Texas Recreation Parks



Anahuac (Chambers County)

Fort Anahuac Park

Atop some scattered traces of the historical remains of Fort Anahuac (combination Mexican fort
and customhouse before the Texas Revolution located near
Galveston Bay near the mouth of the Trinity River; built about
1831 by Mexican prisoners; in preliminary battle to the
Revolution, fort was captured by William B. Travis who would
later command the Alamo garrison) park offers picnicking,
camping, rest rooms and boat ramp. Located at 5 Main Street on
Trinity Bay.

Anahuac (Chambers County)

Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge

More than 40 species of birds nest in
over 24,000-acre marshland on East Bay, about 18 miles
southeast. Managed primarily for wintering and migrating
waterfowl, the threatened American alligator is also found in
the refuge. Bird checklist has 253 species listed. Refuge
activities include wildlife observation, birding, photography,
waterfowl hunting, fishing and crabbing. Overnight camping is
very limited, by location and duration. Contact refuge
headquarters for directions or information.

(409) 267-3337



Bastrop (Bastrop County)

Bastrop State Park

3550 acres of quiet, rolling parkland
shaded by the strange and unexpected “Lost Pines” – an
isolated area of stately pine trees far from the vast piney
woods of East Texas. Camping and group camp facilities,
cabins, trailer sites, picnicking, fishing, swimming, golf,
nature study and hiking all available. One mile east of
intersection of Texas 21/71. Scenic Park Road 1 connects with
Buescher State Park 15 miles to east (see Smithville).

Bastrop (Bastrop County)

Historic Iron Bridge

Crossing has been converted to a park
with picnic facilities, benches and walkways that grant views
of the Colorado River.

Bastrop (Bastrop County)

McKinney Roughs LCRA Preserve

1100-acre nature preserve with hiking and
equestrian trails along the Colorado River between Bastrop and
Austin. Preserve contains more than 1.5 miles of riverbank,
three large box canyons and four ecosystems. Nine miles of
walking and horseback trails including one mile that is
wheelchair accessible. Environmental Learning Center located
in the park is open for educational use. Located 8 miles west
of Bastrop at 1884 Texas 71 West. Admission.

8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, Sundays 1-5 p.m.

(512) 303-5073

Bay City (Matagorda County)

Riverside Park and Rio Colorado Golf Course

On the bank of the Colorado River, park
features 40 campsites with full-service RV hookups. Facilities
include jogging trail with 10-station exercise course, boat
ramp, day pavilion, and fishing. Adjacent is golf course
designed by PGA member Gary Player. From Bay City take Texas
60 south to FM 2668. Right on FM 2668 and park is two miles
west on the right.

(979) 244-2955

Baytown (Harris County)

Baytown Nature Preserve

Located on the western edge of town,
400-acre park is a quiet preserve, home to hundreds of birds
and animals year-round. On the Great Texas Birding Trail which
extends from the Texas-Louisiana border down to Brownsville.

Baytown (Harris County)

Goose Creek Stream Greenbelt

City development has been heavily along
Goose Creek Stream. Much of the shoreline is preserved as a
greenbelt park. Visitors can enjoy a birding overlook,
pavilion, bike and pedestrian trails, canoe launches and other
water activities.

Beeville (Bee County)

Veterans Memorial Park

200-acre park features picnicking,
playground, pavilions, and 9-hole golf course. Located off FM
351 north of US 59.

Brazosport Area in Brazoria County

(Angleton, Brazoria, Clute, Freeport, Jones Creek, Lake
Jackson, Oyster Creek, Quintana Beach, Richwood, Surfside
Beach and West Columbia)

Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge

on more than 42,000 acres on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway,
the refuge is a nesting area for mottled ducks and ancestral
wintering grounds for snow geese. Access by boat for fishing,
crabbing, oystering (permitted in public waters), and
waterfowl hunting in specified area. Six-mile self-guided auto
tour and hiking trail. Before visiting, contact refuge
headquarters in Angleton.

Open first full weekend of each month


Brazosport Area (Brazoria County)

Bryan Beach State Recreation Area

On the Gulf of Mexico, Intracoastal Waterway and Brazos River.
Activities include primitive camping, fishing and beach
recreation. From Angleton, southwest 2 miles on FM 1495 then 3
miles south on Gulf Beach.

Brazosport Area (Brazoria County)

Quintana Beach County Park

Exceptional recreational facilities on a picturesque island. Day-use
facilities include paved, off-beach parking, shaded
pavilions, multi-level fishing pier, playground, restroom with
showers. Elevated boardwalks allow wheelchair access to
day-use facilities. RV facilities include 56 camping sites
with full hookups and dump station. RV bathhouse with rest
rooms, showers and laundry facility. Reservations accepted for
camping. From Texas 288 in Freeport, take FM 1495 south 1.7
miles then County Road 723 east three miles to park entrance.


Brazosport Area (Brazoria County)

San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge

Snow and blue geese winter in this 24,000-acre refuge between Cedar
Lake Creek and the San Bernard River on the Intracoastal
Waterway. Bird list for refuge includes nearly 250 species,
including herons, egrets, ibis, gulls and mottled ducks. For
information about access, hunting and fishing, contact
Brazoria Wildlife Refuge headquarters in Angleton.

Open daily sunrise to sunset


Brazosport Area/Lake Jackson (Brazoria County)

Sea Center Texas

marine development, aquarium, education center was developed
through a partnership between the Texas Parks and Wildlife
Department, Dow North America and the Gulf Coast Conservation
Association. Marine fisheries center has hatchery with
capacity to produce 20 million fingerlings each year,
primarily red drum and spotted sea trout, for release into
Texas coastal waters. Center has 24-foot touch tank for
visitors to interact with certain fish and animals. Two
2,500-gallon aquariums and two 5,000-gallon aquariums and one
52,000-gallon aquarium allow visitors to see native fish. In
Lake Jackson, at intersection of Plantation and Medical

9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, Saturdays 10 a.m.
to 5 p.m. and Sundays 1-4 p.m.
Hatchery tours by reservation only.

(979) 292-0010

Brazosport Area (Brazoria County)

Surfside Beach

community is southeast of Freeport right on the Texas coast.
Swimming, sailing, surf fishing, shell collecting and camping

highlight the recreation activities here.
Numerous cottages are available to rent in this

Brazosport Area (Brazoria County)

Wilderness Park

482-acre municipal park is bordered by Buffalo Camp Bayou and the
Brazos River. Interpretive quarter-mile nature loop, 4-mile
hiking trail with Brazos River views. Wildlife in the area
includes deer, wild pigs and alligators (along the Brazos).
Picnicking, fishing and hiking. Located on Texas 332,
one mile west of Lake Jackson.

Brookshire (Waller County)

Lilypons Water Gardens

nursery and water gardening specialist with 13 and ˝ acres of
blooming water lilies, lotus and other plants. Over 20 ponds
are on display with koi and other exotic goldfish. Annual
events include the Lotus Blossom Festival (June) and the Koi
Festival (September). Located just south of I-10 at 839 FM

Open daily 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. from March to
October, open 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday from
November to February



Clear Lake (Galveston

Kemah Boardwalk

along the Boardwalk as you watch boats ply along the Galveston
Bay. Features several themed restaurants, retail and specialty
shops, hotel, water garden and specialty aquarium restaurant
featuring a 50,000-gallon tank of tropical fish. Amusement
rides and a midway. From I-45 take NASA Road One east to Texas
146. South on Texas 146 to Kemah. Admission.

Cleveland (Liberty

Hilltop Herb Farm

2000 varieties of herbs from throughout the world are grown in
the garden. Frequent workshops and lectures. Chain-O-Lakes
Resort restaurant on site (reservations required). Farm,
shops, greenhouse and garden open year round. Restaurant
schedule is modified for winter. Located 16 miles east on FM

592-5859 for information and restaurant reservations.

Cleveland (Liberty

Lone Star Hiking Trail

Bayou/Tarkington Creek Section begins on FM 1725 northwest of
Cleveland and winds 140 miles in its entirety through portions
of Sam Houston National Forest, including Big Creek Scenic
Area, to trailhead at FM 945 about 4 miles northwest of

Open year round.



Eagle Lake (Colorado

Attwater Prairie Chicken Refuge

for Attwater, or coastal, prairie chicken covers nearly 9000
acres near San Bernard River. Refuge has been vital in
reversing the rate of decline for this species that once
numbered in the hundreds of thousands. Special tours can be
arranged during the annual Attwater’s Prairie Chicken
Festival in late March/early April by contacting the Eagle
Lake Chamber of Commerce.


Edna (Jackson County)

Lake Texana State Park

acres on Lake Texana offer water-oriented recreation including
boating, water-skiing, fishing and swimming. Picnic facilities
and camping sites with water and electrical hookups, rest
rooms and showers. Boat ramp. Located 6.5 miles east of Edna
on Texas 111 South. Admission.

Brackenridge Plantation Park
& Campground (link with www.LNRA.org) located
just across road from state park – same info.  Has historic church (see above),
historic cemetery (you have listed under cemeteries), historic walking trail,
nature trail, fishing piers, playground, store, hike & bike trail, marina, over
100 campsites, 9000 sq. ft. recreation center, and more. 361-782-5249.


Galveston (Galveston

Galveston Island Beach

miles of sand beach within the city. Edged by hotels, condos,

restaurants and amusement attractions. Camping is permitted in
designated areas (also see Galveston Island State Park below).
Parking fees are charged at certain recreations areas; free
parking available elsewhere along the beachfront.

Galveston (Galveston

Galveston Island State Park

the island from Gulf to bay, this 1935-acre state park
includes much salt marsh, rich in bird life. Viewing is
facilitated by elevated boardwalks and observation platforms.
Campsites with hookups, dump station, screened shelters, rest
rooms and showers. Picnicking, fishing, swimming and nature
trail. Outdoor musicals presented Mondays through Saturdays
from early June to late August. Located six miles south on FM
3005 at 13 Mile Road. Admission.

Galveston (Galveston

Garten Verein

structure built around 1870, still in use as a city recreation
building. Victorian accents evident in trim of two picturesque
roof levels. City park located at 27th Street and
Avenue O.

Galveston (Galveston

Moody Gardens

project of the Moody Foundation, in eight phases. Currently
existing are: Aquarium Pyramid where visitors can view ocean
habitats in unique displays, Rainforest Pyramid representing
rain forests of Asia, Africa and South America. Exhibits
feature butterflies among waterfalls and cliffs, Mayan
Colonnade, and a changing array of tropical plants. Also pools
of tropical fish, quiet ponds with wading birds and a Bat
Cave. Discovery Pyramid brings the wonders of space to
visitors. Includes three IMAX Ride film Theaters, offering
visitors a motion-based space film experience in which they
strap in and ride across the cosmos. IMAX Theater /Visitors
Center projects 3D films on a 6-story screen. Also, Palm
Beach, Texas’ only white sand beach with freshwater swimming
and other water recreation. Admission.

10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, Fridays and
Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. During summer, every day
hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Gonzales (Gonzales

Independence Park

area on the banks of the Guadalupe River with picnic
facilities, camping area with hookups, golf course and tennis
courts, athletic fields. Located on US 183 South.

 Gonzales (Gonzales

Noah’s Land of Texas

through 275 acres with more than 110 species of rare and
exotic animals from throughout the world roam on Central Texas
grasslands. Visitors can see ostrich, waterbuck, aoudad sheep,
addax antelope, llamas, wildebeest and more. Located 17 miles
northeast of Gonzales on Texas 304 (5.5 miles north of I-10).

Open daily 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Gonzales (Gonzales

Palmetto State Park

special interest to botanists because of the large variety of
plant life, 178-acre park allows tent and trailer camping.
Supports swimming, fishing, picnicking, nature study and
hiking. Located ten miles north of Gonzales via US 183 and FM
1586 to Park Road 11. Admission.


Houston (Harris County)

Houston Arboretum and Nature Center

155-acre nature sanctuary with over five miles of walking trails
winding through woodlands, ponds, and a demonstration meadow.
Interpretive Center contains Discovery Room with interactive
exhibits, aquariums, touch screen monitors and a 15-foot tall
tree model. Located 4 miles west of downtown Houston at 4501 Woodway

Grounds open daily at 8:30 a.m.
Building hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Discovery Room open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday to

(713) 681-8433

Houston (Harris County)

Houston Garden Center

Garden trails, rose garden and more. Located on the north edge of
Hermann Park at 1500 Hermann Drive.

8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
during summer), 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and
holidays (10 a.m. to 8 p.m. during summer)

Houston (Harris County)

Oil Ranch

Day ranch activities include pony rides, hayrides, petting zoo,
picnicking, swimming and more. Located 30 miles northwest of
downtown on US 290. Reservations recommended. Admission.

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday, Saturday 10 a.m. to
5 p.m.   Sunday hours are seasonal.

(281) 859-1616

Houston (Harris County)

The Reef

20-acre spring-fed lake and water-based family park offering
facilities for scuba diving, swimming, fishing,
kayaking/canoeing, picnicking and more. Located at 4800
Schurmier Road. Admission.

May 15 – September 15, open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday
to Friday, weekends from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
September 16 – May 14, open weekends 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

(713) 991-3483

Houston (Harris County)

Houston Zoological Gardens

One of the most unusual zoos in the U.S., features Tropical Bird
House resembling an Asian jungle with over 200 exotic birds
flying freely through an aviary rain forest; hippo-dome; large
cat facility with rare white tigers; Wortham World of Primates
(a 2.2-acre rain forest and natural habitat). Located in
Hermann Park.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday

Houston (Harris County)

Japanese Garden

Designed by world-renowned Japanese landscape architect Ken Nakajima,
includes Yukimi Stone Lantern, Azumaya (Tea House) and
waterfalls amid winding paths and lush exotic plants. Located
in Hermann Park.

Hours: open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.


Independence (Washington County)

Old Baylor Park

Site of campus of Old Baylor University. Ruins of the university,
birthplace of Baylor University and Mary Hardin-Baylor, are
marked by four large stone pillars that mark the site of the
administration and classroom building. Park also contains
relocated and restored original home of John P. Coles (open by
appointment). Picnic facilities. Half-mile west of
Independence on FM 390.

Independence (Washington County)

Scenic Drive

FM 390 east and west of Independence offers attractive scenery and
exceptional vistas (parts of FM 390 follow the La Bahia trail
and also the designated driving trail for Texas
Independence Trail Region). Especially colorful mid-April
during bluebonnet season.


La Grange (Fayette County)

Monument Hill/Kreische Brewery State Historic Site

Historic site (also listed under historical sites/museums) also offers
self-guided nature trail, picnic sites, playground. Located
two miles south of La Grange off US 77, Spur 92.

Hours: daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

(979) 968-5658

La Grange (Fayette County)

Scenic Drives

US 77 south to FM 2346 to Hostyn (visit Holy Rosary Catholic Church
to see Hostyn Grotto); First Texas highway roadside park is
located 10 miles west of La Grange on Texas 71; Scenic
overlook of the Colorado River Valley.

Lake Jackson (Brazoria County)

Wilderness Park

482-acre municipal park is bordered by Buffalo Camp Bayou and the
Brazos River. Interpretive nature loop and 4-mile hiking trail
with Brazos River views. Picnicking, fishing and hiking.
Located on Texas 332, one mile west of Lake Jackson.

La Porte (Galveston County)

Sylvan Beach Park

32-acre county park includes modern air-conditioned pavilion that
overlooks Galveston Bay. Fishing pier, boat launch, playground
and picnic area.

Lockhart (Caldwell

Lockhart State Park

257 acres feature swimming, fishing, picnicking and a 9-hole golf
course. Rustic recreation hall overlooking picturesque valley.
Campsites, RV and trailer facilities. Located 4 miles
southwest of Lockhart via US 183 and FM 20.

(512) 398-3479

Luling (Caldwell County)

Palmetto State Park

Rare botanical garden, and a near-tropical profusion of plants,
include wide variety with many found nowhere else in the
southwest. On the San Marcos River, the 178-acre park is used
as a field laboratory by many Texas universities. Tent and
trailer camping,, swimming, fishing, picnicking, hiking,
nature displays. Located 7 miles south of Luling on US 183,
Park Road 11.


Palacios (Matagorda County)

Marine Fisheries Research Station

A facility designed to study the adaptability of saltwater species to
freshwater. Tours of interest to those with knowledge of
marine biology (appointments advised). Located 7.5 miles west
of Palacios on Texas 35, south 5.5 miles on WellPoint Road.

Port Lavaca (Calhoun County)

Indianola County Historic Park

Site of old Indianola (see historic sites listing) offers
picnicking, fishing, boat ramp, camping (with hookups).
Located 13 miles southeast of Port Lavaca via Texas 236 and

Port Lavaca (Calhoun County)

Lighthouse Beach and Bird Sanctuary

Beautiful sandy beach with waterfront camping sites, also swimming pool
and playgrounds. Formosa Wetland Walkway and Alcoa Bird Tower,
made completely out of recycled plastic, provide great access
for visitors and birders.

Port Lavaca (Calhoun County)

Port Lavaca Causeway State Recreation Park

Old highway causeway (replaced by modern span) is now a popular
lighted fishing pier, extending over 3000 feet in Lavaca Bay.
Swimming, boating as well. Snack bar and bait stand at park.
Port Lavaca City Park at base of the pier has boat ramp,
picnicking, and RV facilities. Alongside Texas 35 causeway.

Port O’Connor (Calhoun County)

Matagorda Island State Park and Wildlife Management Area

in 1942, a portion of Matagorda Island was used for practice
bombing by the US Air Force for several years. Now, returned
to its natural state, the 7325-acre area is a nature park for
migratory water fowl and deer. Primitive beach campsites,
dockside campsites, pit toilets and outdoor showers.
Picnicking, camping, fishing, boating, swimming, beachcombing,
nature study (birding very popular). Among the most-noted
birds that migrate to the island are whooping cranes. Located
7 miles south of Port O’Connor, park is separated from the
mainland by Espirito Santo and San Antonio Bays. Accessible
only by charter or private boat.


Richmond-Rosenberg (Fort Bend County)

Brazos Bend State Park

4897 acres of Gulf Coast Plain includes Brazos River bottomlands
and beautiful live-oak woodlands draped by wild grapevines
and Spanish moss. Abundant wildlife includes white-tailed
deer, coyotes, Russian boar, migratory waterfowl, shore and
wading birds, and a large population of American alligator.
Tent and RV camping, picnic sites, screened shelters,
restrooms/showers, dump station. Fishing pier, hike and bike
trails, wildlife observation platforms. Within the park, the George
Observatory features a
36-inch telescope. Saturday nights it is open to the public
for star-gazing. Located 20 miles south of Richmond-Rosenberg
via FM 762.


San Antonio (Bexar County)

Botanical Garden

33 acres of formal gardens, pools, fountains and natural areas.
Includes Native Texas area, South Central Xeriscape area,
Endangered Species Project, Formal Gardens, Biblical Garden,
Garden for the Blind, Japanese Garden and Children’s Garden.
On-site is the Lucile Halsell Conservatory, a 90,000-square-foot complex of below-ground greenhouses using
the earth’s insulation to limit exposure to the elements.
Located at 555 Funston (just north of Fort Sam Houston).

open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. from March to October;
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from November to February


San Antonio (Bexar County)

Brackenridge Park

Includes  rustic stone bridges and winding walks, gleaming pools and a
Japanese Tea Garden. Aerial Skyride, picnic locations, bridle
paths. Located adjacent to the San Antonio Zoo at 3903 N. St.

San Antonio (Bexar

Friedrich Wilderness Park

Operated by the city as a nature preserve. Nesting habitat for
black-capped vireo and golden-cheeked warbler. Five miles of
hiking trails. Take I-10 west to Camp Bullis exit, west on
frontage road to park.

8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday


San Antonio (Bexar County)

HemisFair Park

Site of 1968 Texas World’s Fair, now is a focal point of downtown
recreation. The 750-foot Tower of the Americas offers two
sky-high dining levels (lunch and dinner), plus an observation
deck with a panoramic view of the city. Water garden around
the Tower features flowing waterfalls, walkways, wading ponds,
and observation decks.

San Antonio (Bexar County)

River Walk

the busy streets of downtown, the Paseo del Rio meanders
several miles through midtown beneath giant cypress trees and
palms. Edged by popular hotels, art and gift shops, boutiques
and restaurants, the River Walk is accessed by several
downtown streets.

San Antonio (Bexar County)

San Antonio Zoo

One of
the top zoos in North America, features endangered species
like the whooping crane, snow leopard, and white rhino.
Natural habitats have been created by the tree-lined San
Antonio River and limestone cliffs of an old rock quarry. Near
downtown at 3903 N. St. Mary’s.

open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (until 6 p.m. June-August)

San Felipe (Austin County)

Stephen F. Austin State Park

park has both historical and recreational components (see
historical sites listings). Recreational portion features
picnic, camping and trailer sites, group recreational hall
with kitchen facilities, screened shelters and golf course.
Also nature trail and fishing in the Brazos River. Located
just north of San Felipe on Park Road 38.

Sealy (Austin County)

Scenic Drive

36 north from I-10 in the spring is a vibrant
bluebonnet/wildflower drive. Passes over several hills and
valleys in farm country, surrounded by cedar and oak trees.

Seguin (Guadalupe County)

Max Starcke Park

municipal park featuring golf course, pool and picnic area.
River Drive along the Guadalupe River takes you beneath
towering oak and pecan trees. Located at the Guadalupe River
off Texas 123 south.

Seguin (Guadalupe County)

Walnut Springs Memorial Rose Garden

the town’s formation and early history. Located at the
corner of Donegan and Travis Streets. Rose bushes trace the
old stagecoach route to Walnut Springs (original name of

Shiner (Lavaca County)

Wellhausen Park

a city block with facilities including a quaint gazebo and

Shiner (Lavaca County)

Green-Dickson Municipal Park

RV campsites, picnic area and recreational fields and courts.

open daily from 6 a.m. to 11:45 p.m.


Smithville (Bastrop

Buescher State Park

scenic acres in the “Lost Pines” region, features camping,
shelters (trailers permitted), picnicking, fishing on Lake
Buescher, nature study and hiking. Located three miles north
of Smithville via Texas 71/95, FM 2104. Of note, scenic Park
Road 1 connects this park with Bastrop State Park, located 15
miles to the west.


Texas City – La Marque
(Galveston County)

Texas City Dike and Marina

extends five miles into Galveston Bay with 600-foot fishing
pier beyond the tip of the dike. Pier offers deepest water for
pier fishing in the state. Also at site, beach, boat launch,
bait, camping and some motel accommodations.

Tomball (Harris County)

Juergens Park and Matheson Park

17 acres, these parks provide recreational fields/courts,
picnic areas and walking/jogging path.

Tomball (Harris County)

Burroughs Park

county park features an open-air pavilion, boardwalk and
observation deck overlooking spring-fed lake. Also
playgrounds, ball fields and picnic facilities.
Located at 9738 Huf Smith.


Victoria (Victoria

Riverside Park

acres of woodland bordered by the Guadalupe River feature many
picnic areas and playgrounds along with 27-hole golf course.

Victoria (Victoria

The Texas Zoo

the national zoo of Texas by the Texas Legislature, this zoo
is devoted exclusively to native species. Displays establish a
natural environment with no cages. Located inside Riverside

open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (from May to
September, open until 7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays)



Washington (Washington

Washington-on-the-Brazos State
Historical Park

historical sites listings. Park is also open for day-use
activities such as hiking and picnicking. No overnight.

West Columbia (Brazoria

Varner-Hogg Plantation State
Historical Park

historical sites listings. Park offers picnic sites on the
landscaped grounds