Garner State Park Overview:
Review and Rating of Garner State Park
This review of Garner State Park will give you some of the reason why Texas Outside likes this Park. Garner State Park is located in some of the prettiest Hill Country in Texas about 7 miles north of Concan. The Park opened in 1941 making it one of the oldest Parks in Texas and it was named after John Nance Garner ("Cactus Jack") of Uvalde, who served as vice president of the United States from 1933-41. A number of the Parks original features were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corp.
Garner State Park is 1,419 acres and one of the main attractions of the Park is the 10 acres of waterfront along the Frio River for swimming, fishing, or just sitting in the water. One of the traditions at the Park since it opened has been the dancing on the only CCC constructed dance pavilion in a State Park. When the Park opened, live bands would play to a packed floor of dancers in the beautiful native limestone and cypress pavilion. In later years, a juke box replaced the live bands but the dances still continue.
The Park is clean and well maintained and is very popular during the summer months.
Amenities and Fun Things To Do:
Garner State Park has seven different camping areas that are a mixture of water and electric sites, sites with water and 50 AMP electric, and some with water only - 211 sites with electricity and 124 that are water only. There are also premium sites which are the closest to the river, screened shelters, a group camping area that will accommodate 40 people, and a limited number of cabins. Most of the sites are side by side, under a canopy of trees (some are open), and level - some sites may be a little short for the really big rigs. Hookups are fairly convenient and most sites have a picnic table, fire pit, BBQ grill, and lantern holder.
There are 4 cabins without a fireplace and 13 with a fireplace that are available for rent. Each of the cabins will sleep 4 and they have: electric wall heaters, bathroom sink, toilet, shower, and kitchen facilities but utensils, dishes, linens, blankets, and towels are not provided.
The main attraction at Garner State Park is the Frio River which is perfect for swimming, picnicking, canoeing, tubing, fishing, or giving the rope swing a try. A small dam creates a natural swimming hole. Paddle boats and kayaks are available for rent in the park during the summer.
Some of the other amenities and things to do in the Park include:
- several miles of biking and hiking trails that range from moderate to strenuous
- miniature golf
- short nature trail
- several dump stations
- restrooms and showers
- several day use and picnic areas
- small grocery store and laundry facilities
- dining hall for rent for group activities
A Typical Texas Outsider Day:
When we stayed here we spent most of one day enjoying the Frio River. We also hiked up to the scenic overlook and mountain biked around the campground and on one of the trails.
On one trip we camped at Garner State Park after attending the Frio River Song Fest which is an annual event with some great music by talented Texas singer songwriters. Here is a link to our review of the Frio River Song Festival.
And if we stay here, we've got to play The Club at Concan Golf Course which is an excellent 18 holes of golf - read our review of The Club at Concan Golf Course to learn more.
Cool Nearby Activities:
Garner State Park is located in a beautiful part of the Texas Hill Country and as such, just driving some of the local roads is very enjoyable. Some of the other fun things to see and do include:
- Maples State Natural Area
- Devil's Sinkhole State Natural Area
- Kickapoo Cavern State Park.
- John Nance "Cactus Jack" Garner Museum in Uvalde
- the ruins of historic Mission Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria del Cañon
- Camp Sabinal which is a U.S. Cavalry post and later became a Texas Ranger camp
- Fort Inge established in 1849
- Overall Rating:
- Scenic Beauty:
- Things To Do:
Additional Pictures of Garner State Park
Texas Outside uses a tough rating scale and it’s difficult for a campground to get a “10”. Each park is rated on:
- Scenic Beauty: a campground that is flat with no trees or character gets a “1” and hills, lots of trees, beautiful lake site, and lush ground cover gets a “10”
- Park Condition: the cleaner, well kept, and maintained campgrounds receive high scores
- Amenities: we are looking for lots of amenities like restrooms, dump stations, playgrounds, boat ramps, shelters, concession stand, rental toys, and more.
- Campsites: low scores are given for sites that are right next to each other (good for getting to know your neighbors, but not what we’re looking for when we’re camping); have no lantern holder, no water or electricity, no fire pit, no grill, or no picnic table (or it’s rotten wood); have no trees and no view; the ground cover is crushed rock (my bare feet hate that stuff!); and they require a lot of work to get your rig level.
- Things To Do: Bonus points are given for campgrounds that offer lots of fun things to do at the park or very nearby – this includes: biking, hiking, climbing, boating, entertainment, golf, swimming, fishing, volleyball, horseshoes, and more