State Parks on Twitter

Water Safety

Mom and daughter wearing life jackets on boat

It's time for fun in and on the water! Make sure that everyone comes home safely from your summer adventures. Whether swimming or boating, always:

  • Wear a life jacket.
  • Watch children closely.
  • Know how to swim.
  • Avoid alcohol.

Read through our water safety tips before you jump in the creek, river, lake, pool or Gulf.

Planning Your Visit

State parks are very busy at this time of year, especially on weekends and holidays. Guarantee entry by making day pass and overnight reservations online or by calling (512) 389-8900.

For the latest information, follow us on Twitter, find us on Facebook, or check back here.

Hike Pick: Clapper Rail Trail

Galveston Island State Park

Hikers on Galveston boardwalk

Hike through rare coastal prairie and beside Galveston Bay on the Clapper Rail Trail at Galveston Island State Park. You'll get marvelous views of the bay from an observation tower. Look for interesting plants and creatures along the boardwalk.

On this spectacular half-mile hike, you'll pass a statue of an Eskimo curlew. This curlew species is likely extinct; it was last photographed more than 50 years ago near this site.

To extend your hike, continue another half mile on the Egret Loop to another observation tower. There you'll enjoy a view of a mosaic of water and land.

Wherever your adventure takes you, please bring plenty of water, sunscreen and bug spray.

TPW Magazine: State Park Adventures

Messing About in Boats at Meridian State Park

Close up of kayaker on Lake Meridian

In the opening chapter of the children's classic The Wind in the Willows, Water Rat paddles his boat across the river to pick up Mole, who had never been in a boat before.

“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing — absolutely nothing — half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats,” Rat observes.


Meridian State Park, with 72-acre Lake Meridian at its center, provides a tranquil place to mess about in boats. It's nestled among limestone bluffs at the top of the Hill Country west of Waco.

Read more Messing About in Boats…