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Adventure | Texas State Parks

Photo by Mizzu Cho on

Since one of my goals for the new year is to check out a state park we have never been to (and there are a LOT), I decided to print off a list of all the state parks.


I’m not going to list every park because there are far too many [97 to be exact], BUT you can check out the list for yourself here.

In the 12 years my husband and I have been together we’ve only visited 4 of them. That’s right, a measly four.

Despite the fact that I’ve always loved doing a little traveling now and then, it wasn’t until I began homeschooling that I really began to want to start checking out new places.

So, in the last 12 years, we have visited:

  1. Garner State Park [My husband’s favorite.]
  2. Guadalupe River State Park
  3. Palmetto State Park [I really enjoyed hiking there.]
  4. Pedernales Falls State Park

Each of these parks has had something different to enjoy.

Garner has been our family’s favorite place to go swimming for years. The river doesn’t have a current (at least not in that section), and the last time we went we even did a “little” hiking and enjoyed some amazing views.

We have not been to Guadalupe River State Park in a good many years. (Not since our daughter, who is now 9, was around 2-years-old.) I honestly don’t know what all there is to do there because the couple of times we went (the first being when our oldest, who is now 13, was only a couple of years old) we only went down to the river to enjoy the water. What we liked is how shallow (not more than waist-deep in places) it was. So it felt safer for the little ones who are not yet swimming. However, even shallow it has a pretty good current that could easily carry the little ones off, especially if they are in innertubes or floaties.

We have only visited Palmetto State Park once, but I absolutely loved the hiking there. The trails were beautiful and it was easy enough for this out-of-shape mother-of-three (at the time). Our daughter, who was the youngest at the time, was around 2-3 years old, and we quickly discovered the river was too swift to be able to enjoy swimming with three little kids who didn’t yet know how to swim. But, the park does offer a pond to swim in, and we thoroughly enjoyed that.

Pedernales Falls State Park we visited for the very first time yesterday. We didn’t get to do as much hiking as I’d planned, but we did a lot of rock climbing on the falls. There was also a lot of stair climbing to get up and down from the falls, as well as up and down from the river in another section of the park where you could swim. The water wasn’t too awful deep so there wasn’t a lot of actual swimming (only our two middle children “swam”), and it did have a bit of a current. We took a short hike after our swim. The particular trail was a 5.4-mile trail with trails that branch off, but we only hiked it for about half an hour before returning to our vehicle to head home for the day.

In the past we’ve chosen the parks we visit based on the ability to swim. Now, we’ve begun choosing based on hiking adventures. [With 4 kids it’s still pretty important to visit places that allow for swimming though!]

I very much look forward to the adventures ahead.

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