State parks prepare for crowds on Memorial Day weekend

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — As Memorial Day weekend approaches, families are gearing up to visit state parks like Elephant Butte.

“We’re looking forward to the crowds and being out on the water, and hopefully a little normalcy,” said Stephanie Portillos.

Christina Cordova, with the State Parks Division, said they’re also preparing for the big weekend.

“This is the unofficial kickoff of summer, so our season goes from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and we are anticipating big crowds,” she said.

All state parks in Level Turquoise will be operating at full capacity.

“It’s exciting times. We’re all prepared, all our parks, to prepare for these crowds, and they’ve all been trained in COVID-19 safety practices,” Cordova said.

Cordova is also warning people about the water levels at the lake.

“We have several boat ramps closed right now. Seven parks have their boat ramps closed,” she said. “Water levels are dropping. They are continuing to drop.”

If people are unable to take their boat out on the lake, Cordova said there are other fun activities to opt for like fishing, hiking and camping.

“They can still launch their paddle craft from the shoreline, canoes, kayaks,” she added.

People should always double-check park hours and county fire restrictions before they plan to visit.

“Folks need to know before they go,” she said.

As for the Portillo family, they said they’re prepared to make the most of every moment.

“Just practice respect, patience, and I think kindness. We’re all getting out there to have fun,” said Stephanie Portillos.