Located near Rockport, Texas, Goose Island State Park is a veritable natural oasis unlike any other in the state. You can take your RV and park almost right on the shore of Aransas Bay year-round, although the busiest months are between early May and late September. Visitors to Goose Island Park can enjoy fishing, hiking, and educational programs. If you are bringing your family in your RV you will love playing on the playground, boating on the lake, biking, and watching wildlife, in addition to beach-side camping. There are even fish cleaning stations for you to clean off the catch of the day.
Don't forget to check out one of the oldest trees around, known as "Big Tree," before retiring into your RV for a night of peaceful sleeping to the sounds of waves crashing. Goose Island State Park offers both premium and basic campsites and that are suitable for the whole family, even the dog. Just be sure to purchase your Texas State Park Pass before heading into the park if you want to avoid the daily entrance fee. However, if you forget to purchase your Parks Pass, children 12-years-old and under get in free.
RV Rentals in Goose Island State Park
Transportation in Goose Island State Park
The park itself is fairly easy to find, located just 10 miles northeast of Rockport, Texas. However, the roads within the park are a little narrow and visitors have reported some low-hanging branches, but this is bound to change depending on when you go. But if you take it slow you shouldn't have any problems, even in your RV. The campsites themselves are plenty spacious and shouldn't pose any problems when parking your RV.
Once you get your RV all hooked up there really isn't a need for a secondary car while you're staying at Goose Island State Park since the park is fairly small and the trails will take you everywhere you need to go. But if you plan on going back and forth between the mainland and the island, a lot a secondary car may be helpful. Several parking lots are available throughout the park, both near each campground and the beach. So if you do bring an extra car, parking shouldn't be a problem. It's also easy to get around on foot or bike since most of the trails are paved and easy to follow.
Campgrounds and parking in Goose Island State Park
Campsites in Goose Island State Park
Port Lavaca / Matagorda Bay KOA
The modern Port Lavaca/Matagorda KOA campground is located on the waterfront of the Texas Central Coast midway between Corpus and Galveston. Animal lovers will enjoy visiting the Port Lavaca Bird Sanctuary and the Texas Zoo. Sites include full hookups with electric, water, sewer and Wi-Fi. Picnic tables, fire pits, and grills are available at select sites. The campground features restrooms and hot showers, laundry facilities, fishing (bait available) and a fish cleaning table, a store, vending machines, a playground, a horseshoe pit and a dog walk.
Standard Campsites at the Wooded Area Campground
Standard campsites, located in the wooded area are available with reservations, with water and electricity hookups and nearby restrooms. Visitors love that these campsites are more spacious than the ones in the Bayfront Area and are more secluded from other lots by the dense trees. As far as RV camping goes, if you did not make a reservation you still have a chance of getting a campsite, although not in the prime real estate area. You'll have access to a picnic table, grill, and fire ring at your site.
If you aren't in an RV, 25 basic tent-only campsites are available, with picnic tables, grills, and fire rings in each. A maintenance area is also available near the wooded area campsites in case something acts up. This is a nice amenity that many parks do not offer, but it's nice to have it there in case you need it.
Premium Sites at the Bayfront Campground
The campsites, even the premium ones by the bay with water and electricity, are reasonably priced and available on a first-come, first-served basis. 44 premium campsites are available along the shore, with water and electricity hookups. You can cook up delicious grub at the fire ring or grill and sit down for a relaxing meal at the picnic table right at your campsite. Restrooms are a short walk away.
The campsites offer unparalleled views of the beach and local wildlife. Just sitting at your site you're likely to see many shorebirds. Many visitors prefer the Bayfront campsites to the ones in the wooded area, just because of how relaxing and beautiful they are, while others prefer them because you can fish right there at your campsite.
An overflow campsite lot is also available on a first-come first-served basis and is only open to campers with self-contained units such as RVs and campers.
Seasonal activities in Goose Island State Park
If the beach is busy, or you're more of a wood-lover, be sure to check out the several miles of trails throughout Goose Island State Park. The trails are easy to navigate and mostly paved, which provide a great way for the whole family to walk around in nature observe the native wildlife. However, there are also unpaved trails that throw you a little deeper into nature but aren't too hard for beginners, such as the half-mile Turks Cap Trail. Once you park your camper, it's easy to get out on the trail.
The waters of the bay are overflowing with marine life, providing the perfect setting for fishers young and old. If you have a bayfront site, you can fish right from your campsite, but if you don't, the fishing pier is really long, so there's plenty of room for several people and it usually isn't too crowded. You can bring your own gear in your rig or rent gear from the nearby tackle loaner site. You can expect to catch flounder, redfish, and speckled trout, among other sea creatures.
Kayaking and Canoeing
If you have a kayak, or canoe for that matter, make sure to bring it with you to Goose Island State Park. With a canoe and kayak launch area that operates all day, you'll have plenty of opportunities to hit the open waters and enjoy an afternoon of kayaking on the bay. While kayaking, you not only get a great low-impact cardio workout but also killer views and a peaceful state of mind.
Attending Nature Walks
Guided nature walks are available year round and are a great way to learn more about the wildlife on Goose Island. The guided walks mostly focus on the various species of birds. With over 300 species of birds confirmed to be living in Goose Island State Park, there's always something new to learn. The walks are suitable for the whole family, since there's no terrain that is too rough for kids and the adults will likely find the information interesting as well.
Visiting "Big Tree"
Perhaps Goose Island State Parks biggest celebrity, "Big Tree" is exactly what it sounds like, a big tree. Visitors come from all over the country to see "Big Tree," whose roots have been in the ground for over 1,000 years. Its thick trunk and winding branches are unique to "Big Tree" and whimsical enough to leave you in awe, definitely something you won't want to miss. So don't leave the park in your RV without making a special stop at "Big Tree."
A roofed picnic area is available near the shore of St. Charles Bay. It's a great place to enjoy a meal with your family while catching views of the bay. You will probably see lots of birds as well, just be sure not to feed them and to always clean up after yourself at the picnic area. The picnic area is available on a first-come, first-served basis, so you don't have to worry about it being booked up during your entire visit.