How we’re celebrating 100 years of Texas State Parks

We’re getting outside to enjoy Central Texas’ most beautiful outdoor spaces.

A pool of water at McKinney Falls State Park.

McKinney Falls is the only state park in Travis County.

Photo by ATXtoday

This year marks 100 years of Texas state parks, and we want to celebrate.

Our state is full of natural beauty, and in our entirely unbiased opinion, Central Texas may be the most beautiful region of all.

As nature lovers, we want to commemorate the centennial of the agency that maintains these natural resources for our enjoyment. That’s why, over the course of 2023, we’ll be visiting and writing about all eight state parks in Travis and surrounding counties. That includes:

Before we hit the trails, let’s learn a bit more about what we’re celebrating.

  • Texas’ State Parks program was created in 1923, but it was initially conceptualized as a collection of roadside attractions for travelers. It wasn’t until Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal that the program expanded, resulting in more than 50 parks.
  • Today, Texas State Parks encompass more than 630,000 acres across 89 parks.
  • The state acknowledges that much of its parkland is located on the lands of indigenous peoples. Learn more about Native American history in Texas.
  • The only state park in Travis County is McKinney Falls State Park, named after 1800s homesteader Thomas McKinney. The land was donated to the state in the 1970s, and officially opened as a public park in 1976.

Join in on the fun locally with Austin-area events throughout the year, or stop by the Bullock Texas State History Museum to check out their commemorative exhibit.

Or, join us on our journey. Share your state park experiences with us at or by tagging us on Instagram @atxtoday.

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