Archive for the 'State Parks' Category

Renew or Buy State Parks Pass Online

Thursday, March 28th, 2019

Buy or renew your Texas State Parks Pass online.

This is Passport to Texas

Parkgoers can renew or purchase a Texas State Parks Pass online thanks to improvements in the online reservation system. Thomas Wilhelm is the marketing and branding manager for Texas State parks.

People have made it clear that they want the ability to either purchase their park pass online or renew their park pass on line for a long time. The advantage to purchasing in advance now, with the new reservation system, is your park pass discounts get applied when you make your reservation. So, you’re getting those benefits immediately. When you’re paying in advance for your campsite or your entrance fees, you’re getting those parks pass benefits upfront. You have the ability now to renew your park pass as well, which you can do, I think it’s up to five months in advance of your park pass expiring. One of the big advantages we’ll see with the new park pass system, and the new system with it…is that currently with the park pass you get four camping discounts for half off your second night. With the new reservation system, we’re eliminating that restriction on the number of discounts you get. So, with your park pass it’s unlimited half off your second night of camping when you stay two or more nights.

Purchase or renew your Texas State Parks Pass on the Texas parks and Wildlife Website.

We receive support for our show in part from Ram Trucks. Built to Serve.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

New Park Reservation System: Save the Day

Wednesday, March 27th, 2019

Visitors to Enchanted Rock SP, relaxing because they “saved the Day”.

This is Passport to Texas

Ditch the “will I or won’t I get in” guessing game that often comes with visiting Texas’ most popular state parks. Now parkgoers can “Save the Day”. Thomas Wilhelm is the marketing and branding manager for Texas State parks.

[Thomas] So, what we’re calling “save the day” is essentially paying your entrance fees in advance. And by doing so, you’re guaranteeing access to a park. We have some parks that are super popular in that they fill up and we have to turn people away because of the limitation of the number of people allowed in a park. So with the Save the Day pass, you essentially pick a time slot that you are going to arrive at the park, pre-pay your entrance, and you’re guaranteed access to the park. So, you don’t have to worry about showing up and being turned away because the park is full.

[Cecilia] Well, you know, you might get there, but you might be behind a line of cars. Will there be another entrance for these people who have their pass?

[Thomas] We’ll have to work through those. Depending on the site, we may be able to create dual entrance lines. There will be a learning curve for both our employees and our customers. But, I think, in the long term, it will really speed up the process. Not just for guaranteed access, but also for getting you into the park faster and onto the fun.

Make your reservations on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website. Tomorrow: Buying and managing your Texas State Park Pass online.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

New Park Reservation System: Pick Your Site

Tuesday, March 26th, 2019
State Park Campsite

State Park Campsite

This is Passport to Texas

Overnight visits to Texas State parks are easier than ever to plan, thanks to improvements in the online reservation system, including picking your own site.

We’ve been listening to our customers for a long time. And some of the things that we’ve heard that are most wanted by our customers is site specific reservations.

Thomas Wilhelm is the marketing and branding manager for Texas State Parks. Before this new online reservation system, overnight campers could reserve a type of site, but not a specific site.

Pick your site is a huge boon for the system. When people show up at a park, they want to know that they’re getting into a campsite that will work for them. So, whether its because they have a larger RV, or they want to guarantee that they’re near their friends and family, they want to know which site they’re going to be in before they get there. There’s nothing worse than showing up at a park, having your reservation, and realizing the only sites left available to you are ones that don’t really work for your equipment. With the new system, they’ll have the ability to go online, look at pictures and descriptions of every single campsite in the system, and then pick the campsite that works for them. And then they know exactly where they’re going when they get to the park.

Make your reservations online on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website. Tomorrow: The Save the Day Pass.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

TPW Magazine–Bikepacking

Thursday, March 14th, 2019

Bikepacking is the new bike touring.

This is Passport to Texas

When you combine backpacking and cycling you get bike-packing. And that’s the focus of an article by Brandon Weaver for the April issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine.

Touring the countryside on a bicycle isn’t new. Cyclists haul their gear and supplies using racks and saddlebags.

However, bike-packing is the next evolution of bicycle travel. Brandon says it differs from traditional bike touring by eliminating the need for racks.

The packs, he said, are specifically sewn and engineered to fit in and around a bicycle’s frame and distributes the weight equally across the bicycle. That makes it lighter, faster, and more efficient than saddlebags.

To test this, Brandon joined brothers Jerod and Seth Foster on a 223-mile bike-packing adventure. They traveled from Mother Neff State Park to Possum Kingdom State Park. Along the way, camped at Meridian State Park, Dinosaur Valley State Park, and spent their final night at the future site of Palo Pinto Mountains State Park. And the new pack system made the trip a breeze.

They traveled as many gravel county roads between the parks as they could find. Brandon wrote: We are taking the roads less traveled, which is the essence of bike-packing. Read all about this bike-packing adventure in the April issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine.

We receive support in part from RAM Trucks. Built to serve.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Dark Skies Over the Devil’s River

Wednesday, March 13th, 2019

Devils River State Natural Area – Del Norte Unit. Photo: Jerod Roberts

This is Passport to Texas

If you haven’t already heard, let me tell you: Devils River State Natural Area was designated an International Dark Sky Sanctuary by the International Dark-Sky Association.

It is the only Dark Sky Sanctuary in Texas, and only the sixth International Dark Sky Sanctuary in the world! Let that sink in a moment. Devils River SNA is one of the darkest and most ecologically fragile sites on the planet.

The designation brings further awareness to the Devils River and its surrounding landscapes as irreplaceable resources that should be preserved for future generations to appreciate.

Located in southwest Texas, Devils River SNA is far from cities and is home to one of the most pristine rivers in the state. It lies in the cross section of three ecological regions making the site a biologically diverse habitat for plants, fish and native wildlife—including a rare salamander and several protected fish species.

It joins Big Bend Ranch State Park, Copper Breaks State Park, South Llano River State Park and Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, as the fifth park to hold a prestigious IDA Dark Sky designation in the Texas State Park system.

Learn more about the dark skies of Texas on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.