There are numerous state parks in the area offering up plenty of recreational activities like camping, hiking, fishing, and more. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful getaway or an adventurous outdoor adventure, you’ll find it at one of these amazing state parks.
So if you’re feeling like getting away from it all but don’t want to venture too far from home, consider visiting one of these amazing state parks near San Antonio! From exhilarating adventures to peaceful getaways, there’s something here for everyone.
If you visit Texas State Parks regularly, get an annual pass (available at any park location).
Government Canyon State Natural Area
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Northwest corner of Bexar County
For something a bit closer to home, try Government Canyon State Natural Area. With almost 9,000 acres of diverse terrain, this park is perfect for anyone looking for an off-road adventure. Whether you’re into mountain biking or wildlife viewing, there’s something here for everyone. Plus, the views of the canyon walls are breathtaking!
Hiker’s paradise. Over 40 miles of hiking and biking trails meander through rugged canyons and rolling grasslands. This is designated a Natural Area rather than a State Park; the primary focus is on the maintenance and protection of the property’s natural state. Open Friday through Monday only.
Bastrop State Park
Bastrop State Park is slowly recovering from the 2011 wildfire, the most destructive in state history. Over 90 percent of the park was affected, although firefighters were able to save the historic cabins. Most trails, campsites, and facilities have reopened to the public. If your kids love dinosaurs, stop by Dinosaur Park in Cedar Creek (about 12 miles west of Bastrop on Hwy 71).
Blanco State Park
A small but beautiful park just a short walk from Blanco’s historic downtown. On the third Saturday in May each year, Blanco State Park is transformed as the Blanco Classic Car Show brings immaculately restored vehicles to the grassy banks of the Blanco River.
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
north of Fredericksburg, TX
Definitely plan to visit in cooler weather. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area gets unbearably HOT during South Texas summers. . . and no shade to be found. The “rock” is actually a huge monolith of rare pink granite that rises 425 feet above the ground and covers 640 acres. The Tonkawa Indians and early settlers believed the rock to be enchanted because of the noise it makes (caused by temperature changes that make the granite expand and contract). Many visitors make the (strenuous!) trek to the top of the rock for the spectacular view.
Garner State Park
Next, we have Garner State Park located near Uvalde. Here you’ll find everything from picnicking to swimming and tubing. The Frio River runs through the park and provides much-needed relief to visitors who don’t mind getting wet! There are also nature trails for those who prefer to stay dry. Be sure to check out the gorgeous Frio Bat Cave while you’re there for some amazing sights and sounds.
One of the state’s largest and most popular parks with lots to do: swimming, tubing, paddleboat and kayak rental, hiking, fishing, summer jukebox dances for teens, and miniature golf. The park often fills by noon during peak season.
Guadalupe River State Park
Spring Branch, TX
Visitors have access to the Guadalupe River and about 4 miles of riverfront to explore and enjoy – great for swimming, tubing, and canoeing. The park’s Children’s Discovery Center invites kids to take a closer look at nature using scientific tools like magnifying glasses, microscopes, and binoculars. Inside the Center, kids can try out exhibits, explore themed discovery boxes, and then check out a free backpack of tools they can use as they explore the park for themselves. Guadalupe River State Park recently opened a 5.3-mile equestrian trail that is also open to mountain bikers.
Hill Country State Natural Area
Recreational activity centers around 40 miles of trails that wind up grassy valleys, cross spring-fed streams, and climb steep limestone hills. Equestrians, hikers, and mountain bikers can all enjoy exploring the trails at Hill Country State Natural Area .
Inks Lake State Park
Th popular Inks Lake State Park fills up fast on nice weekends so get there early. Since Inks Lake stays at a constant level, droughts do not affect water-related activities such as lake swimming, boating, water skiing, scuba diving, and fishing.
LBJ State Park and Historic Site
LBJ State Park and Historic Site is a ice destination for families with younger kids – nothing too rugged here. The Visitor Center contains memorabilia from President Johnson’s presidency and interactive displays about the land and people that shaped the president. A gentle nature trail, including a Hill Country botanical exhibit, winds past wildlife enclosures stocked with bison, white-tailed deer, wild turkey, other native wildlife, and longhorn cattle. East of the Visitor Center (off the nature trail) is the Sauer-Beckmann Farmstead, a living history farm showing rural life as it was in 1915. Park interpreters wear period clothing, do the farm and household chores as they were done at that time, and also conduct tours for the visitors. Directly across the Pedernales River from the LBJ State Park is the LBJ Ranch, part of the LBJ National Historic Park.
Lockhart State Park
Lockhart State Park is a small but well-maintained park with a swimming pool and a 9-hole golf course. Lockhart is home to several of the state’s top-rated BBQ restaurants.
Longhorn Cavern State Park
Located off of Highway 29 between Burnet and Llano, this cave has huge rooms and a fascinating history. Longhorn Cavern State Park has several short but beautiful hiking trails. Click here for more info on cavern tours.
Lost Maples State Natural Area
Located just two hours west of San Antonio, Lost Maples State Natural Area has over 10 miles of trails for all levels of hikers. You can explore limestone canyons lined with the Sabinal River, sunlit meadows of wildflowers, and ancient rock formations. Not to mention the shimmering maple trees found throughout the area – hence its name! Spend an afternoon stargazing from the banks of the river or take a leisurely stroll through the park’s many scenic paths.
Crowds flock here in the fall when weather conditions are favorable for spectacular color. Get to the park by 9 a.m. during peak season (especially on weekends). Those arriving in the afternoon may face LONG lines. People are turned away once park capacity is reached. Peak foliage viewing is during the last two weeks of October through the first two weeks of November. From October through November, you can get the Lost Maples Fall Foliage Report from TPWD to keep track of how the fall color is progressing. The foliage report is updated each Thursday.
Palmetto State Park
Gonzales County southeast of Luling, TX
Palmetto State Park is unique and highly recommended! The dwarf palmettos, woody vines, and swampy marshes give this spectacular park a lush, jungle-like atmosphere. Trails are leisurely and wind through changing scenery. Look for hedge apples (if you know what they are) and the wide variety of butterflies and birds. See the park on YouTube. While you’re in the area, stop at City Market in Luling for out-of-this-world BBQ. Great day trip from San Antonio!
Pedernales Falls State Park
Johnson City, TX