Texas State Parks are closing to the public effective Tuesday, April 7 at 5 p.m. at the direction of Gov. Greg Abbott.
The closure will be until further notice. Affected parks include Martin Creek Lake and Caddo Lake.
“Given the myriad of challenges and heightened risks of operating the parks at this time, we believe this is the best course of action right now in order to meet the health and safety expectations the state has set out for the citizens of Texas,” said Carter Smith, Executive Director of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. “All state parks will remain temporarily closed until public health and safety conditions improve. During the closure, staff will continue to steward and care for the parks to ensure they can be immediately reopened to visitors at the appropriate time.”
TPWD said it had reached a point where, despite restrictive visitor measures that were put in place to minimize COVID-19 transmission, public safety in the parks and surrounding communities must take precedence. TPWD said difficulties included ensuring compliance with social distancing, maintaining adequate supplies and keeping parks sanitized.
Those who had upcoming overnight reservations booked through the reservation system will be reimbursed. Group and facility reservations have been cancelled until April 30. Cancelled reservations will not be charged normal administrative fees.
TWPD is also refunding day passes purchased through the reservation system without a fee.
TWPD said its Customer Service Center will be contacting guests whose reservations are impacted in order of arrival date; guests do not need to contact the state park.