Palmetto State Park

This week, we headed down to Gonzales, TX to drop off my oldest son for a week long camp.  On the way home from dropping him off, my younger son and I decided to spend the day at Palmetto State Park.

Palmetto State Park, located a little over an hour south of Austin, is probably one of the smallest state parks we have been to, but we both still had a great time.

There is a small, 4-acre oxbow lake with canoes, paddleboats and paddle bikes for rent.   

On the lake is a fishing pier with a ladder just perfect for jumping off and swimming! K met some new friends and spent a few hours swimming and exploring the lake!  

There is also a short 3/4 mile trail encircling the lake.  We saw some deer and other wildlife on our short hike.

We also tried our hand at fishing, but didn't catch anything.  We were going to try again at dusk, but I couldn't pull him away from swimming.  

Around mid-day, we left the lake to explore the rest of the park. 

We have slowly been collecting the various Texas State Park geocaches, so we wanted to pick this one up.  
As usual, the geocache led us to some really neat sights that we would have otherwise missed!  

Palmetto State Park is named for the tropical dwarf Palmetto trees that grow abundantly in the swamp like grounds.  

We started our hike on the Palmetto Interpretive Trail and found this amazing water tower built by the CCC in the 1930s and still functioning today!

We continued along the trail to the Ottine Swamp Trail to find our geocache. Who knew there were swamps in Central Texas??   While signing the log, my son found this little guy!

Just down the road from the trails is a low water crossing of the San Marcos river.  K and I hung out in the cool current of the river until it was time for dinner!  The park rents tubes (or you can bring your own).  Since we had the dogs with us, we couldn't take a ride, but if we come back, we are going to definitely try the tubes out!

We had originally planned on spending the night camping.  But after being away from home for the last week on vacation, we decided to pack it up around 8pm and head home to sleep in our own beds.  K decided that this was a perfect park for a day trip!!


  1. Looks like this will be this weekends day trip! Any suggestions for a famous or local eatery? We usually hike state parks and then stop at a local place for a good burger or bbq! Starting traditions!

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