This is usually one of the busiest times of year at Stephen F. Austin State Park.
Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, it is even busier than normal. Park Superintendent Martha Martinez said that is due to the fact that the park is about the only public place open in the area, at least for now. Even though the park is open, there are many limitations. With the exception of restrooms, all buildings are closed, including headquarters, the nature center, and the camping shelters. Programs are canceled. Essentially every chokepoint or place of confined congregation is closed.
The park is still open for tent and recreational vehicle camping and day use activities such as hiking. Since none of the state parks are taking cash, all reservations and entrance fees need to be paid in advance online at TexasStateParks.org.
Martinez said those with reservations do not need to stop at headquarters when entering the park but can go straight to their destination. Visitors without reservations can pay with a card at the pay station. She asks that guests have proof of their registration with them in case of conflict. She also noted that there on only two working restrooms in the park and only one of those has showers. The others are undergoing planned renovations.
Before coming to the park, Martinez advises checking the website or the park’s Facebook page to make sure regulations haven’t changed and that the park is still open. For more information, visit https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/stephen-f-austin.