Galveston Island State Park Recap:
Straight up- Galveston Island State Park was an unusual visit for me.
It’s at the time of this post the most non-parky Park I’ve been to to-date. That is mostly because, well, it’s a beach. Well it’s by a beach, but it’s much more than just sand. It’s a place for fishing, paddling, gator watching, AND playing on the beach.
Head south west on the island towards Jamaica Beach and you’ll hit the park. Over 2,000 acres of beach and wetlands, this park has a fun mix of outdoor recreation.
The sandy parts are great if you’re there during peak times because it won’t be as crowded as the main part of the beach off of Seawall Blvd., and it still features plenty of amenities including showers and covered picnic areas.
The beach side also has 36 water and electric campsites with beach access in each section. Bathrooms with showers are at the first and third sections only.
There is also a dump station at the first campsite for RV’ers.
One thing to note about the beach here; there is no lifeguard on duty. This is one of the main differences between swimming here as opposed to swimming back towards the main beach area.
Head across FM 3005 to visit the wetlands part of the park. With four bayous and a lake, this section has plenty of wildlife for birding and water to kayak and enjoy the wildlife.
This is also where the trails are. Overall there are 10 trails at Galveston Island State Park. The longest trail is actually a paddling trail (Oak Bayou, 4.2 miles roundtrip) Its difficulty is rated “challenging” but I’m guessing that’s because of the mixed water terrain you need to maneuver. According to the park trail map, this trail is best for crabbing and fishing. And the recommended spot to launch your kayak.
Other points of interest include a Duck Lake viewing area and an observation tower for great wildlife viewing. Those can be found on the Duck Lake Trail and Heron’s Walk Trail respectively.
Here’s the catch; last time I was at this park it had recently rained. That created a couple problems. A) the walking trails were covered with water so unwalkable, and B) more water created more room for the gators to splash around in. If you’re not used to seeing them up close I’d probably stay in the car and drive around. I wasn’t feeling that on this particular trip.