My grandpa absolutely loved the outdoors. He would go camping every chance he got. I remember being little and going with him once. It was so much fun. They are memories I cherish. Now that I am a mother of six. My husband and I have made the decision to make camping memories with our own children. We got a copy of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine and all 95 Texas state parks looked so great we decided to purchase the Parks Pass and visit them all. For those of you who have not heard about the Park Pass let me just give you a brief run down. Cost: $75 for a year Perks: It covers the entrance fee for everyone in your vehicle and you get 4 tickets to use to get your 2nd camping day for half price!!! SCORE!) If you would like to get your FREE copy of it you can.
Our family choose Garner State Park in Concan, Texas to be our first camping adventure! Let me just say OMG!!!! Best decision ever! We opted for a camping spot with only water. It was great it added to the whole camping adventure. Some of you might be wondering how much a camping trip to the famous Garner State Park would cost. Well, you can check out the rates.
I absolutely loved the site we selected. About 20 steps from our site we had a trail that led straight to the Frio River. It was like our own little spot! It was great the kids got to waddle around in the water and skip some rocks. This is another wonderful thing about Garner they have many trails among the camping sites that will lead you to the river.
The Frio River is absolutely AMAZING! The water is so clear you can see the rocks and fish as you float on down the river in a tube. Tubing is an absolute MUST while visiting Garner.It is the absolute best thing to just drift down the river without a care in the world. My husband and my children did this it took them 2 hours to drift from our camping spot to the dam. The sights they saw on their tubing adventure were BREATHTAKING! Tip: You can rent the tubes at Garner but we purchased ours at Wal-Mart for $5 each. I thought this was better suited for us because we can use them over and over again on our camping adventures.
Once you get to the dam you have arrived at the Old Garner camping section. This area is just beautiful it is full of big, shady trees. If you go to the river in this part you will find the water is deeper here than further down the river. Another fun water activity to do is the swinging rope. It was so much fun watching people swing and let themselves fall into the water. My family was not up to the challenge but maybe on a future visit. A packing must from Garner is water shoes. Even though the Frio River is beautiful it has a lot of jagged rocks and mud. So unless you like to feel that in between your toes and on the soles of your feet water shoes are a must.
Hiking is another activity that Garner has to offer. And it is definitely something that I wanted to make sure we included on our camping trip. They have many trails at different levels of ability. The first trail we went on was the Madrone Walkway it was 0.55 mi. and is suited for both Hiking and Biking. On this Walkway, we basically toured the park. It was an easy walk for a family with young children. The next one my older children and my husband went on was the Blinn River Trail. This trail was 0.53 mi. long. It is a Hiking Only trail. It was an easy trail.
You had to jump over some rocks now and then to get across but other than that it was a good trail. The last and final trail we tried was Bridges Trail. This one was 0.65 mi. long. It is also a Hiking Only trail. I have to be honest this one kicked my butt. I made it a little more than halfway and called it quits. My older children and my husband went the rest of the way while me and my younger children went back down to wait for them and get lunch ready. Once they arrived at the top it was so BEAUTIFUL. I wished I had toughed it out and finished the hike.
Don’t you agree the view was AMAZING! Don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes, take water (preferably in a container that you can strap on). I also totally recommend using the hiking map to was very helpful. Next time we go we plan on tackling Old Baldy. If you would like to preplan your hiking adventure you can view the hiking map.
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Happy Trails to you and remember to Live, Laugh Love and Travel with your family often:)