After finding damage to the swimming pool the pool was closed indefinitely. The parks system just didn’t have the funding to repair the structure. The TPWD Foundation along with the Apache Corporation have raised over $1 million and efforts continue. This pool is a unique park in our parks system and it will truly be a triumphant return for this oasis. Be sure and check out the Texas Monthly article on the fundraising efforts.
For those that haven’t heard you can now reserve your spot at our state’s parks using the online reservation system. This is great for those parks that are difficult to get to and then you do get all the way there and see the dreaded “park full” sign. Not any more. You can now reserve a day pass to popular parks like Enchanted Rock and not worry about there being space when you get there. Plan ahead though as parks are filling up faster than ever.
Just south of Goliad State Park is Presidio La Bahia. You can walk here from Goliad State park or make the short drive. I should warn that the hill from the road to the Presidio is a little steep and may be difficult for some. Driving may be best if you are unsure or with little ones.
Located 1/4 mile south of Goliad State Park on U.S. Highway 183 and 77A and operated by the Catholic Diocese of Victoria. View exhibits, enjoy an interpretive program and exciting reenactments, and imagine life at the fort. Originally built in 1749 to protect the mission and the frontier, it later played a major role in the Texas Revolution. Here, Colonel Fannin and his ill-fated men were held prior to being executed at Santa Anna’s order, an act of infamy later recalled at the Battle of San Jacinto with the cry, “Remember Goliad! Remember the Alamo!” For a very special experience, make reservations to stay overnight in the comfortable Priests Quarters.
The Presidio is the origin of one of my favorite Texas Battle Flags. My friends and I still fly this one at tailgates and other events when we need to stand out in the crowd of flags.
In front of Presidio La Bahia is the Zaragoza Birthplace SHS.
Ever wonder why we celebrate Cinco de Mayo? This day honors General Ignacio Zaragoza, who defeated the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Visit his reconstructed birthplace adjacent to the Presidio to learn about this Texas-Mexican hero, born here in 1829. Descendants of the original town of La Bahía, the settlement that grew up around the Presidio, still live in the area today. Don’t miss the adjacent Zaragoza statue, donated by the citizens of Puebla, Mexico.
Access to this side building is limited. I recommend calling ahead to check for availability. The Presidio and birthplace of Zaragoza are not part of the State Park. There are additional fees to access both. Please plan accordingly.
Next to Mission Espiritu Santo is Goliad State Park. Although small, this park packs a punch when it comes to Texas History. Along with the neighboring mission that I posted about previously there are several other historic sites nearby. Additionally the park has plenty to offer in the form of outdoor activities.
Activities include camping, picnicking, hiking, fishing, swimming is available across from the park, at a junior Olympic swimming pool, operated by the city of Goliad (Swimming Safety Tips), nature study, and historical study. The park offers a floating dock and river access for kayaks and canoes, and is a take-out point for the Goliad Paddling Trail.
Back in September of 2013 I visited a great Mission in Goliad (and apparently forgot to hit publish on the posting). If you haven’t been to Goliad State Park yet I recommend adding it to your list. This site combined with its neighboring historical sites make for a great day trip for anybody.
The mission has been beautifully restored to it’s 18th century condition.
For reference, here is a picture of the 2004 condition.
Here’s a video to serve as a preview to our trip to Dinosaur Valley State Park on 1/11/14. It was a fun day minus the cedar pollen (more on that later).
Park #34 on our quest to visit all the Texas State Parks and Historic Sites was Garner State Park.
It was very cold and started to rain when we arrived to the park. Even with the conditions we enjoyed the unique features of this park. The Frio (pictured above and below) is frequented by many during the summer for tubing activities. You wouldn’t want to do that in November. Besides being really cold, there’s also very little water.
Check the visitor’s center in the center of the park for path tags, wildlife viewing suggestions, and other park souvenirs. The main office at the entrance is for entrance fees ONLY and don’t forget to take a number on the way in.
There is plenty for the whole family in this park. There is a sand volleyball court, a basketball court, a miniature golf course (seasonal and weather-permitting), camping, hiking, swimming and tubing (seasonal), and much more. You can see why this is one of the more popular parks.
The picture below is a good summary of our trip to Honey Creek. We arrived at the park at 10:00 am.
Saturdays at 9:00 am really is the only time the public is allowed to enter Honey Creek Natural Area. Fieldtrips may be the other way, but I’m not sure.
Maybe next time…
One of the newest state parks in Texas is the Old Tunnel State Park. The main attraction here is the bat emergence nightly from May to October.
Open year-round from sunrise to sunset for general use.
Bat viewing nightly May through October. The trail to the lower viewing area is closed each evening. Monday through Wednesday evenings the trail and lower viewing area are not open to the public. On Thursday through Sunday evenings, the trail will only be open to those visitors who pay admission to view the bats at the lower viewing area.
For the most up-to-date emergence information, call the toll-free information line at (866) 978-2287.”
Plan your visit ahead of time and find a place for dinner close by. It is a bit out of the way and “out in the middle of nowhere” off of Old Fred Road and Old San Antonio Road. If you spot Old Fred that’s just a bonus.