Padre Island National Seashore, the longest stretch of underdeveloped Barrier Island in the world is set to reopen tomorrow, Thursday, August 19th. Both the North and South beaches, as well as Malaquite Beach, the Bird Island Basin day-use area and boat ramp, will open at 6 a.m.

However, the dock at the Bird Island boat ramp is in the process of being rebuilt. The park had been closed to clean up after recent Hurricane Hanna.

Separating the Gulf of Mexico from the Laguna Madre, Padre Island National Seashore is one of a few hypersaline lagoons in the world, (meaning it's saltier than most aquatic environments).

According to the National Park Service, "The park protects 70 miles of coastline, dunes, prairies, and wind tidal flats teeming with life. It is a safe nesting ground for the Kemp’s ridley sea turtle and a haven for over 380 bird species. For almost its entire existence, Padre Island has remained an undeveloped wilderness. "

This means it isn't likely to be overcrowded this weekend.

"Because the National Seashore endeavors to preserve Padre Island in its natural state, visiting the island is very much like stepping back into the past. With few exceptions, visitors can now see Padre Island as it has existed throughout most of its history and how it is described in the few extant descriptions by the early explorers," the National Park Service reports.

Begging the question, what about camping this weekend on the beach for a unique camping experience?

If you're thinking of camping, know that only primitive camping is available at this time. You'll be going back to the basics. No reservations are needed, its a first-come, first-serve basis. Campers, including beach campers, must have a camping permit, which is available from the kiosks at the entrances of each campground. TThe nearest amenities from the park entrance station are about 12 miles away, so please come prepared.

See you on the island!

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