Explore a little bit of the tropics of Central Texas at Palmetto State Park in Gonzales, Texas. An hour away from Austin and San Antonio, the park includes the San Marcos River and other sources of water, which makes it an excellent habitat for a wide variety of plants and animals.
Dwarf palmettos, which grow under the trees, are a stable of the park’s plant life. Inside Palmetto State Park, visitors may engage in a variety of outdoor recreational fun, both on water and on land. On the water, guests may swim, fish, canoe, and tube.
The park also has swamps, an artesian well, and an oxbow lake. Pedal boats are available for rental, as well as canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, and a fishing boat for the lake. On land, visitors to the park may hike, bike, camp, observe nature, or geocache. There is a picnic pavilion available for rental for group events.
Palmetto State Park is open daily; the gate is only locked in emergencies. Admission costs $3 for adults, but children 12 and under may visit free of charge. There are 19 campsites and 18 RV sites to choose from, as well as an air-conditioned cabin and a group site large enough for 99 people.
Reservations can be made in advance by calling the park office during business hours or through the park’s website. During the busy season, from March through November, overnight visits should be reserved several weeks in advance.
For your safety and your pet’s, dogs should be kept on a leash no longer than six feet in length at all times. Do not allow your dog to dig, disturb wildlife, or become a nuisance to other park visitors. In Texas state parks, pets are not allowed inside any buildings.
If you go hiking with your dog, always come prepared with plenty of water for both you and your pet. Bring waste bags and be sure to clean up after your pet. If you’re in Central Texas and looking for a place to explore a little bit of the tropics, Palmetto State Park has a variety of things to do and a beautiful place to do it in.