What to Expect at Palmetto State Park

Palmetto State Park brings a feel of the tropics to Texas. Check out the dwarf palmetto and everything else there is to offer. Click to learn more!

Palmetto State Park

Palmetto State Park in Early Spring

When I hear the word ‘Palmetto’ I immediately think about my last vacation to South Carolina.  But when it comes to Texas Palmettos, they’re a little shorter in stature compared to those skyscrapers. At Palmetto State Park the dwarf Palmettos call this state park in Gonzalez, TX home.

This state park offers plenty to do in the water and on land including: Swimming, fishing, pedal boats, hiking, and camping.  This is also a great state park for birding and day-trip picnicking. The fishing can be done at the nearby San Marcos river, or at Oxbow Lake that does include a pier.


This park features 19 tent sites and 18 for RV’ing. This is another park that also features cabins.


It is important to note that only the electric sites have a bathroom with showers. (If you haven’t noticed, I love a good shower at the Texas State Parks).


While this isn’t a large state park it does offer some pretty interesting trails. Eight trails in total with the San Marcos River Trail being the longest (1.25 mi.), and The Canebrake Spur being the shortest (.14 mi). The fun thing about these trails is the tropical setting you’ll find while walking around.  The dwarf palmettos really add a nice change of scenery if you’re used to hiking in central Texas.

Each trail definitely offers a bit of education about the reason there are palmettos, and also a bit of history on some of the remaining CCC structures that include a Refectory and a Water Tower.  Fun note about the water tower; if the time of day is right make sure you look up and check out all the birds hanging out for a little rest.

CCC water tower


Other points of interest on the trail include the previously-mentioned Oxbow Lake, an Artesian Well (also CCC), and extinct mud boils.  Although they haven’t functioned since the 1970s, these give a little more insight into the development of some of these lands.


While the address is technically Gonzalez, TX, this park sits a little closer to Luling, TX.  If you’re making a weekend, or even just a day trip, make sure you stop into Luling for some railroad history and yummy  BBQ.

Palmetto State Park is located at 78 Park Road 11 South, Gonzalez, TX 78629-5780. Entrance fees at $3 daily and free for children 12 and under.  Make Reservations here.


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