Texas offers some of the best state parks in the nation, with various landscapes ready for unique adventures.
Follow rivers, trails, or lakes and discover Texas for very small fees. Try camping, rafting, tubing, and much more, all in under an hour from New Braunfels, Texas.
The diverse culture in the parks makes for a journey you will not forget. Sign up for a Texas Park Family Pass to save money and get discounts too. Let your adventure begin!
Map of State Parks Near New Braunfels, TX
Here is a map of the Texas state parks covered in this post:
List of State Parks Near New Braunfels
Here are each of those state parks with their distance from New Braunfels and what is special about each.
1. Honey Creek State Natural Area
Location: Spring Branch, TX 78070
Honey Creek State Natural Area, about 32 miles northwest of New Braunfels, is a natural area reminiscent of the past with a spring-fed brook on protected territory. Keep in mind that Honey Creek is only accessible by guided trip; however, it is located beside the Guadalupe River, which offers a variety of water activities. If you have ever wanted to time travel, consider this park as it will take you to a world long past gone.
No other park has such breathtaking beauty as this one, with gigantic trees jutting out of the sea. It’s also adjacent to Guadalupe River State Park, allowing you to visit two beautiful parks in a short amount of time. This is the park for you if you want to sit quietly and watch the water trickle over mossy rocks. If you choose to take a tour, wear good shoes as it’s a two-mile trail through nature.
The best feature about the park is that it is free to enter; however, they do not provide camping, and the best areas must be seen on tour. Look for fossils and relics of long-dead marine creatures in the limestone, adding to the park’s uniqueness. For the hikes, arrive at the park by 9 a.m. Make sure to keep your pets at home as they are not welcome in the park.
2. Guadalupe River State Park
Location: 3350 Park Rd 31, Spring Branch, TX 78070
In southern Texas, the Guadalupe River State Park offers more than just a 270-mile river with incredible views ready to become your haven. You will find the park roughly 31 miles northwest of New Braunfels and costs only $7 per person over 12 years old. There are several opportunities for swimming, water sports, and breathtaking vistas.
Many individuals like spending their vacation tubing down the lake on hot summer days. Others prefer rafting or kayaking to explore the whitewater rapids more casually. Switch to hiking shoes after spending some time in the water and explore miles of hiking and biking paths. Find peaceful locations along the river where you may view animals, camp, or simply relax in nature.
The drive is well worth it because the lake is surrounded by trees, rocks, and nature making it the perfect setting for a vacation; before camping for the night at one of the 85 campsites with power, set aside some time to go fishing. You will find nine walk-in tent sites available to make camping more primitive. Check out the secluded Bauer Unit, which has tough routes and varied terrain for a more primal experience. The journey is between four and six miles long in total.
3. Lockhart State Park
Location: 2012 State Park Rd, Lockhart, TX 78644
Lockhart State Park offers activities for the whole family just 36 miles away from New Braunfels. Swim in the on-site pool or, if you prefer, at Clear Fork Creek, which features a waterfall. Try the Clear Fork Trail, which features a creek, wildlife, foliage, and a fishing dam. The tough Persimmon Trail is recommended for more experienced hikers. Add in a golf course for those who like to putt around a ball for a relaxing vacation perfect for families.
Fish for sunfish, catfish, and bass before spending three bucks a day at a camp with water, electricity, and complete hookups. With the possibility of witnessing beavers, turkeys, foxes, numerous birds, and even armadillos, the animals can steal the show but beware of snakes such as rattlesnakes and coral snakes. Choose this place for a pleasant vacation away from your obligations while still being close to the city.
Lockhart offers twenty campsites with electricity and other amenities. Furthermore, they have a group hall with a kitchen offering enough room for 75 people and tons of on-site resources. Use this site for a family reunion with incredible scenery and even geocaching everyone will love.
4. Palmetto State Park
Location: 78 Park Rd 11 S, Gonzales, TX 78629
Head to the tropics at Palmetto State Park, a mere 42 miles away from New Braunfels. The park stays open year-round for hiking and parking possibilities. Featuring the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail, those who want to see over 240 species along with other animals can enjoy the park, including the red-shouldered hawk, crested caracara, and the prothonotary warbler.
The peak season runs from March to November, and any time other than summer is ideal for trekking and camping. Moreover, the course costs only three dollars each day for those over twelve or seventy dollars for the entire year for the entire family! With five miles of trails with different ranges of difficulty, the whole family will find something to suit their liking and provide incredible scenery. The Palmetto Interpretive Trail is a short stroll that ends with a water tower.
Paddle boats can be rented near the lake, or you can stay on land and bring your bicycle.
Go fishing or swimming at Oxbow Lake or the river for some aquatic pleasure. Rent tubes and turn the water into a playground for even more water enjoyment. Then go camping at one of the 38 tent sites, all of which are under $20 a night. You may have a fantastic family trip with 18 RV sites and a quiet group site.
5. McKinney Falls State Park
Location: 5808 McKinney Falls Pkwy, Austin, TX 78744
Mckinney Falls State Park will add raw beauty to your next getaway, and it’s only 47 miles away from New Braunfels. Incredible spring-fed waterfalls and Onion Creek await you along with wildflowers and much more in the 745-acre paradise. Find turtles hanging out rocks, herons, leopard frogs, and nocturnal mammals.
The picturesque park was established on the banks of Onion Creek, which flows over limestone walls and into tranquil pools of water below. Make sure to plan a camping trip with approximately 80 tent and RV campsites as well as six cabins for rent. If you’re staying for the weekend, do not miss out on the miles of hiking trails and the cool water to swim in.
Onion Creek is known for its spectacular natural beauty, hiking paths, and swimming. Take the whole family to enjoy geocaching, fishing, swimming, and relaxing. Families with small children can even use strollers on the hiking and biking paths making this a perfect family option. At just six dollars a day for people over twelve, you can enjoy this park for a much-needed break from life.
6. Blanco State Park
Location: 101 Park Rd 23, Blanco, TX 78606
Find Blanco State Park with a lake fed by a natural spring at a constant 68 degrees even during the height of Texas summer heat. On the other hand, the swimming area receives direct sunlight, so you will not be too cold in the water. The main water area is near a dam that divides a shallow wading area from a much deeper region for advanced swimmers and people using floating equipment.
A swimming area is also located next to the dam, safe for children with adult supervision, and you can float around with rentable tubes or enjoy a rope swing. Blanco State Park has two small trails to explore if you’re interested in hiking and nature study. They’re ideal for beginners and families who want to introduce their young children to this outdoor activity.
Armadillos are common along this small trail, making for excellent photo opportunities but should not bother you while camping. Choose full hookup sites or campsites with water and electricity. If you prefer, reserve a screened shelter overlooking the river. Bring your boat if you have one, or rent a kayak while you are there to save space in your car.