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Time To Pick Up Free Guide to Texas State Parks
AUSTIN, Texas — With the publication of the fourth edition of the Texas State Park Guide, lovers of the outdoors and Texas’ unique heritage have one more reason to plan an outing in coming months to one of more than 100 state recreational parks and historic sites.
The free, 112-page booklet is available at any Texas state park, most other Texas Parks and Wildlife Department sites and field offices, all Texas Travel Information Centers and many local convention and visitors bureaus and chambers of commerce.
For the first time, the guide can be ordered online by visiting the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Web site. Already, online visitors have placed more than 6,500 orders to have the guide mailed to them. The guide can be viewed online in Spanish, as well as English.
“The new state park guide is a convenient tool that’s informative and better illustrated than ever,” said Texas State Parks director Walt Dabney. “It’s a very usable, ready reference that at a glance tells you all you need to know about what makes our parks so special. And, it’s a handy size, so you can keep it in your vehicle or RV.”
The 2007 edition provides an overview of the breadth of activities offered throughout the diverse park system and a brief recounting of how the state park system came into existence more than 80 years ago. New chapters recommend “getaway” trips to sites that are close to Texas’ four major metro areas and to “far-flung” state parks in the state’s more remote areas that are well worth a longer trip.
The booklet’s State Parks Directory divides the state into the seven tourism areas, such as the Panhandle Plains and Gulf Coast regions. Each section includes an easy-to-read locator map, vignettes about each state park found within the region and symbol legend indicating facilities and activities found at each site.
Once again, the Texas State Park Guide is anchored by a centerfold state park locator map, while a three-page grid index at the back of the booklet details facilities and activities for each of the more than 100 state parks, historic sites and state natural areas. Another page is dedicated to explaining state park user fees and park passes, and how to make state park reservations by phone or online.
Last year, according to the TPWD marketing staff, a quantitative survey of more than 11,000 Texas state park visitors confirmed that 61 percent of visitors who had the guide said it had influenced their decision to visit a Texas state park or historic site, while — more significantly —82 percent indicated they planned to use the guide to plan future trips.
Funds to underwrite the publishing of Texas State Park Guide were provided by Toyota and from advertising revenue. This is the fourth year the automaker has provided funding to help make the guide available free to the public.
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