Texas State Parks

Discussion in 'Texas' started by jaymiller, Sep 1, 2018.

  1. jaymiller

    jaymiller Get Out

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    My wife and I (Iowans) are thinking of going to Texas for a month, Dec or Jan and looking to stay at a SP for that amount of time. Can anyone recommend a park preferably Central/East. Also considering the Core of Engineers parks. Any help would be appreciated.
     
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  2. JPBar

    JPBar Well-Known Member

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    We really enjoyed Blanco State Park, inside loop has full hook ups, and is a smaller park. Supermarket and restaurants within in 1 mile of park entrance. I would suggest if you stay in the Texas State Parks that you get a Park Pass $70 to avoid daily entry fees good for 1 year. Good Luck on planning your trip!

    https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/blanco
     
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  3. Dan from Troup

    Dan from Troup Well-Known Member

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    East Texas is a beautiful place to visit with local lakes, pine forests and the largest municipal Rose garden in the world in Tyler. Tyler State Park is nearby and is one of the nicest state parks in Texas. It has a lake, hiking trails, boat rentals and a killer mountain biking trail. One of the best BBQ restaurants is Stanley's BBQ, near downtown and was voted best BBQ in Texas several times over.
     
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  4. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    Stay length
    Q: How long may I stay at a state park?
    A: Generally, you can stay 14 consecutive days. Some parks have established other limits, with some offering weekly/monthly/seasonal rates. Check with the agent when making reservations, or visit the park’s website.
     
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  5. SteveP

    SteveP Well-Known Member

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  6. Sneezer

    Sneezer Well-Known Member

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    Definitely get a passport - it will pay for itself with a trip of that length. Most of the Texas SPs are really nice. Lots of options down near Austin and San Antonio. I always liked Garner SP in that area, but McKinney Falls is awesome if you are visiting Austin. Plan to arrive midweek as it gets packed during the weekends and all SP s are first come first serve until they roll out the new reservation system.

    What all do you want to see while you are down here? There are some parks that are closer to the main cities if you want to visit. Also a lot of Army Corps of Engineers parks on the lakes.
     
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  7. JimandCorry

    JimandCorry Howdy!

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  8. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    Just curious - why would they need to buy a passport if they are camping? Don't those only save on day-use fees? If they were camping, their site fee would let them come and go at will.

    I know nothing about Texas, just guessing that the pass works the same as the states that I am familiar with. I could be completely off.
     
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  9. Sneezer

    Sneezer Well-Known Member

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    Texas charges a daily entrance fee on top of the site fee. Our typical costs are $17-25/night for a site, and $5-10 entry fee per person over 12. The passport waives the entry fee for everyone in your vehicle, and it gives you 2 free nights on separate multi night stays, and a small 10% discount on items bought in the camp store.
     
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  10. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    Wow, that's crazy! I have never heard of camping fees not covering day use of the park! The two free nights and discount are nice perks, but still seems an odd system to me. I've never encountered anything like that on the east coast.
     
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  11. Sneezer

    Sneezer Well-Known Member

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    There are a lot of states that use a similar system, although most just charge an entry fee/vehicle, not per person like TX. However - most of our camping fees are still cheaper than a lot of places, and for the most part we have really nice facilities. I have been to some parks in neighboring states and they have been pretty dumpy.
     
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  12. kcsa75

    kcsa75 Well-Known Member

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    In most Kansas State Parks, there is a $5 per ($3 for Seniors) day/per vehicle use fee on top your camping fee (usually $20-$25). An annual pass is $25 or $15 if you purchase it when you renew your auto license.

    I consider it money well-spent because as Sneezer says, we have nice facilities to enjoy. [:)C]
     
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  13. dbhost

    dbhost Active Member

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    I've been a Texas State Parks Pass holder for so long, I don't recall them ever doing that before, but I just got off the phone with them and sure enough, you are right...
     
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  14. HappyTraveler

    HappyTraveler Active Member

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    We spent most of our time this winter tent camping at Lake Whitney SP, just outside Whitney, TX. We bought the TX SP Pass when we first arrived and it saved us tons of money. We were able to enter any SP in the state free of charge. Since it will expire at the end of February, we're planning on making sure we get out there earlier next winter to take advantage of it for a second year.
    TOTALLY agree and the facilities are some of the nicest we've encountered in the whole country and 30+ years of tent camping.
     
  15. dbhost

    dbhost Active Member

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    We use ours to frequent Galveston Island State Park. My wife LOVES the beach, and the facilities at Galveston are top notch on the camping side.

    The day use side of the park however, particularly on the beach side, most notably the bathrooms, are nasty. Hurricane Ike mostly destroyed the park facilities, when they rebuilt they did a nice job on the camping side, and the boardwalk to the beach / outdoor showers in the day use side are nice, but the bathrooms on the day use side I don't think have been truly cleaned since they were put in, and they are what appears to be basically for lack of a better way to describe it, toilet trailers. Basically a short single wide trailer with 2 bathrooms with toilet, changing bench, and sink, with a through wall AC on each side that is more or less failing.

    Not faulting the parks department. They have very little budget, and a LOT to contend with, there is no shortage of folks that abuse our park facilities, and from what I have seen, these things need to be pressure washed by someone in a decontamination suit... Do your business IN the toilet, not on the floor please! Enough said about that...

    We do get out there often, and when we go, we are prone to picking up trash on the beach, in the park etc... I am getting a bit cranky as I age but it irks me how some folks just don't care about nice places...
     
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  16. HappyTraveler

    HappyTraveler Active Member

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  17. JLE

    JLE Member

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    I'm not sure if you want to head to NP, but we came all the way from Canada to visit Big Bend National Park along the Rio Grande in SW TEXAS, and loved it. The nicest (and coolest temp) is Chisos Basin which can be booked in advance (recommended). Lots of great hiking, and places to visit around the park...or have the occasional lunch/beer at the resort close by the campground. Well run area overall. The Rio Grande Village campground can be very hot! https://www.nps.gov/bibe/planyourvisit/camping.htm

    We also stayed just one night at Franklin Mtn State Park just 15 mins east of El Paso...kind of fun spot if you're looking for something passing through that area:

    https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/franklin-mountains

    (We usually by USA NP passes each year, but dont qualify for senior rates being from out of country, which are about half of regular rates.)
     
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