The Texas Park and Wildlife Foundation (TPWF) announced Tuesday the opening of the first state park in North Texas in 25 years, reports NBC DFW.
The Palo Pinto Mountains State Park is set to open in late 2023, coinciding with the centennial anniversary of the TPWF. The park, near the town of Strawn, will be made up of more than 4,000 acres and located 75 miles west of Fort Worth. A 2019 constitutional amendment ensures that the tax revenue from sales of sporting goods is spent on state parks.
“Texans are wild about their state parks, with millions choosing to explore Texas’ wild side annually,” Anne Brown, TPWF executive director, told NBC DFW. “The prospect of a brand-new park also received a warm Texas welcome, and it’s gratifying to see the support from generous donors for Palo Pinto.”
Texas state parks experienced record visitations during the coronavirus pandemic, according to Kera News.
“More Texans than ever, almost 10 million people, came to Texas state parks,” Rodney Franklin, director of state parks, claimed on a tour of the park currently under construction. “We’re expecting that number to continue to grow, because it was growing prior to that.”
The new park will have trails for hiking, biking, and horse riding, as well as campgrounds with a lake for fishing, boating, and swimming.
January 1, 2023, will kick off celebrations for the TPWF centennial with “First Day Hikes,” which will welcome and encourage hikers from across the state to visit their closest state park. In celebration of the centennial, museums across Texas will host “The Art of Texas Parks.”
The TPWF press release explains that the exhibit, a visual arts survey of state sparks, “will be hosted at several museums, starting in January at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin.” The exhibit features 34 parks by “some of Texas’ best contemporary artists.”
There is no date set for the park to be open other than late 2023, as much of the new park, including roads and buildings, is still under construction.
For more information on the Centennial Celebration, visit the Texas State Parks 100 Years website.