EDITOR DANIEL CLIFTON
BURNET — Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials are holding the second of two meetings regarding future plans for Inks Lake and Longhorn Cavern state parks as well as the Park Road 4 corridor.
The meeting is 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, July 13, at the Burnet Community Center, 401 E. Jackson St. in Burnet.
“The overall purpose of the meeting is to present the TPWD response to public comments received in the first public meeting (in March) addressing citizens’ concerns and insights to the recreational development and use of Inks Lake State Park, Longhorn Cavern State Park, and Park Road 4,” said Matt Fougerat, the department’s lead park planner. “Specifically, we will be presenting revised plans modified according to public comments received following the initial March 9 conceptual presentation and seeking further comment on those revisions.”
TPWD officials will have maps showing the proposed facilities and public use during the meeting. There will be a presentation followed by a question-and-answer period.
Fougerat said this is the last public meeting before the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department finalizes the plans for the affected area.
“It is important to note that no plans are finalized at this point,” he added. “Compared to the conceptual plans presented in March, these are more specific but not finalized.”
The final planning document is scheduled to be complete in the fall.
The department is looking at a number of improvements and plans for the two state parks and the Park Road 4 corridor. The corridor stretches from U.S. 281 to Texas 29.
One thing under consideration is what to do with the former Inks Lake State Park nine-hole golf course, located on the north end of the park. The department closed the course in 2010.
“The repurposing of the old Inks Lake golf course is only one part of the overreaching plan to relieve congestion and enhance visitor experience by separating day use from predominant overnight areas of the park,” Fougerat said.
Some ideas still under consideration include:
• a group pavilion;
• a playground;
• a fishing pier and fish-cleaning station;
• a kayak launch;
• picnic sites;
• and a boat ramp at the southern end of Clear Creek Cove.
All of the proposed facilities would be within the park.
At Inks Lake State Park, other proposals include new headquarters to improve visitor services and simplified access to Devil’s Waterhole.
Just down Park Road 4 at Longhorn Cavern State Park, possible improvements include a group pavilion, a playground, Civilian Conservation Corps interpretive elements, and approximately 3½ miles of trails.
The CCC developed and built the Park Road 4 corridor in the 1930s, and the stretch is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
“Inks Lake State Park is one of the premier recreation destination parks in Texas. TPWD is excited about the opportunity to enrich the visitor experiences at the park and encourages the public to participate in this recreational planning project,” Fougerat added.
For people who cannot attend the July 13 meeting, the department is accepting written comments on this phase of the project until Aug. 4. Written comments may be submitted in person, mailed, or emailed to:
• Matt Fougerat, Lead Park Planner Austin HQ, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin TX 78744 or firstname.lastname@example.org;
• or Cory Evans, Park Superintendent Inks Lake State Park, 3630 Park Road 4, Burnet TX 78611 or Cory.Evans@tpwd.texas.gov.