With summer vacations a distant memory, cooler temperatures on the horizon, and foliage morphing into dazzling shades of crimson and gold, autumn promises optimum camping conditions in a Texas State Park near you.
Whether you’re a novice to the outdoors or seasoned camper, there’s no better time of year to pitch a tent or park your RV on a sunny beach, beneath towering pines, or overlooking a sparkling lake at such destinations as Galveston Island, Buescher, and Possum Kingdom state parks, according to a news release.
“Fall’s a perfect time to camp out because of cooler evenings, but daytime temperatures typically remain warm enough to enjoy water-based activities like canoeing and fishing,” says Ky Harkey, Texas State Parks outdoor education team leader.
Harkey recommends campers focus on three priorities: safety, Leave No Trace camping practices, and simply having fun.
He says for visitor safety and the protection of the environment, set up camp only in designated camping sites. Campfires are great for enjoying quality family time, but to keep the forest healthy avoid collecting firewood. Don’t forget the marshmallows and playing cards to complete a perfect evening.
For those who have never camped or haven’t done so in many years, Harkey suggests participating in the Texas Outdoor Family program. Since its launch in 2008, the program has grown to include state parks across Texas and its workshops have expanded to meet the interests of curious campers.
The goals and objectives of the Texas Outdoor Family Workshop program include:
- To teach traditional outdoor skills in a relaxed and pressure-free environment
- To promote family-oriented recreation
- To teach responsible use of city, county, state, and federal parks
- To lead novice families in a genuine camping experience
- To encourage volunteer teaching and sharing of experiences by local outdoor enthusiasts
- To promote healthy, active lifestyles in our citizens
For only $65, families up to six can try a two-day workshop held at state parks throughout Texas that focus on teaching families how to set up a tent, cooking in the outdoors, and learning valuable outdoor skills, such as paddling, geocaching, and fishing.
Upcoming Texas Outdoor Family learn-to-camp programs include:
November 17 — Dinosaur Valley State Park (near DFW) – Special Theme – Dutch Oven Cooking
November 17 — Stephen F. Austin State Park (near Houston) – Special Theme – Buffalo Soldiers Living History
November 17 — Lake Casa Blanca State Park (South Texas)
December 1 — Enchanted Rock State Natural Area (near Austin)
December 1 — Brazos Bend State Park (near Houston)
December 8 — Enchanted Rock State Natural Area (near Austin)
December 8 — Lake Mineral Wells State Park (near DFW) – Special Rock Climbing Event & Cowboy Christmas celebration!
December 8 — Brazos Bend State Park (near Houston)
Texas Outdoor Family (TOF)
No man should go through life without once experiencing healthy, even bored solitude in the wilderness, finding himself depending solely on himself and thereby learning his true and hidden strength.