Review and Rating of Palmetto State Park in Gonzales Texas
Palmetto State Park is a fantastic 270 acre State Park located just outside of Gonzales Texas. This great Park made our list of the Best State Parks in Texas and some of what helped make it one of our favorites include:
- it is very clean and well maintained
- the RV and tent sites are excellent
- there is lots to do within the Park and nearby
- the rustic cabin to rent is unique
- it's a very scenic park rich in diversity
There are only 19 RV sites and 20 tent sites and they are all outstanding, as such the Park is very popular – make reservations early. The roads are paved as are the RV sites and RVs will be able to get into most of the sites fairly easily – make sure you get a site long enough for your RV when you make a reservation.
The beauiful and well done stone buildings in Palmetto State Park were built by the Civilian Conservation Corp in the early 1930s and the Palmetto State Park opened in 1936. The terrain is flat to gently rolling and heavily treed.
Bring your bikes or hiking or running shoes to enjoy the trails and your fishing poles to catch some fish for dinner. The San Marcos River runs through the Palmetto State Park and there is also a small lake with canoe and paddleboat rentals.
The Park is named after the stand of dwarf palmetto plants that are found in large clusters around the Park's ephemeral swamp. You're also likely to spot white-tailed deer, armadillos, squirrels, raccoons, and numerous birds.
Palmetto State Park is a birding "hot spot" thanks to more than 240 species of birds that have been observed in and around the Park. It is located on the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail, has long been noted as a birding "hot spot."
One of the things that really impressed us was how clean and well maintained Palmetto State Park was during our stay. The leaves were falling off the trees, yet there were no leaves on the trails, on the roads or parking pads. The restrooms were clean and the trails were very well maintained.
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We were passing through Gonzales on our way home from a fun Thanksgiving in Port Aransas and decided to stay here for a night. All we had time to do was walk around the third of a mile interetrive trail that goes through the strands of palmettos - very interesting and infromative.
Before leaving the next morning we rode bikes on the 1 mile Offine Swamp Trail, the 1 mile Mesquite Flats trail, and the 1 1/4 mile San Marcos trail - all of which we really enjoyed. An easy and scenic pedal through the trees, swamp, and along the river. Some of the things we saw during our ride were: an artesian well and mud boil; the Refectory built of stone by the CCC in 1930; extinct mud boils; lots of white tail deer; and a water tower built in 1936.
Gonzales is about 10 miles south of Palmetto State Park and is loaded with history, antique shops, several dining options, and a great city park with a nine-hole golf course, boating, fishing, swimming pool, picnicking, camping, and bird-watching. Gonzales is well known for it's historic home tours with restored homes dating from the 1880s to the 1920s. You might also visit the the Gonzales Memorial Museum. Gonzales was home to the cannon that was used in the "Come and Take It" Battle on Oct. 2, 1835, when the first shot of the Texas Revolution was fired.
Just a few miles north of Palmetto State Park is Luling which is renowned for it's barbecue, rich oil history, 200 colorfully decorated pump jacks, fresh produce and plants, Texas' first inland canoe paddling trail on the San Marcos River, and abundant watermellons and the infamous Watermellon Thump festival.
For canoeing and kayaking enthusiasts, you can paddle the Luling Zedler Mill Paddling Trail - put in at Luling City Park and travel 14 miles to Palmetto State Park, portaging around one dam along the way. Paddlers will enjoy a gentle family-friendly ride on this quiet river lined with beautiful trees and wildlife.
Shiner Texas is not too far and the Shiner Bock Brewery has an informative, fun and thirst quenching (the beer samples are on Shiner!) tour.
The are some golf courses nearby - check this golf map to fine one - if you want to chase that white ball for awhile.