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New Guide Makes Visiting Texas State Parks a Snap
AUSTIN, Texas — An expanded version of the Texas State Park Guide is now available that provides detailed information about more than 120 of the state’s natural and cultural treasures – from well-known landmarks such as Palo Duro Canyon to lesser-known jewels like Kickapoo Cavern.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s handsomely illustrated, 112-page guide is free and can be found at state historic sites, state parks and other TPWD sites, as well as other select outlets throughout Texas. The guide to more than 600,000 acres of public land also is available as a downloadable PDF file on the TPWD Web site. The electronic version of the guide is available in both English and Spanish. *
“We’ve improved the guide to make it as user-friendly as possible so folks can plan their next adventure more effectively,” said Walt Dabney, state parks director. “With the new park guide and annual Texas State Parks Pass, our customers now possess the keys to enjoy the state’s many natural and cultural wonders more efficiently and more economically.”
A centerfold map, one of the new additions to the revised guide, helps readers locate their favorite park or historic site at a glance. More and better maps are one significant improvement to the original Texas State Park Guide published in late 2003. Also, readers can flip to the back-of-the-book to the Facilities & Activities Index grid to scan for information about such things as accommodations, ADA accessibility and limited access.
A more detailed Table of Contents makes it easier for outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs to find the best places in the Texas state park system to hold a family reunion, learn more about the state’s unique heritage and find the perfect place to camp, fish, hike or just relax under a shade tree.
The “Spotlight on Texas” chapters, for example, shines a light on the best ways to: “Experience Texas” through various park tours and programs; “Remember Texas” by discovering the landmarks that illuminate Texas history; “View Texas” amid the state’s top spots for enjoying wildflowers, bats, birds, butterflies and other critters; and “Viva Texas,” by exploring the state’s rich Hispanic heritage.
The new guide makes it easier than ever to focus upon the best state parks in which to hike, bike, swim, camp, fish and horseback ride. Did you know, for example, that at Huntsville and Lake Livingston state parks in East Texas, you can enjoy a hearty breakfast in the park before saddling up or unwind from a long day’s ride with a steak dinner? The “Saddle Up” feature, for example, points out parks catering to equestrians with miles of horseback riding trails, horse-friendly campgrounds and other facilities.
The booklet’s State Park Directory, which is organized by the state’s seven tourism regions, include vignettes about each park and historic site, as well as an address and telephone number. Symbols with each listing provide visual cues about the various amenities and activities at a particular site.
The Texas State Park Guide also spells out the different types of state park user fees and special park passes, as well as details about how to reserve campsites, group shelters and other facilities.
The publishing of 500,000 of the Texas State Park Guide was made possible through the sponsorship of Toyota and the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation. This is the second year the automaker has provided funding to help make the guide available free to the public. Toyota is also a major sponsor of Texas Parks & Wildlife Expo and the Texas Conservation Banquet, the Conservation License Plate program, state parks maps and on-site interpretive brochures and hunting and fishing license pocket holders.
The park guide can be picked up not only at state parks and historic sites, but also at Sea Center Texas in Lake Jackson, the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens and at the state’s 12 Travel Information Centers.
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