Texas State Parks allowing limited overnight camping

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Wednesday, May 27, 2020
Why 6 feet? The science of social distancing
You'll still need to practice social distancing if you visit Texas State Parks. This is why experts recommend we stay six feet away from each other.

Families looking for adventure may soon find it again at Texas State Parks, which have resumed overnight camping.

But don't expect to just rush out there. The park says the overnight reservations will be limited to varying degrees depending on park occupancy so that safe business practices can be maintained.

Some existing reservations will be honored. In order to continue social distancing and prevent overcrowding, no new reservations can be made.

However, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department says it will let the public know when that changes.

Park visitors are required to pre-purchase and print day-use and overnight camping permits.

Reservations can be made online or by calling 512-389-8900 for arrival dates between June 1 and Sept. 7.

Park officials say to expect longer than normal wait times if you call, so you're encouraged to try the online system first.

State parks first announced their new rules during this pandemic in April.

Guests will be required to cover their face while inside a state park. They also must stay six feet away from other visitors who aren't in their party. Group gatherings are limited to no more than five people.

Gov. Greg Abbott has said reopening parks is an important step in getting the state feeling back to normal.

"Your physical and mental health are important, especially at times like these," Abbott said in a press conference at the time. "Going to parks is an effective way to address those days. So, state parks will be reopened."

Some areas will still remain closed, including group-use facilities, visitor and nature centers, headquarters and other enclosed spaces where people congregate.

You should expect to bring your own provisions, such as hand sanitizer and face masks, so that local businesses can adequately serve their communities.

A lot has happened within the state over the last month. Catch up on what's open now in the following stories.

Texas gyms can reopen today with new social distancing rules

See how this Katy-area waterpark is preparing for reopening

Barbershops, hair and nail salons reopen in Texas