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Media Contact: Rob McCorkle, 830-866-3533, robert.mccorkle@tpwd.texas.gov [RM]

TPWD Website: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us

TPWD News Release — Aug. 9, 2010

New Texas State Park Guide Points the Way to Fall Fun

AUSTIN – Autumn in Texas means extra elbow room in park campgrounds and cooler temperatures more conducive to a variety of outdoor activities. And, to help you plan a fall excursion to your favorite park, you can now pick up or download online the new, 112-page Texas State Park Guide.

The digest-size, seventh edition of the Texas State Park Guide puts at your fingertips everything you and your family need to know about more than 90 state parks and special park programs, such as free fishing, Texas Outdoor Family and the Geocache Challenge, designed to make it easier and more fun than ever to enjoy the outdoors. The guide can be viewed online in both English and Spanish.

“We hope the new guide will serve as your compass pointing the way to your next adventure in one of Texas’ great state parks, where we believe ‘life is better,’” says Walt Dabney, director of state parks for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

 The new booklet provides a broad overview of Texas’ 93 state parks, state historic sites and state natural areas found throughout the state — from mile-high mountains, canyons and pine forests to Hill Country river country and Gulf Coast beaches. Readers can learn not only about the various places to go, but also about what necessities to bring and what critters you might spy once you reach your destination.

As in past state park guides, the new edition notes dozens of park sites located near Texas’ major metropolitan areas that are perfect for a relaxing day trip or economical weekend getaway. The “Day Tripper” chapter spotlights parks within a two-hour drive of Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. Did you know, for instance, that you could leave the DFW metroplex by mid-morning and have your campsite set up at Ray Roberts Lake State Park and be skiing across the 30,000-acre reservoir by lunchtime?

For those who prefer not to pitch a tent, the guide points out alternative accommodations found in many state parks, ranging from screened shelters and group bunkhouses to rustic cabins and quality lodges. Looking for more exotic camping experience? Book a night or two in one of the unusual canvas yurts found at Abilene State Park. Each yurt comes with a double/single bunk bed with mattresses, fold-out sofa, night stand and microwave.

For convenience, the park guide is broken down into the state’s seven tourism regions that are easily located by flipping to the color-coded, centerfold Texas State Parks map. A brief snapshot of the outstanding features found at each park within each region provides photos and pertinent information about each site, including its GPS (Global Positioning System) coordinates for the tech-savvy adventurer.

The Facilities & Activities Index at the back of the book provides a greater breakdown of what each site offers, including the types of campsites and trails to be found there. Book a campsite online or make a camping reservation by calling (512) 389-8900.

Free copies of the Texas State Park Guide, sponsored by Toyota, can be picked up at any of the 93 state parks, TPWD law enforcement offices, Sea Center Texas, Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, most Texas Department of Transportation travel information centers, and select chambers of commerce and convention and visitors bureaus throughout Texas.

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