Memorial Day Weekend

Kevin Hulsey fires up a grill for lunch with his family Saturday, May 23, 2020, at Martin Creek Lake State Park.

AUSTIN — As of Wednesday, Texas state parks began allowing visitors to make camping reservations with arrival dates between June 1 and Sept. 7.

Parks officials said the gradual reopening of overnight reservations will be limited to varying degrees at individual parks to align with safe business practices being followed in the state after the outbreak of COVID-19.

“No one is more pleased than us to welcome more outdoor enthusiasts back into state parks as part of the continued reopening of Texas,” said Carter Smith, executive director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

All guests, including annual pass holders, need to prepurchase day passes and overnight reservations in advance through the Texas State Parks Reservation System.

For reservations, go to texasstateparks.org or call (512) 389-8900.

Callers should expect longer-than-normal wait times when trying to make reservations. Visitors are encouraged to use the online system.

Existing social distancing standards and public health recommendations remain in effect including the recommendation to wear face coverings and bring hand sanitizer. State parks also will continue to require a 6-foot distance from individuals outside of a party and to ban gathering of groups larger than five that are not part of the same family or household.

Visitors planning are encouraged to bring all necessary provisions, such as hand sanitizer and face masks. Guests should also ensure they have enough water and weather-appropriate clothing before heading out. Find tips and recommendations for what to bring on a trail to stay safe in the Texas sun on the heat safety page on TPWD website.

Texas state parks will continue to operate at a limited capacity for now. Operational changes still in effect at parks include the suspension of all transactions at parks, equipment rentals and in-person interpretive programs. All headquarters, visitor centers and nature centers are still closed.