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USA Parks
Prairies & Lakes Region
Palmetto State Park
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Palmetto State Park Clearing in the Trail © T. Danielle Mayo
Aside from the beautiful trails in Palmetto State Park, surrounding the park is a long and beautiful park road which they have preserved much like the park itself with beautiful wildlife bounding through the trees. Take the time to drive through, it is just as worth it as walking.
Palmetto State Park The Palm in Palmetto © T. Danielle Mayo
I fell in love with these batches of palms dispersed throughout the park.
Palmetto State Park The Palm in Palmetto © T. Danielle Mayo
I fell in love with these batches of palms dispersed throughout the park.
Palmetto State Park The River Ran Through It © T. Danielle Mayo
Another angle of the receding waters of the San Marcos River through Palmetto State Park after major flooding October 2015. We will be going back to see what is on the other side of this crossing since we could not make it that day. Maferefun Oshun.
Palmetto State Park San Marcos River © T. Danielle Mayo
Another thing I absolutely love about living in this area is how much land the San Marcos River traverses. Even here, you can still be touched by her cool, healing waters. The water was quite a bit higher after major flooding October, 2015.
Palmetto State Park The Boardwalk © T. Danielle Mayo
I was pleasantly surprised to see this elevated portion of Palmetto State Park. I did not realize some of this parks terrain is similar to swamp land. There is also no shortage of hawks, woodpeckers, and turkey vultures.
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78 Park Road 11 South
Gonzales, Texas   78629

Phone: 830-672-3266
Reservations: 512-389-8900
Email: park email button icon
Palmetto State Park, 270.3 acres, named for the tropical Dwarf Palmetto plant found there, is located in Gonzales County, northwest of Gonzales and southeast of Luling. The park abuts the San Marcos River and also has a 4-acre oxbow lake. The land was acquired by deeds from private owners and the City of Gonzales in 1934 - 1936 and was opened in 1936. The beautiful stone buildings in the park were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) during the 1930s.
Nature of the Area
This is an unusual botanical area that resembles the tropics more than Central Texas. The ranges of eastern and western species merge, resulting in an astounding diversity of plant and animal life. Most notably, a stand of dwarf palmetto (Sabal minor) plants, from which the park gets its name, is found around the park's ephemeral swamp. These palmettos are found in east and southeast Texas, as well as much of the southeastern United States, but only individuals or small clumps are found to the west and north of this park. Wildlife frequently seen in the park includes white-tailed deer, armadillos, squirrels, raccoons, and numerous birds.
History of the Area
Gonzales was established in 1825. It was the capital of Impresario Green DeWitt's Colony and was the farthest west Anglo settlement until the close of the Texas Revolution. In 1831, the Mexican government sent a six-pound cannon to Gonzales as protection against the Indians. This cannon was used in the "Come and Take It" Battle on October 2, 1835, when the first shot of the Texas Revolution was fired. General Sam Houston, while in Gonzales, learned of the defeat of the Alamo from Mrs. Almeron (Susannah) Dickinson. Mrs. Dickinson, her baby, and two servants were the only survivors of the siege. After learning of this event, General Houston gathered troops and ordered Gonzales to be burned. He then began the famous "runaway Scrape," gaining time and mustering troops to eventually take a stand at San Jacinto. There, Santa Anna was defeated and Texas gained its freedom from Mexico. Today, Gonzales has a population of 7,500. It offers an unusually large selection of antique shopping, dining, lodging (bed and breakfasts and motels), recreation (city park with nine-hole golf course, boating, fishing, swimming pool, picnicking, camping, bird watching, and nature study), historic home tours (restored homes dating from the 1880s to the 1920s), and the Gonzales Memorial Museum.

Luling was established in 1874 and served as a gathering point and supply center for cattle drivers along the Chisholm Trail. Cotton ruled the economy until oil was discovered in 1922. By 1924, the oil field was producing 16 million barrels of oil per year. Today, Luling has a population of 5,500. It offers a year-round Farmers' market, antique and collectible shopping, dining (including world famous barbecue), lodging (motels), recreation (city park with nine-hole golf course, swimming pool, and picnicking), the Central Texas Oil Patch Museum, and almost 200 colorfully-decorated pump jacks within the city limits.
Nearby Accommodations
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Hill-Top RV Park - Gonzales, TX
Centrally located to active areas of the Eagle Ford Shale in Gonzales County. We are on Texas State Highway 97 West near Highway 1116 toward Pilgram, Highway 108 toward Smiley, and Highway 97 West to Nixon
11.3 miles from park*

The San Marcos River runs through the park. Boaters can put in at Luling City Park and travel 14 miles to Palmetto, portaging around one dam along the way; or put in at Palmetto and take out at Slayden bridge, 7.5 miles down river. It is a two-day trip from Luling City Park to Slayden bridge, overnighting in Palmetto along the way. We strongly recommend that boaters wishing to overnight call the Central Reservation Center. Take-in and take-out points are limited, mostly bordered by private land. There are no rapids, but almost always a steady current. Check river conditions at the park. Bring your own canoe and arrange your shuttles.

Palmetto State Park is located near Gonzales, New Braunfels and San Marcos

Nature Programs
Palmetto's Wild Outdoor Adventure and Ecology Program: For 8 to 12-year-old children is offered the first two weeks of June. Children participate in "hands on" activities throughout the park with an experienced and certified science teacher. Activities that promote awareness and appreciation of the environment and explore options for responsible human actions are featured. This exciting day program provides children with rewarding summer experiences that are educational and fun! The program affords families an excellent opportunity to camp together for a week, while allowing parents to have time to themselves during the day while their children are engaged in the program's activities. Enrollment, available for one or two weeks (Monday through Thursday), is limited. Call the park for information and special package rates that include camping and program enrollment.
Area Attractions
Nearby attractions include Pioneer Village Living History Center (1800s reenactments); the Gonzales Memorial Museum (Gonzales); the Central Texas Oil Patch Museum (Luling); Lockhart State Park; Sebastopol State Historic Site; the site of the Elks' Hospital and Warm Springs Rehabilitation Center; the City of Gonzales, the "Cradle of Texas History," where the first shots were fired for Texas Independence; the City of Luling, renowned for watermelons, barbecue, and colorfully-decorated pump jacks; New Braunfels, with Landa Park and the Guadalupe River; Luling's "Watermelon Thump" (third weekend in June); and Gonzales' "Come and Take It" Celebration (first weekend of October); and Ottine's "Swamp Festival" (the last weekend in October).

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To reach the park, travel 10 miles northwest of Gonzales on US 183 to FM 1586, then west on FM 1586 for two miles to Ottine, then south on Park Road 11; or go six miles southeast of Luling on US 183, then southwest on Park Road 11 for two miles.

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Texas State Parks