State Parks Getaways – May 2024

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Road Trip! Goliad Has It All

Mission Espiritu Santo at twilight, Goliad SP, link to video

Goliad State Park has a multicultural history. Texas fought for independence in this area, and you'll find historic sites nearby. Don't miss the beautiful Spanish Mission Espíritu Santo, located at the park. 

Goliad also offers outdoor fun on the San Antonio River. Bring your kayak because there's river access for paddling, and the Goliad Paddling Trail runs through the park. Hike, camp on the riverfront, and try the floating dock for fishing – you can borrow fishing gear at Goliad's headquarters – just bring bait and a smile! 

Paddling Goliad video

Wildlife of the Wild West at Caprock Canyons

Prairie dog and pup kiss at Caprock Canyons SP

Caprock Canyons is located in the Panhandle. Visit this unique park to see some unusual wildlife, including prairie dogs, a bat colony and wild bison.

Prairie dogs dig a lot of burrows, so you may also see burrowing owls in the park's prairie dog town.

Prairie dog video

Bison and calf at Caprock Canyons SP

There are about 300 free-ranging wild bison in the park. Stay safe by keeping 75 feet between you and a bison.

This herd was started in the 1800s with rescued orphaned calves. Read their touching story in the magazine article Icons of the West.

Baby bison video

Camping Basics: Planning Tips

Camp in yellow flowers

Doing a little planning before an overnight camping trip means you'll enjoy your park visit a lot more. Here are a few tips:

  • Check the weather forecast and bring appropriate clothes and bedding.
  • If you want a campfire, check if there's a burn ban using the park locations and alerts map. Bring fire starters and plan to buy firewood at the park. 
  • Bring supplies for quick, no-cook meals like peanut butter sandwiches.

For an in-depth look at planning, including an essentials pack list, basics for tent camping and much more, read the Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine story Let's Go Camping! If you'd like help from the pros to kickstart your camping career, try one of our very popular Texas Outdoor Family workshops in May or June.

ad for State Parks conservation license plate with tent image, link

Centennial Time Capsule Starts Its Tour

Time capsule, showing plaques of park names, in the shop

A centennial time capsule containing objects from every Texas state park was created by our exhibit shop. We can't ruin the surprise and list what they all are, but here's a few: 

Dedication inscription on the time capsule

The capsule is sealed, but it won't be buried. Instead, it's going on a 50-year tour to each park, starting at Mother Neff – so you can visit it!

Get more details in our press release, Centennial Time Capsule Begins 50-Year Trek to Every Texas State Park

The origin story of the time capsule will be part of the 2024-25 season of the Texas Parks & Wildlife PBS series, which begins in October.

Chill Out Video: See and Hear Goose Island

Goose Island spring flowers, video link

Goose Island is located on the coast near Rockport. It's famous for the Big Tree, and lately, the endangered whooping cranes that spend winters there. Spring brings wildflowers and more birds, and there's always the sound of waves. Take a couple of minutes to experience what it's like with our video Spring by the Bay.

Teach your child to swim this summer

Spring Flooding and Your Parks

Flooded area in Huntsville SP

Recent heavy rains in parts of the state have flooded and closed some parks.

Currently closed state parks include Huntsville (see photo), Lake Whitney and Brazos Bend. Once the floodwaters recede, areas of affected parks will remain closed until cleanup and repairs have finished and they're safe for you to use.

For a current list of affected parks, see the park locations and alerts map. For assistance with current and future reservations, contact the State Parks Customer Service Center at 512-389-8900. For more information, see our press release Flood Impacts to TPWD. Stay safe out there.

A message from our sponsor:

Toyota Tundra 2024 ad for more torque, with link

Messages from Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine advertisers:

Mineola Nature Center ad, link

Whole Earth ad, link

Museum of the Pacific War ad, link