Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Texas Rains Close Some State Parks & Limit Use at Others!

Parts of Texas have been in and out of drought since 2009, and now it appears that recently, the Rain Gods have chosen to give Texas far more than its fair share of rain. Many Texas lakes, rivers and creeks are flooded or swollen, and because many of our Texas State Parks are located on these bodies of water, many parks are experiences closures or partial closures. Other parks are open with alerts.

Bastrop State Park Camping  TPWD Copyright

Atlanta State Park was closed due to flooding on May 11, and the closure is expected to last at least through June 9. Brazos Bend State Park closed on June 3 and is expected to be closed through 21 June. Lake Whitney State Park closed 5 May due to flooding; there is no news regarding its reopening. Lake Somerville State Park & Trailway is closed due to flooding, and will probably remain so until early July. Stephen F. Austin State Park is closed through September 1 due to flood damage. 

Atlanta State Park on Wright Patman Lake   TPWD Copyright

On June 6, the trails were closed at Abilene State Park. Bastrop State Park is open, but the lake dam was destroyed during the May 2015 flood, and Park Road 1C connecting Bastrop and Buescher State Parks is closed due to flood damage. Other areas of the park are closed due to flood or fire damage. Most of the trails at Buescher State Park are closed due to the October 2015 Hidden Pines Fire. Some camping areas and the trails to the Colorado River are closed at Colorado Bend State Park. The last update on Cooper Lake State Park was May 27th when some facilities were closed. All primitive campsites and the trails north of the Paluxy River were closed on June 1 at Dinosaur Valley State Park. The SH 91 Bridge, the main route to Eisenhower State Park, is closed; take Exit 70 off U.S. 70.  The park’s swimming beach, fishing pier, boat ramp, and ATV and bike trails were closed on June 2nd. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area was open today but some trails often close after a heavy rain. The day use picnic area at Galveston Island State Park is closed, and the park was not accepting new campsite reservations through this past Sunday. Garner State Park is open, but temporary, short term closures are common Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day Weekend because of the popularity of the park and the nightly dances!. Guadalupe River State Park is open but all trails, the Chaquita Falls area, and backcountry sites were closed June 1. Many areas of  Inks Lake State Park are closed through at least 13 June. Inks Lake is closed to recreational boating due to flood debris. The campsites at Lake Arrowhead State Park were closed May 27. Lake Brownwood State Park is open, but Lake Brownwood is closed due to lake flooding. Some trails at Monument Hill & Kreische Brewery State Historic Site are closed due to damage by heavy rains. The south end of Mother Neff State Park closed May 26 due to flooding of SH 236. The north end of the park is accessible by SH 236. Pedernales Falls State Park is open, but the river is dangerously high. This park is prone to flash floods during heavy rains so be on the alert! Purtis Creek State Park is open, but the fishing pier and dock lights are not working. The Boardwalk Nature Trail was temporarily closed on June 5 at San Jacinto Battleground SHS. The Gambusia Nature Trail Boardwalk has been closed at Sea Rim State Park since 7 May. Many areas of  Village Creek State Park have been closed since May 30 due to flooding. Only some trails and a few campsites remain open. The trails and picnic areas at Washington-On-The-Brazos State Historic Site are closed. Several boat ramps and some campsites at Ray Roberts Lake State Park have been closed since June 3. The FM 380 section of the Greenbelt Corridor has been closed due to prior flood damage. Parts of the equestrian trail remains closed and the only open equestrian trailhead is located at the Elm Fork Unit.

Eisenhower State Park Yacht Club   TPWD Copyright

We still have some areas of Texas experiencing drought and some parks are open with alerts for other reasons. The Calliham Unit at Choke Canyon State Park is open, but the South Shore Unit boat ramp is closed due to low lake levels. The Devils River at Devils River SNA has low water flow. Because of low lake levels, only kayaks and canoes may be launched from the Lake Colorado City State Park boat ramp. Since March 14, the main route to the park has detours due to the construction of a new bridge. Lake Livingston State Park is open, but there are some facility closures due to park improvement operations. Martin Creek Lake State Park has been invaded by the Argentine Ant, an invasive species, so be prepared to treat around your vehicle and camping equipment. The Old Tunnel Wildlife Management Area always closes when the park has reached its 250 person limit. The drinking water at Possum Kingdom State Park is non-potable due to high salt content. At Sheldon Lake State Park the elevator at the observation tower has been closed for maintenance since 29 May. The Bent Pine Trail is also closed due to flooding. During times of high winds or other extreme weather, call to see if the Wyler Aerial Tramway at Franklin Mountains State Park in El Paso is open.

Devils River State Natural Area   TPWD Copyright