Garner State Park began its life as a large piece of private land owned by a family of wealthy German immigrants. During the 1930s, some of this land was acquired by locals and then donated to the state. After the Civilian Conservation Corps was enlisted to build the park in 1939, the park opened to the public June 1st, 1941.
The land that comprises this park has over 10,000 years of history attached to it. Originally home to nomadic hunter-gatherer tribes, the area was first exposed to European colonization in the 16th century. More information on this park's extensive history can be found on the Texas State Parks' website.
Garner State Park is locally famous for its almost three miles of winding rivers. These meandering bodies of water are packed with locals during the warmer months, floating lazily along in rented inner tubes with their friends. Dogs are allowed on the shore provided they're on a leash but aren't allowed in the public waters. For more information on tube rental, contact the Garner State Park offices.
Inside of Garner State Park, you will find more than 11 miles of trails to hike and they are almost all dog-friendly. There is clear signage marking the few trails that are specific to cycling or hunting, so keep your eyes peeled and you should have a great time. There are no dog stations on these trails, so make sure to bring bags and pick up after your pet!
The park offers a variety of rentable shelters, and overnight guests are welcome to cabins, traditional campsites, or screen shelters during the summer months. The park has a 24-hour concessionaire that offers full meals and snacks during the busy months. During the off-season, vending machines are available for use. Canines are prohibited from all but the traditional campsites and must be on a leash at all times.
A charming additional offering from Garner State Park is their Summer Dance series. What started in the 1940s as a gathering of young people at the park's concession booths has become a local tradition, with a dance pavilion being added in the 1950s. Parking fills up quickly most summer evenings, so try to show up early. Dogs are prohibited from dance events altogether.