Camping crunch at local state parks before Memorial Day weekend
AUSTIN (KXAN) – A sunny forecast is in store for Memorial Day weekend, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, many continue to enjoy the outdoors – which includes trips to local state parks.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department saw an influx of visitors in 2020 at the height of the pandemic and these trends continue. Reservations for overnight camping and day passes fill up quickly at several state parks. Officials report that multi-day camping reservations at a state park within 200 miles of Austin are booked.
“There are a few parks in the state that have some availability, but generally they’re more reserved for camping,” said Thomas Wilhelm, director of marketing and branding at Texas State Parks for the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife.
Wilhelm said that could change if someone cancels their reservation. However, for the most part, reservations are booked and day passes fill up.
“It gets overwhelming when we’re full all the time and you have people who always want to visit and can’t get in so they’re frustrated and luckily we share that frustration because we would like to have everyone in the park like often, however they want, there is just too much to offer, ”said Wilhelm.
In Marchofficials decided to reopen the parks to 100% capacity, removing capacity restrictions from COVID-19. However, officials continue to operate at a capacity that protects state parks and provides visitors with an enjoyable experience. These numbers vary from park to park.
Reservations for day passes can be made 30 days in advance. At the last check, day passes for Saturday and Sunday to Enchanted Rock and Pedernales Falls State Park were booked. McKinney Falls State Park, Blanco State Park, Bastrop State Park, Inks Lake State Park, and Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site, to name a few, had day passes available for the weekend at different times. You can Book a seat for camping and day passes online.
“On holiday weekends, you should probably make a reservation so you don’t get turned down,” Wilhelm said.