Where We Be
|Garner & Lost Maples State Parks, Texas
|A stretch of dammed water along the Sabinal River in Lost Maples State Park makes for good camping
|Robin picks a picnic table along a pretty stretch of river
|We encountered this armadillo up close rooting around in the undergrowth
|Clear water and a stony bed in Lost Maples reminded us of Colorado streams
|Typical Texas Hill Country -- dry, thirsty looking, with shallow dams creating small bodies of water amongst the hills
|The Frio River runs through Garner State Park and is popular with tubers and kayakers
|Hollowed-out tree trunk at Garner
|The Pavilion at Garner is a favorite gathering spot on summer evenings
|A shallow dam at Garner keeps the river running high on one side, low on the other
|We've also enjoyed day hikes in nearby preserves like Hill Country State Natural Area
We went on a fun overnight adventure to two of Texas’
most popular state parks. Garner State Park is the most
popular in Texas for overnight camping. We parked near
the Pavilion, an elegant stone-and-wood building at the
heart of the park. The Pavilion's patio is a popular outdoor
dance area on summer nights. We walked down stone
steps to the Frio River, a broad river with clear, cool water.
The “beach” consists of rounded river stones. By noon the
water was barely warm enough that we saw kids floating in
tubes, adults kayaking, and families paddle-boating. A few
brave teens launched themselves from rope swings into
the water. Picnic tables were occupied all along the
shoreline, and the smell of “Smoky Joe” grills filled the air.
It reminded us of Boulder Creek on a sunny summer's day.
Garner was so crowded with campers that we decided to
press on and camp overnight at Lost Maples State Park,
located about thirty minutes away. "Van camping" is still
new enough for us that it's a fun adventure. The next
morning, we went on a 5½ mile hike along Lost Maples
East Trail, a pleasant loop that follows along the Sabinal
River before climbing to a ridge with valley views.