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.
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.
After a morning hiking at Guadalupe River State Park we headed out to Hill Country Natural Area for the afternoon. If Guadalupe River State Park is dry then there needs to be a new word to describe the conditions at Hill Country Natural Area.
Here are the falls at the NE end of the park.
Here…I’ll zoom in to where the water is supposed to be:
Yes, I said falls as in waterfalls. I was standing where the falls are supposed to…fall. Apparently this used to be a good catfish hole. The park ranger used the words “a couple of weeks ago,” but I think he might have been sippin’ on the hooch. There was no trace of water. Anywhere.
There is no park store and nowhere in the park to get water. You must pack it in. There weren’t many at the park so it was very quiet, but that also means you’re on your own and there may/may not be a cell signal while you’re out on the trail. Keep that in mind and stay safe.
The park has an office on both sides of the lake. The reason for this is that the lake is very long. It does take some time to drive from one office to the other so if you plan on visiting both offices (path tags at both) make sure you allow for about 45 minutes to get from one to the other. The other key piece of info is that the Birch Creek Unit Office closes at 4:45 pm. We arrived at 4:55 and were unable to get our path tag.
The park and lake are very beautiful. Some trails do need some maintenance. It doesn’t look like they cut some of them back much. Make sure to wear jeans/boots on the more hairy trails as there are some poisonous snakes out and about especially around the shore.
This was one of the trails that looked safer.
It turned out to be the one we saw a rather large water moccasin cross right in front of us.
Again, the lake was beautiful and there were lots of people out enjoying the water.
Plan to spend a weekend at this park to enjoy the lake. Be sure to check the TPWD site for good directions and updates on the water level.