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Prime Camping Season Begins at Texas State Parks

published on November 20, 2013

Texas parks campingIf the sound of a tent popping open or a crackling campfire on a crisp evening is music to your ears, ‘tis the season to head to a Texas park! November ushers in the prime camping season, which means it’s time to leave your cozy Southwest Austin home, pack up the loved ones, park somewhere other than in front of the TV, and enjoy making s’mores and memories while watching shooting stars dance across the sky.

Texas State Parks offer a variety of ways to camp overnight, from comfortable cabins and screened shelters to plain campsites for pitching a tent. Reservations fill up quickly during this popular season so don’t wait. Campers can book Texas State Park reservations by calling the Customer Service Center in Austin at (512) 389-8900, or by using the online reservation system.

Garner State Park remains the overnight camping destination leader for the Texas State Park system, recording over 200,000 overnight stays the past year. Other parks in the top 10 were Inks Lake, Huntsville, Cedar Hill, Lake Livingston, Ray Roberts, Tyler, Brazos Bend, McKinney Falls, and Goose Island.

Need to brush up on your camping skills? Whether it’s your first time camping or you haven’t camped since you were a kid, consider signing up for one of the Texas Outdoor Family workshops being offered at a number of state parks this fall.

For five years now, the Texas Outdoor Family program has been teaching families outdoor cooking methods and new skills such as kayaking and geocaching, how to follow established Leave No Trace camping practices, and how to camp efficiently and safely. Over 3,500 families have participated in Texas State Park workshops since the program’s inception!

Most workshops begin Friday evening and end Saturday, but in recent years, Texas State Parks have begun offering some two-night campouts, or “comfort camping,” that utilize park mini-cabins. For $65, families of up to six can learn from park rangers how to cook outdoors, set up a campsite, and other valuable outdoor skills. All equipment is supplied (tent, lantern, cooking stove, dishes) with the exception of sleeping bags and food.

“The cool, crisp fall season provides some of the most family-friendly camping experiences that Texas State Parks have to offer,” said Robert Owen, Texas Outdoor Family program coordinator. “We are seeing a growing number of families.”

Reservations are still being accepted for the Texas Outdoor Family workshops on December 7th at the following state parks: Austin’s McKinney Falls and Denton’s Lake Ray Roberts/Johnson Branch.

Pedernales Falls State Park has a host of Thanksgiving weekend events, from turkey hunting to stargazing and learning about edible plants. Every Friday night at Stephen F. Austin State Park, Houston-area campers can begin outdoor weekends with an interactive, ranger-led introduction to the nighttime sights and sounds of the Brazos River bottomlands.

Other state parks are offering additional programs, from how to start an outdoor fire to how to cook over a campfire. To learn more about Fall/Winter Texas Outdoor Family workshops and Texas State Park events, click here to see the calendar.

Merry Camping Season!

Photo: © Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Earl Nottingham

The Austin REALTORS® at Regent Property Group support Texas State Parks. They also support homebuyers in their search for the perfect Austin-area home. Whether your dream is a luxury home on Lake Travis or a home in Eanes ISD, Regent can help.

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