Texas: Garner State Park to expand

Cypress trees on the Frio Photo courtesy Bloggazzette

Year after year, people return to Garner State Park to admire the scenic hills and splash in the sparkling Frio River.

Cool evenings and nights, clear, spring-fed waters of the Frio, shade from huge bald cypress, oak, elm, and pecan trees make Garner one of the most popular camping spots in the Lone Star State.

Garner State Park is Texas’ No. 1 park for overnight camping. The park has about 330,000 visits per year and it is open seven days a week.

Enjoy the outdoors at Garner State Park Photo courtesy enjoy-the-outdoors

For many generations of families, Garner is not just a campground or an idyllic vacation spot. It is a passion, almost a shrine—a trip to Garner is like a pilgrimage.

And soon there’ll be even more space for hiking, biking, tubing, and camping in this beautiful Hill Country setting.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission approved a plan on Thursday (August 19) to purchase a 113.5-acre tract of ranch land to extend the size of Garner State Park.

The land is contiguous to the southern boundary of the state park, which is located west of San Antonio in Uvalde County, reported the San Antonio Business Journal.

Tubing is a favorite activity at Garner State Park Photo courtesy 4rranch.net

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is negotiating a contract to buy the land from John and Taylor Cummings, whose father Jack grew up on the ranch and helped develop Garner State Park. His sons later inherited the property from their aunt, who originally acquired the property back in the 1930s.

Once the purchase closes, the state plans to combine it with its recently acquired Old Baldy tract of land to increase the size of the park.

Garner State Park will soon encompass more than 1,600 acres. The newly acquired ranch land will be used for camping and hiking.

Taylor Cummings, who retired to the ranch and still lives there, will live on the remaining 100-plus acres of ranch not included in the sale.

The park is named for John Nance Garner, former vice-president of the United States who lived in nearby Uvalde, and was constructed in the late 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, adapting the architectural style of nearby French-Alsatian Castroville.

Planning your trip

Phone: (830) 232-6132

Location: 31 miles north of Uvalde, 9 miles south of Leakey, or 8 miles north of Concan on the Frio River

Directions: From US Highway 83, turn east on FM 1050 for .2 miles to Park Road 29 to the new entrance.

Entrance fee: $6/person

Camping fee: $10-20

Additional Information

Friends of Garner exists to preserve the cultural, historical and natural aspects of that park.

For map of campground and other facilities, click here.

For map of hiking trails, click here.

For local weather forecast, click here.

Worth Pondering…

No matter how far we may wander, Texas lingers with us, coloring our perceptions of the world.

—Elmer Kelto

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