|  TPWD News Release 20111018b                                            |
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[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ] [RM]
Oct. 18, 2011
New Texas State Park Guide Adds Digital and Spanish Versions
AUSTIN - The latest edition of the 112-page Texas State Park Guide is now available in a variety of formats just in time for outdoor lovers to find that perfect spot to enjoy greater solitude and cooler fall weather as the summer crowds and swelter fade.
The digest-size booklet puts at your fingertips everything you and your family need to know about more than 90 state parks and special park programs, such as the Geocache Challenge, free fishing and the Texas Outdoor Family camping program.
Texas State Parks director Brent Leisure encourages Texans to take advantage of the cooler weather to visit a state park or historic site. He notes that entrance and camping fees, State Park Pass purchases and patronizing state park stores all help fund state park operations.
"We understand that many Texans continue to experience difficult economic times," says Leisure, "but our state parks continue to offer an affordable, safe and family-friendly alternative to many other forms of entertainment and recreation. We, too, have had to tighten our belts due to shrinking budgets, but by modifying days and hours of operations at some parks, we have kept the lights burning at all of our state parks."
The Texas State Park Guide is once again a free publication, thanks to the sponsorship of Toyota.
And, for the first time, REI support has made it possible to offer a Spanish-language version of the park guide.
"REI is proud to partner with TPWD in promoting increased outdoor participation among diverse communities in our great state parks," says John Simmons, manager of REI's Austin Gateway store.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department also has created an online digital page-turner replica of the Texas State Park Guide. This will make it easier than ever to discover the amazing variety of state park destinations and special park interpretive programs that await today's adventurers.
The new edition highlights dozens of park sites located near Texas' major metropolitan areas that are perfect for a relaxing day trip or an economical weekend getaway. Did you know, for instance, that you could leave the Houston's hustle and bustle by mid-morning and be paddling Village Creek through the Big Thicket shortly after lunch?
The park guide also includes information for those who prefer not to rough it in the great outdoors. State parks offer a diverse mix of "soft" accommodations, ranging from modified screened shelters, rustic bunkhouses and cabins to a sprawling, historic ranch house and full-service lodges. Lovers of the esoteric might want to try out 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 at www.texasstateparks.org 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 state park, 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.
Toyota recently renewed its sponsorship with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, the official nonprofit partner of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, for 2012, for continued sponsorship of next year's Texas State Park Guide, state park facility maps and the Texas Outdoor Family program.
REI, a national outdoor retail co-op founded in 1938 by a group of Pacific Northwest mountaineers seeking quality equipment, is committed to promoting environmental stewardship and increasing access to outdoor recreation.
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