State Parks Getaways – September 2023

View as a Webpage

Reservations | Find a Park | Activities | More

Getaways header, 100 years of State Parks

Road Trip! Caddo Lake State Park

Caddo Lake at sunrise, video link

If you like unique places with mysterious ambiance, you'll love Caddo Lake. It's located in northeast Texas on Big Cypress Bayou. Tall cypress trees draped in Spanish moss grow out of a winding maze of water, and in fall their leaves create a shimmering orange and gold canopy. 

Paddling is the best way to tour mystic Caddo Lake, and on-site rentals are available. Expect to share the water with frogs, paddlefish, alligators and herons. If you're adventurous, the park has an entrance to Hell's Half Acre paddling trail. Find out more in the Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine story Otherworldly Paddle.  

The park has 46 campsites and 10 cabins available, so stay overnight, relax and immerse yourself in the one-of-a-kind experience that is Caddo Lake. 

A Century Celebration: Your State Parks

People sitting on ledge at Palo Duro, video link

The presenting sponsor of our 100 Years of State Parks celebration, H-E-B, has created a film about Texas State Parks. Watch it for a brief history of how your parks came to be, find out how many millions of people visit state parks each year, and to see some stunning park scenery. Find all this and more in A Century Celebration: Texas State Parks – it will make you want to visit EVERY ONE of your state parks!

View the Ring of Fire Eclipse at a Park

Ring of Fire solar eclipse, link

A ring of fire solar eclipse will occur on Sat., Oct. 14 – as the Moon passes in front of the Sun, the ring of fire will appear. Use our map of parks in the path of totality to find a prime spot to view it.

All Texas state parks that aren't in the path of totality with still have a view of the partial eclipse. Wherever you go to watch it, bring solar glasses.

Map of eclipse path through Texas, link

Some parks, including Kickapoo, Sea Rim and Lake Brownwood, will offer eclipse-related activities

A total eclipse of the Sun is coming up on April 8, 2024, and parks are in its path of totality as well.

Make your eclipse reservations early – day passes are available 30 days ahead of time – cancel if you can't make it. 

Tips for Park Birding

Ranger John by a bird display, video link

Birding, or birdwatching, is growing in popularity with all ages. State parks birding is a fun reason to get outside, especially during autumn migration when everything from hawks to hummingbirds fly through Texas. 

Some state parks have feeders and bird blinds for easier viewing. For a look at what park blinds are like, check out the Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine story A View From the Blinds.

Our friend Ranger John enjoys birding and has some tips, including how to build your binocular skills (which can also be applied to cameras) and more in his short video How To: Tips to Start Birdwatching!

Make Reservations Early for Autumn Color

Fall color along Guadalupe River, link

Guadalupe River State Park

If you want to visit a park during fall and revel in the cooler temps, plan ahead – Mother Nature typically kicks off her autumn colors tour in mid-to-late October. You can reserve day passes up to 30 days in advance, and most overnight camping or lodging can be reserved up to 5 months in advance. Make reservations early to avoid disappointment later.

Check out the Fall Color Wanderlist in Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine for an idea of what autumn color to expect where. See you out there!

Get Your Copy of the 100 Years Guide

2023 State Parks Guide, link

Pick up your copy of the 100 years anniversary edition of the Texas State Parks Guide at any state park. Or take the pledge to Take Care of Texas, and we will mail a copy to you. Use the guide to learn about all your parks, then choose where to go.

State Parks app images, link

The free State Parks Guide mobile app puts the parks system at your fingertips. Filter parks by preferred amenities, then locate them with the map. Or use it to find activities, RV sites and much more. Download the app today – you know you'll use it.

Give Back to the Parks You Love

River running through hills, link

To mark this centennial anniversary of our parks, Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation is raising $2 million to fund much-needed projects at all Texas State Parks.

From dark sky viewing equipment at Devils River State Natural Area to a courtesy dock at Abilene State Park and a braille trail at Caddo Lake State Park, projects at all parks will enrich existing offerings while delighting visitors for generations to come.

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

Give back to the park closest to your heart or home. Donate today!

State Parks Getaways is made possible in part by the generous support of Toyota.

Toyota Sequoia ad, with link

Messages from Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine advertisers:

Natural History Museum in Austin, with link

Oktoberfest! in Fredericksburg, with link

Fredericksburg Food and Wine Fest, with link