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.
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.
After Goliad State Park we stopped by what is left of the Mission Nuestra Senora Del Rosario State Archaeological Site.
You can see more of the site on Google than you can by actually going because there is really nothing left. As far as the park rangers at Goliad knew there are no plans to restore Mission Rosario at this time.
The sign (pictured below) reads:
Missionaries from the college of Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe de Zacatecas founded Nuestra Senora del Rosario in 1754 for the coastal Karankawa tribes. The extensive cattle ranching operation begun by sister mission Espiritu Santo also supported Mission Rosario. However, the mission indians periodically abandoned the mission when supplies were short. By 1807, it was combined with Mission Refugio nearer the coast. Mission Rosario was officially closed in 1831 as part of earlier secularization orders.
Today, the largely undisturbed site of the Spanish Colonial mission provides unique opportunities for scholarly research. Through carefully controlled excavations, the archaeological process will bring to light new information about the Native American and Spanish inhabitants of the late 18th-century Texas.
If you are interested in getting behind the fence you must contact TPWD and arrange for an official visit. There is nothing to see so don’t go through too much trouble unless you are looking to do research.
Next to the San Jacinto Battleground in Houston is Battleship Texas. If you like history, ships, militaria, or all of the above you’ll easily spend a few hours checking out this jewel of the Admiral Nimitz Fleet.
Your parks pass gets you aboard for free. This is a great deal considering it’s normally $12 for an adult and $6 for the kids.
You can take a seat on the guns and get a feel for what it was like to aim these beasts.
If you’re a photography nut, you’ll need to bring extra memory cards. One of my favorite shots was of the San Jacinto Monument from the bow of the ship.