Located in Gonzales County, this state park near San Marcos and Gonzales, TX is less than two hours from the metro areas of Houston, San Antonio & Austin. The beautiful 270-acre Palmetto State Park, is aptly named for the tropical dwarf palmettos which grow in abundance within the park.
Sometimes mistakenly referred to as “Palm Meadow State Park”, or “Gonzales State Park”, the park’s unique flora is one of the many points of interest for visitors. It’s home to thousands of palmettos, tropical vegetation, and bogs found tucked within the dense hardwoods familiar to Central Texas provide appealing backdrops and comfortably shaded trails for hiking and biking. Its four trails are all fairly easy to navigate and feature routes up to a mile in length—perfect for families looking to hit the trails! Daily bike rentals are also available for both adults and children.
Play in the San Marcos River
The San Marcos river runs through the park and provides not only beautiful scenery, but swimming, paddling & canoeing adventures. Kayak and paddleboard rentals are available for guests looking forward to a day out on the water. Beginners need not fret as this park is great for those looking to learn without the challenge of rapids. The Texas Parks & Wildlife-designated Luling Zedling Mill Trail is located within the park and includes 6 miles of gentle family floating & paddling that connects Luling and Gonzales via the park.
Gonzales features lovely and convenient lodging (link to lodging page) for visitors hoping to enjoy all of the shopping, dining & entertainment within the community, as well as a visit to the park. But for those looking for more rustic accommodations, Palmetto State Park offers both campsites and RV hook-ups. For more information on park admission and overnight reservations, visit https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/palmetto or call 830-672-3266.
Opening in 1936, the park was built by the gentlemen of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The beautiful facilities constructed are still enjoyed today by park guests; including the Picnic Pavilion, which offers not only spacious seating and an air-conditioned kitchen, but a scenic view of the San Marcos River, as well.