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Frequently Asked Questions about Texas State Parks



Alcohol

Q: What are the rules pertaining to alcohol in a state park?
A: Refer to Texas State Park Regulations 59.134 (j).


Bicycling/Mountain Biking

Q: Does TPWD have any information on bicycling in state parks?
A: Refer to our Bike Texas page for more information. If you just want to ride a bike on the park roads, you will find many of them adapted to this. Because there is not much vehicular traffic and because many parks have long stretches of road (many winding and hilly), you have many choices. Happy peddling!!


Birding

Q: Which parks would you recommend for birding? Do you have a bird checklist?
A: Refer to the Birding section of the View Texas page.


Campfire Regulations/Burn Bans

Q: May I build a campfire in a state park?
A: Fires may be built only in campsite grills, fire rings, or fireplaces. Some sites allow only containerized fuel fires. When warranted, burn bans are implemented by county judges and/or county commissioners courts. Inquire when making reservations or call the park for specific campfire information. Waist-high grills/ground fire rings are standard at most developed sites, as are tables and lantern posts. Some primitive sites have fire rings; some beach sites allow ground fires on sandy areas, if approved by the park manager. Firewood may not be gathered unless authorized by the park manager. Fireworks and explosives are not permitted. Refer to Texas State Park Regulations 59.134 (d).

Burn Bans: County judges and/or county commissioners courts can implement burn bans at any time, and the restrictions may change rapidly, to accommodate dry or dangerous conditions. A park will be affected if it is in a county that has a current burn ban, unless it has been granted an exemption. For the latest information on fire restrictions it is always best to contact the park or Park Information (1-800-792-1112-option 3; Mon-Fri 8am-5pm CST) prior to arrival.


Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)

Q: Can you tell me how many state parks received substantial benefits from the CCC?
A: Go to our CCC web page for more information.


Empty Sites

Q: We are frequently turned away or told that we can only get one night's stay because all spaces are reserved. Many times we have returned the next morning early and seen that MANY of those reserved spaces were not used.
A: Refer to Operational Information from our Reservations page.


Equestrian

Q: What is required to bring horses into the parks?
A:No person may enter a state park with an equine or equines, or cause the entry of an equine or equines to a state park, unless that person has in their immediate possession, for each equine in the person's custody or equine that the person allowed to enter the state park, a completed VS Form 10-11 (Texas Animal Health Commission) showing that the equine has tested negative to an official Equine Infectious Anemia test within the previous 12 months. The documentation required by this subsection shall be made available for inspection upon the request of any department employee acting within the scope of official duties.


Fees

Q: Where is fee information for individual parks located?
A: Fee information for specific parks is available on that particular parks web site by clicking on the "Fees & Facilities" link. You can also inquire about specific fees by calling the Park Information line, Mon. - Fri. from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m., at 1-800-792-1112 (option 3 - option 3). The Central Reservation Center will also give you rates when you make reservations at 512/389-8900. The Internet Reservations web site also contains fee information for specific parks.


Geocaching

Q: Is geocaching allowed in Texas State Parks?
A: Yes, geocaching can be a great way to enjoy parks and geocaches can also add to the educational experience of site visits.

Q: What should I do if I want to place a geocache in a Texas State Park or Historic Site?
A: First, visit with the park or historic site superintendent and discuss the location where you intend to place the cache. Some parks or historic sites may be entirely off-limits to geocaching due to the sensitive resources contained within the sites. The superintendent may limit placement of caches in some areas due to archeological or historical resources, endangered species or concerns for visitor safety. If the placement is approved, obtain a copy of a geocache permit in order to complete the contact and placement information.


Golf

Q: What State Parks have golf courses?
A: Refer to the Golf Course Guide.


Gun/Firearm

Q: May I carry my gun into a state park when I am traveling?
A: Refer to Texas State Park Regulations for specific regulations - 59.134(f).


Hiking

Q: Are there any books available which summarize day or overnight hikes in the Texas State Parks? A Top 50 List of the best hikes? We would love to get such a book.
A: There is a book "Hiker's Guide to Texas" by Laurence Parent. It is by Falcon Press, Montana, 1992; 184 pages with trail and black & white photos. I hope you are able to find it at your local book store. There is also a book by Mickey (Mildred) J. Little, Ed.D. called
" Camper's Guide to Texas." It has trail maps, campsite descriptions, and photos and is published by Gulf Publishing Company, P. O. Box 2608, Houston, TX 77252-2608.

Q: Where can I find information on hiking at Texas State Parks?
A: Refer the Hike Texas section of the On-line Texas State Park Guide.


Historical Markers

Q: I would like to see a page on your site listing the Historical Markers in the State.
A: Texas Parks and Wildlife is not responsible for the Official Historical Markers along the highways of our great state. The Texas Historical Commission writes and erects those markers. Inquiries about Texas historical markers may be sent to lhp@thc.state.tx.us.


Maps

Q: Can I view a map of a specific State Park so I can become familiar with the park layout before I get there?
A: You may pick up a map at any park upon arrival or download the map from the specific park web page or the Park Map Directory page.

Q: I am interested in obtaining a single map with all state parks, and if possible, federal lands. Does such a map exist? Also, would you send me information on activities in the area surrounding the parks so that I can plan to make day trips from our camping spot?
A: The Texas State Official Travel Map, by the Texas Department of Transportation, indicates State Parks, National Parks, National Forests, Grasslands and Wildlife Refuges. You can request a FREE packet containing the Texas State Travel Guide, Accommodations Guide, and Official Travel Map, from the traveltex.com web site (The Official Site of Texas Tourism) or order by phone at 1-800-452-9292.

You can download the the Texas State Park Guide or get it at any Texas State Park.

Q: I have seen a large Texas State Parks Map put out by the Parks and Wildlife with the Texas Tourist Regions on the back, as well as other park information. How can I get one of these?
A: The Texas State Parks map is available for sale at most state parks.


National Parks

Q: Can you send me information on Big Bend National and other National Parks?
A: Refer to the National Park Service web site or call the General Federal toll free number, 1-800-688-9889.


Passes/Parklands Passport/Permits

Q: What is a Parkland Passport? Do I qualify and where do I obtain one?
Q: I am a disabled veteran (60%) and I happened to read on your fee page and saw this statement: If you are a veteran with at least a 60% disability, you will continue to receive free entrance into state parks. Can you tell me who I need to contact to find out about getting this pass?
Q: What is the Texas State Parks Pass that grants me free entry into all Texas State Parks, where can I purchase one and how do I benefit from it?

A: Go to the Texas State Park Passes and Permits page, if you have further questions, call 1-800-792-1112.

Note: As of January 1st, 2004 the Texas Conservation Passport is no longer sold. It's replacement is the Texas State Parks Pass.


Pets

Q: What do I need to know if I want to take a dog to a state park?
A: Refer to Texas State Park Regulations for more detailed information on animals. 59.134 (e) Animals. 59.131.


Reservations

Q: How do I make reservations for a state park and what is required?
A: Refer to the Reservations Information page.


Rules and Regulations

Q: What are the state parks' rules I will have to follow when I camp in state parks?
A: Refer to Rules and Regulations page.


Specific Sites

Q: May we reserve 5 specific sites if we know which ones we want? We have a group of 5 families that want to be together. Some may have large trailers and may need an especially deep site.
A: Refer to Operational Information from the Reservations Information page.


Stay Length

Q: How long may I stay at a state park?
A: The maximum length of stay is 14 consecutive days except where other limits have been established by the park manager; some parks offer weekly/monthly/seasonal rates. Check with the reservation agent when making reservations.


Tourism/Travel Guides

Q: How do I get the Texas Travel Guide?
A: The Texas State Official Travel Map, by the Texas Department of Transportation, indicates State Parks, National Parks, National Forests, Grasslands and Wildlife Refuges. You can request a FREE packet containing the Texas State Travel Guide, Accommodations Guide, and Official Travel Map, from the traveltex.com web site (The Official Site of Texas Tourism) or order by phone at 1-800-452-9292.

You can download the the Texas State Park Guide or get it at any Texas State Park.

Convention and Visitor Bureaus
Q: How can I get the telephone numbers of Texas Convention and Visitor Bureaus to find out about hotels and attractions near each park?
A: There is a listing for the Texas Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus on the web at
http://www.texasusa.com/tacvb/tacvb.html.


Waterfalls

Q: Where might I find parks in Texas with waterfalls?
A: Big Bend Ranch State Park has four waterfalls. Mexicano Falls, Madrid Falls ( Texas' second highest cascade), Rancherias Spring Falls (at the end of Rancherias Canyon Trail), and Ojito Adentro Waterfall in the Sauceda interior.
McKinney Falls State Parks has two falls - McKinney Falls and the Upper Falls, both of which are about an 8' drop during normal creek flow,
Pedernales Falls State Park is a gradual, cascading fall of about 300' and
Colorado Bend State Park has Gorman Falls which visitors can see by taking a guided tour.


Weather Conditions (Parks)

Q: Who do I call to check on questionable weather conditions that might cause total or partial closures of parks?
A: If, after checking weather conditions in a particular area of Texas, you can't determine whether or not a park would be closed, the best thing to do is contact the park directly for the most timely information.


Link to the State Park Rules page.


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