Road Trip! Galveston Island

Galveston Island SP beach with sandcastle and cyclist, video link

Summer called and said it'll meet you at the beach – the Galveston Island State Park beach. This tropical escape is just south of Houston and looks like a new park after a major makeover of its beach-side facilities. 

Try renting a kayak or SUP to explore the paddling trails, or fish, swim, photograph the birds and build a sand castle. Need to relax? Just sit at the edge of the water and watch the waves roll in.  

Find out more about the park's recent improvements in the Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine story Galveston's Beach Side Reopens After Renovations. Then make a reservation and pack the sunblock. Summer's waiting!

Update on Fairfield Lake State Park

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission unanimously voted to authorize our executive director to take all necessary steps to purchase approximately 5,000 acres in Freestone County including Fairfield Lake State Park. Get the details in our press release TPW Commission Approves Purchase of Fairfield Lake State Park.

Up Next: 6 New Parks & Natural Areas

Devils River SNA, video link

As your parks celebrate their 100th birthday, it's not only a time to reflect on the past and appreciate the present, but to plan the next 100 years.

We already own six sites that are destined to be a park or a state natural area (SNA) within the next 15 years. Palo Pinto Mountains State Park near Ft. Worth is expected to open later this year. Others are the Albert and Bessie Kronkosky SNA near Boerne, the Dan A. Hughes Unit of Devils River SNA near Del Rio, Chinati Mountains SNA near Presidio, Davis Hill SNA near Houston and Powderhorn State Park (video) near Port Lavaca.

The difference between a state natural area and a state park is that an SNA is intentionally less developed, so you won't have all the facilities you might find at a state park, like cabins. For more about these future parks and SNAs see the magazine story Parks on the Horizon

Fish for Free on Father’s Day

Dad an daughter fishing

Want to make fun memories with dad during Father's Day (6/18) weekend? Take him fishing at a state park, where you can fish from the shore or a pier without a fishing license – but you do need to follow fishing regulations

If you don't have tackle, many parks lend fishing gear – you just bring bait, a smile and something to hold your catch.

If you don't plan to cook the fish, try catch-photo-release for Father's Day memories that last a lifetime.

There are plenty of parks with fishing spots, including these 3 favorites:

Once you choose a park, be sure to get your day passes before heading out – reserve now, avoid disappointment later. 


Collection of patches from areas around Texas, link

Summer means another Great Outdoor Scavenger Hunt (GOSH) is here. It's free to play and the perfect excuse to get out and discover Texas. There are fresh destinations, new prizes, AND...

GASP! patch, with link

We’ve added a new category, Grand Adventures in State Parks (GASP!), to celebrate 100 years of your state parks. Round up the family, grab a cellphone and join in. See you out there!

NEW: All-terrain Wheelchairs Available

two people in Freedom chairs on a rock shelf

Some state parks now offer an all-terrain wheelchair, the GRIT Freedom Chair. The chairs come with optional tip bars and are free to borrow for your stay at the park on a first-come, first-served basis.

You can currently find them at Bastrop, Brazos Bend, Cedar Hill, Estero Llano Grande, Lake Corpus Christi, McKinney Falls, Palo Duro, Ray Roberts and San Angelo state parks. 

“We want people of all abilities to experience the trails,” says Accessibility Program Specialist Chris Meza. “Paving the environment is not our goal. Adaptive equipment is a way to include and welcome people with disabilities into spaces they may have historically not been able to access.”

For more information see the magazine story All Terrain Wheelchair Offers Greater Trail Access. If you still have questions, email us at

Camping license plate, with link

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

Texas Wild: Music as Untamed as Texas

Texas Wild Album, with link

As part of the 100 Years of Texas State Parks Celebration, Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, in partnership with Rambler Sparkling Water, has introduced Texas Wild – an album featuring Texas musicians as they pay tribute to classic Texas tunes that showcase the untamed spirit of Texas music.

Texas Wild blends the sounds of traditional Texas genres like blues, cumbia, and country with modern sounds like hip-hop, R&B, and electronica, sure to please old-school country fans and new listeners alike.

"(Hey Baby) Que Paso" by Fat Tony featuring Paul Wall, the first single for the highly anticipated album, was released in early May. Listen and learn more.


A message from our sponsor:

Toyota Sequoia with link

Messages from Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine advertisers:

Visit Mesquite, with link

Texas Outdoor Musical, with link