Though our family has traveled to far-flung parks like Big Bend National Park out west and Caddo Lake State Park in East Texas, it wasn’t until last month that we finally visited McKinney Falls State Park in South Austin, about 25 minutes from our home. It can be easy to take local destinations for granted, thinking you’ll get around to visiting at some point. The planning process for this issue celebrating the Texas State Parks system’s 100th anniversary inspired me to explore more state parks. Their yearlong campaign is centered around connecting Texans with their local state parks. “We want to give people a reason to visit state parks and underscore the importance of protecting our most iconic landscapes in Texas,” says Russell Roe, editor-in-chief of Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine.
Our celebration of the centennial coincides with the publication’s May special issue on state parks. On newsstands now, their issue delves into the history of state parks, plans for new parks opening in the next few years, state park memories from prominent Texans, and a quiz to find out which state park you are. “We hope readers come away with an appreciation and excitement for state parks and a reason to visit on our 100th anniversary,” Roe says.
Continuing throughout the year, state parks will host free special events to mark the milestone. TPWD is also hosting a seasonal photo contest, with prizes including an annual state park pass. Our family purchased our first state parks pass last December, and we set a goal to visit at least four new parks this year. I hope this issue inspires a trip to a state park you haven’t visited before or a return to an old favorite. For even more state park content, visit texashighways.com.
Emily Roberts Stone
Editor in Chief