Of all the 76 state parks in Texas, Garner State Park is believed to be the most popular in terms of annual visitors. With some 350,000 people camping at the park every year, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
Located just a 90 minute drive from San Antonio and 30 minutes from Uvalde, the park is renowned for its dramatic landscape of deep canyons, high mesas, crystal-clear streams, rugged limestone cliffs and the imperious Frio River.
Spread across 1,774 scenic acres, the park is a playground for those who love to get out and about in the great outdoors.
Hiking, fishing, swimming and boating activities abound here, as does a stunning collection of flora and fauna. All of which provide visitors with the perfect environment in which to rest, relax and recharge their batteries.
Whilst at the park, visitors can partake in a wide range of outdoor recreational pursuits.
Here is just a small selection of some of the many things you can see and do whilst you are there.
Boating at Garner State Park
The cooling waters of the Frio River are an excellent place to enjoy a range of watercraft activities.
This includes kayaking, paddle boarding and inner tubes, all of which you can rent out from the park if you didn’t bring them along with you.
Swimming at Garner State Park
The Texan sun can be quite unforgiving in the summer, so be sure to bring your swim suit with you.
During the hotter part of the day, the Frio River is a fabulous place to swim. Just be mindful that as it is not lifeguarded, you will be doing this at your own risk.
Fishing at Garner State Park
Fishing is a very popular activity at the park, with anglers from all over Texas coming here for the opportunity to cast a line for Rainbow Trout.
Those who want to fish will have to pay the park’s daily entrance rate and abide by all fishing regulations.
Please note, the best time to fish is generally considered to be around 6 am. Anglers can only keep a maximum of 5 fish (although there is no minimum limit in terms of length.
Hiking at Garner State Park
The park’s incredible scenery and spectacular landscape is a haven for those who enjoy hiking.
Overall there are 16 miles of scenic trails that run through it, showcasing differing aspects that include geological features that are hundreds of thousands of years old, and a jaw-dropping bird’s eye view of the Frio River.
Here are some of the most popular trails at Garner State Park:
- trail 1 – Frio Canyon Trail. Length: 2.9 mile Degree of Difficulty: easy
- trail 2 – Foshee Trail. Length: 1.7 miles Degree of Difficulty: moderate
- trail 3 – Bridges Trail. Length: 0.7 miles Degree of Difficulty: challenging
Nature & Wildlife
The park has a rich vegetation that is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna.
It is particularly notable for its mighty bald cypress trees that line the Frio River. Some of which live up to 600 years and can grow to a length of over 120 feet.
Another notable tree in the park is the rare Arbutus Xalapensis, which is more commonly known as the Texas madrone. While during the spring, gorgeous bell shaped flowers bloom, sprouting eye-catching red and orange berries.
is a rare tree that only grows about 20 to 30 feet. The trunk has red, inner bark and peels in thin sheets of orange and brown. White bell shaped flowers bloom in spring, and produce red and orange berries.
Throughout the park you are likely to spot plenty of wildlife during your stay there. This includes the likes of deer, turkeys, raccoons, squirrels and skunks.
The park is also home to a variety of birdlife, including two endangered species – the Golden-cheeked warbler and the Black-capped vireo – that nest within it.
Pets at Garner State Park
Dogs are welcome to join you at the park, although some restrictions do apply.
If you want to make yourself fully aware of what they are, it would be a good idea to contact the park’s main office for further clarification.
Camping at Garner State Park
As you would expect from Texas’s most popular state park there are a host of different overnight accommodation options available to visitors.
Divided into two main campgrounds – the New Garner and the Old Garner – overall there are 357 sites available.
At the New Garner area you will find 12 sites that are full hook-up with electricity, water and sewer. There are also 137 sites that come with 50 amp electricity and a further 35 with 30 amp.
In addition, you can also choose to stay at any of the 75 sites that come with water.
Over in the Old Garner campsite, you’ll find 39 campsites with electricity and 49 with water.
Many of these RV sites are pull-through, while all of them come with picnic tables, as well as fire rings that have a grill and a lantern post.
If you would prefer something with a few more home comforts, there are also 13 cabins available that come with a fireplace, as well as an extra 4 cabins that don’t have them.
Both cabins require a minimum of a 2 night stay. But they do come with kitchen facilities that include a fridge, stove without an oven, microwave and kitchen sink. As well as 2 double beds, a bathroom and both air conditioning and heating.
Garner State Park
234 RR 1050
Concan, TX 78838
Here is a short video showing several attractions at Garner State Park: