2023 will mark the 100th anniversary of Texas state parks being established. Our great state has many great parks that are available for a camping excursion, long or short hikes, fishing, boating and more. Tyler State Park isn't 100 years old but will help in the overall celebration for 2023. Let's learn some of the history of Texas state parks and some of the events being planned to celebrate the centennial anniversary.

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How Texas State Parks Got Started

In 1923, Texas Governor Pat Neff started a State Parks Board. His goal was to create areas for camping and recreation. Since the inception, Texas state parks have grown to a combined 630,000 acres. Some of those parks are home to more than 50 species of wildlife that are endangered or close to being endangered. Caldwell Zoo in Tyler has had a hand in that recently helping revitalize the Texas Horned Lizard, or Horny Toad, population.

We invite all Texans to experience these precious public lands that truly belong to them. We hope this is the year every Texan visits at least one state park. We are going to take advantage of the excitement about the Centennial to showcase everything our parks have to offer, and we’re thrilled that H-E-B will be supporting our celebration. - Rodney Franklin, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Texas State Parks Director

Events will be announced throughout the year to celebrate the 100 year anniversary. You can keep up to date on those events at tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/100years. So far, the only events scheduled at "First Day Hikes" on January 1, 2023. There will be ranger-guided hikes at many Texas state parks including at Tyler State Park. There will also be a New Year's T.R.Yathlon or Trekking, Riding, and kaYaking (tylerpaper.com). You can learn about each of these activities at various stations in the park.

Learn more about the 100 year celebration of Texas state parks at tpwd.texas.gov.

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