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Coronavirus: Which parks are open or closed in some parts of Central Texas?

While some spots are open, social distancing is strongly encouraged.

AUSTIN, Texas — With spring upon us, Texans are looking to get outside. But with efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, it has caused some hot spots in our area to temporarily close. 

KVUE took a look at which parks, lakes and trails in some parts of our area are opened or closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

While there are some spots still open, everyone is continuing to strongly encourage social distancing. 

As for the Highland Lakes in Central Texas, a spokesperson for the LCRA said all six (lakes Buchanan, Inks, LBJ, Marble Falls, Travis and Austin) remain open. But KVUE needed to check with the City of Austin and other counties on how the stay-home orders apply to recreation on those lakes. 

On Travis County Parks' website, many of the boat ramps are closed. 

LCRA has a list of boat ramps that are also open or closed here.  

For the City of Austin, a spokesperson told KVUE Lady Bird Lake is open, but many amenities along the lake are closed. Lake Austin is also open. 

According to Burnet County, the lakes that fall within Burnet County are also open, but authorities continue to strongly encourage social distancing. 

For Lake Travis, a spokesperson for Travis County told KVUE the lake is open, but again, social distancing is highly encouraged. 

Lake Pflugerville was closed on March 30 due to overcrowding.

Credit: KVUE Staff

As for which state parks are closed, Texas Parks and Wildlife has an interactive map here showing which parks are open, closed or have modified operations. 

In our viewing area, Perdenales Falls State Park, McKinney Falls State Park and Buescher State Park are all closed until further notice. At Bastrop State Park, the Copperas Creek, Creekside and Deer Run camping areas and all cabins are closed through April 30 as of right now. 

Credit: Texas Parks and Wildlife
The map on Texas Parks and Wildlife's website.

As for parks in the City of Austin, a spokesperson told KVUE city parks are still open. But all amenities are closed, with the exception of restrooms and water fountains. Restrooms are cleaned and sanitized multiple times a day, Austin Parks and Recreation said. Playgrounds are closed. 

Parks and Recreation Department facilities in Austin that are closed include:

  • Basketball courts
  • Skate parks
  • Exercise equipment
  • Pavilions
  • All recreation centers 
  • All cultural centers 
  • All museums
  • All senior centers
  • All aquatic facilities
  • All golf courses. Golf walking only play is allowed. Visit GolfATX for more details.
  • All tennis centers and tennis courts
  • All playgrounds
  • Zilker Botanical Garden
  • Zilker Caretaker House
  • Old Bakery & Emporium
  • All special event facilities
  • Emma Long Metropolitan Park campsites

Austin Parks and Recreation said signage to indicate the closures will be installed in the coming days.

Credit: Luis de Leon

Hays County is closing all county parks until further notice. This includes Five Mile Dam Parks, Jacob's Well Natural Area and the Gay Ruby Dahlstrom Nature Preserve. 

Williamson County has also modified its operations with regards to parks. 

"All recreation centers are closed until further notice. Outdoor parks and amenities will remain open for use. Hours of operations will be from daylight to dusk. We encourage patrons to practice social distancing of at least 6 feet when using these outdoor parks and amenities. In an effort to prevent community transmission, WCPR is canceling all organized programming and non-essential gatherings at all recreation centers and parks until further notice. This includes youth and adult sports, group fitness programs, scheduled activities, facility rentals and special events," an update found here reads.

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