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LCRA and Texas state parks reopen for day use

Hikers will once again have access to Devil’s Cove in Inks Lake State Park after it and most other Texas state parks reopened April 20. A handful of Lower Colorado River Authority parks are also reopening. Photo courtesy of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Most Texas state parks and some Lower Colorado River Authority parks are reopening this week to visitors who practice social distancing and wear face masks.

No more than five people will be allowed to gather in any one place inside parks, according to Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s amended executive orders defining statewide restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus that has reached pandemic levels.

Overnight camping has not restarted.

Inks Lake State Park, Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site, and Colorado Bend State Park all reopened on Monday, April 20. Pedernales Falls State Park reopens Wednesday, April 22. Longhorn Cavern State Park is closed through April 30 for maintenance and training.

“As we navigate through these challenging times, it is essential that outdoor experiences and opportunities are available for Texas families,” said Carter Smith, executive director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. “During the temporary closure, our State Parks team has been cleaning and sanitizing park facilities, addressing routine maintenance projects, and ensuring requisite safety protocols are in place to ensure visitors have the best possible experience.”

Still suspended are equipment rentals and in-person interpretive programs. Enclosed spaces such as group facilities and headquarters are off limits to the public.

Visitors are required to make reservations online and pre-purchase and print day-use permits before coming to the park. Reservations also can be made by phone at 512-389-8900.

Visitors should bring their own food and supplies, including face masks and hand sanitizer, as local stores might not have these items available for sale.

LCRA parks reopening Wednesday, April 22, include Camp Creek Park, Cedar Point Recreation Area, Narrows Recreation Area, and Gloster Bend Recreation Area.

LCRA parks will be open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Overnight camping will not be allowed. Boat ramps are open, but visitor centers and camp stores will be closed.

suzanne@thepicayune.com

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