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Searching for a taste of the tropics in central Texas? Palmetto State Park, located 12 miles northwest of Gonzales, could be just what you're looking for.
Named after the dwarf palmettos which grow in the area, the park straddles the San Marcos River and offers a beautiful oasis for campers and visitors. Spend a few days here and you can canoe in the river, go fishing in Oxbow Lake, hike trails through a jungle-like landscape, and marvel at a variety of native flora and fauna. And when you're ready to bed down for the night, the Palmetto State Park campground features 18 RV-friendly sites.
If this sounds like your idea of the perfect RV vacation in central Texas, keep reading to find out what to do and where to stay in this beautiful state park.
The beautiful San Marcos River flows through the park and is as good a place as any to start your Palmetto State Park RV camping adventure. Popular with canoeists, the river has a steady flow but no rapids, so you don't have to be into extreme sports if you want to get out on the water.
You can bring your own canoe if you want, but you can also rent pedal boats, canoes, kayaks, and even stand-up paddleboards within the park. Tubing is also a popular pastime on the river, and there are few more relaxing and refreshing ways to spend a lazy summer's afternoon in the park.
If you're a keen fisherman, fishing is available in the river or in four-acre Oxbow Lake. The lake has a fishing pier and there's also a fishing boat available for hire, and the good news is that you don't need a license to fish in a Texas state park.
When you've had your fill of water-based activities, you might like to head out on one of several hiking trails that meander through the park. For a short and easy stroll, the 0.25-mile Palmetto Interpretive Trail will give you a closer look at the dwarf palmettos after which the park is named. If you're searching for something a little longer, the 1.25-mile San Marcos River Trail leads you on a peaceful walk beside the water.
While you're out hiking, make sure to keep your eyes peeled for the many species of birds that call this part of the world home, including the pileated woodpecker and the Kentucky warbler. A bird checklist is also available for download from the official Palmetto State Park website for visitors keen to spot as many species as possible.
If you'd like to spend a few nights in Palmetto State Park, you can book an RV in Gonzales County and then reserve a site in the park's excellent campground. RV campers can choose from the following sites which are located just a stone's throw from the river:
If you're traveling with friends or family who aren't in an RV, 19 tent sites and an air-conditioned cabin are also available within the campground.
If you decide to rent a camper near Palmetto State Park, you don't have to limit your adventure just to the park itself. There's a whole host of other excellent attractions within easy reach, so why not head out and enjoy a new adventure or two?
For example, you might like to steer your rental RV towards charming San Marcos, where you can indulge in some outlet shopping or maybe go tubing on the San Marcos River. If you'd rather head for the bright lights of a big city, you could be getting a taste of history at the Alamo museum inSan Antonio in less than an hour. Austin, home to Austin Zoo and a vibrant live music scene, is also a one-hour drive to the north.
Whatever sort of adventure you've got planned, you won't have to drive too far to find the next stop on your central Texas RV camping getaway.