POSTED: Friday, December 13, 2013 - 9:00am
UPDATED: Friday, December 13, 2013 - 9:09am
AUSTIN, TX (TPWD) — Texans looking to experience the beauty and adventure of the Texas Hill Country will have more opportunities to visit and explore Government Canyon State Natural Area in west Bexar County during the upcoming Christmas holidays and throughout the coming New Year, thanks to extended days of operation.
The state natural area, which is typically only open to the public Fridays through Mondays, will be open daily from Dec. 20 through Jan. 6 throughout the upcoming holiday season. Additional camping nights during the Christmas holidays will be offered.
In addition to being open every day of the week throughout this upcoming holiday season (Dec. 20– Jan. 6, 2014), special holiday site opening dates in 2014 include:
- March 11– 13 (Spring Break week)
- June 19 (Emancipation Day holiday)
- Nov. 11 (Veteran’s Day)
- Nov. 25– 27 (Thanksgiving week/ Visitor Center closed Thanksgiving day)
- Dec. 23– 25 & Dec. 30– Jan. 1, 2015 (Christmas/New Year’s week – Visitor Center closed Christmas day)
Special holiday camping dates in 2014 include:
- Dec. 20– Jan. 5, 2014 (Christmas/New Year holiday)
- Jan. 17– 19 (MLK Day holiday)
- March 7– 16 (Spring Break holiday)
- May 23– 25 (Memorial Day holiday)
- Aug. 29– 31 (Labor Day holiday)
- Oct. 10 – 12 (Columbus Day holiday)
- Nov. 7– 10 (Veteran’s Day holiday)
- Nov. 21– 30 (Thanksgiving holiday)
- Dec. 19– Jan. 4, 2015 (Christmas/New Year’s holiday)
“Despite statewide budget shortfalls that impacted our agency and resulted in losing employees, Government Canyon management saw an opportunity to increase access to the state natural area without diminishing the ability to effectively steward resources, provide customer service and ensure safety on busy weekends,” says Government Canyon Superintendent Chris Holm.
“By choosing weeks during the year when we knew that a large number of people would be off from work or school, we felt we could offer a greater opportunity for Texans to visit, without jeopardizing our mission as a state natural area.”
Since opening in October 2005, the Government Canyon State Natural Area has been closed mid-week so staff could work unimpeded on tasks including conducting prescribed burns to return nearly 700 acres to natural grassland savannah and to enhance woodland and cave habitat for seven indigenous federally endangered species. Crews also have kept busy developing and maintaining almost 40 miles of hiking and biking trails to ensure visitors will be able to access the natural treasures found inside the 9,084-acre natural area.
For further information and to view a schedule for future years, visit the Government Canyon page on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website, http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/government_canyon/  or visit us on Facebook.