Park Rules

Texas State Parks has adopted rules and regulations to protect park areas for future generations as well as for the convenience and safety of current visitors. Please note this is a partial listing of state park rules and regulations. Visit the detailed Park Rules & Regulations page for a complete list. Know these before you go!

If you still have questions, check our FAQ page.

Alcohol

Public display or consumption of alcohol is prohibited. All outdoor areas within the park are public.

Arms and firearms

Refer to the detailed Park Rules & Regulations for definitions and rules. If you have a valid Handgun License, you may carry your handgun in many state parks. But even with a HL, handguns are not allowed in parks that are leased from the federal government. Check with the park before you go.

Campfires

Campfires are permitted only in designated rings to avoid ground scarring and wildfires.

Collecting

Take only memories and photographs. Federal and state laws prohibit collecting plants, animals and artifacts.  Preserve the past for the future by leaving artifacts in place and reporting locations to park staff. 

Drones

Drones are allowed in state parks in two circumstances:

  • Two parks have designated areas for drones: Lake Whitney and San Angelo state parks.
  • For filming purposes at other parks. You must obtain a filming permit from the park.

Firewood

Downed dead wood offers food and shelter to wildlife and provides essential nutrients for the soil. Please do not gather firewood.

Geocaching

We need to know about your caches. Please check with park headquarters before placing geocaches within a park.

Hammocks

You can use hammocks under the following conditions:

  • Check with park staff to ask about site-specific rules or requirements.
  • No permanent anchors such as screws or eyebolts may be used.
  • Trees must be at least 8” in diameter at the point of strap contact to ensure they are strong enough to support the hammock.
  • Straps must be at least two inches wide, preferably made of nylon or polypropylene.
  • We recommend using padding underneath straps to protect trees' bark.
  • No more than two straps may be attached to a single tree.
  • Do not prune or cut plants to make way for hammocks.
  • Hang hammocks for overnight camping within the bounds of the assigned campsite.
  • Hammocks may not be attached to park structures such as shade shelters, lantern posts or buildings unless specifically authorized.

Litter

Please recycle appropriate litter and deposit trash in dumpsters. Leaving no trace of your visit helps the park remain beautiful and reduces the possibility of human/animal conflicts.

Parking

Park only in designated areas to protect the plants and soil.

Pets

Protect pets and wildlife by keeping pets on leashes, no longer than 6 feet, at all times. Please note: Pets are not permitted in any buildings at Texas State Parks. If you plan to take your pet hiking, see note under Trail Safety.

Quiet hours

Quiet hours are 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.  Respect your neighbors and celebrate nature's night noises.

Safe driving

Protect all park users and wildlife by obeying speed limits. No passengers under 18 are permitted in truck beds.

Snakes

Don't be afraid of snakes, be aware! They are signs of a healthy environment. If you cross paths with a snake, back away slowly.

Swimming

Swim in designated areas only; no lifeguards are on duty. We highly recommend that children and weak swimmers wear personal flotation devices. Pets and glass containers are not allowed in swimming areas. Pets can create unsanitary conditions and may feel threatened by strangers. Broken glass can cause serious injury. Read these tips on swimming safety.

Tent camping

Please camp only on designated camp pads or sites to protect fragile plants and minimize soil compaction.

Wastewater

Wastewater (both black and gray) can only be discharged at designated dump stations. Wastewater carries bacteria that can spread serious illnesses and food particles that can attract undesirable animals, including fire ants.

Wildlife

Keep wildlife wild. Do not feed or harass wildlife.