State Parks Getaways – May 2018

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State Parks Getaways

Don’t Miss the Views from the Water  

Eisenhower SP paddlers

Summer is already glittering on the horizon, and what better way to enjoy it than paddling the cool waters of a state park. A view from the water can reveal shoreline wildlife like tall herons and kingfishers, along with lovely park vistas you won't experience otherwise. To make your paddling adventure easy, many parks offer rentals of kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddleboards, including these:

More people paddle than play soccer in the U.S., a testament to the ease of paddling a kayak. Practicing safety tips, like wearing a life jacket (included with a boat rental) and filing a float plan, will help you have a fun time. We recommend you take this free online paddling course, which will help you feel like a paddling pro.

More Parks with Paddling Rentals

4 Parks Where the Bison and Longhorn Roam

bison and calf video link

The story of the Texas State Bison Herd began when Mary Ann Goodnight, wife of famous rancher Charles Goodnight, heard the calls of orphaned bison calves. Now no longer on the brink of extinction, the herd welcomed 23 calves this spring. 

You can see the bison in their state park home, Caprock Canyons. You'll find a prairie dog town there as well, which also has new spring pups. 

If you're looking for a realistic wild west experience, it's hard to beat camping at Caprock with its bison and prairie dogs. And since no one can get enough baby bison

Bison Babies Video 

longhorns video link

Majestic longhorn cattle arrived with Spanish explorers in the 1600s and were running wild by the 1800s. The State of Texas Longhorn Herd was started in 1941, and today you'll find them at these state parks: 

Herds roam free, so it may take some effort to see them. But it doesn't get more Texas than watching the longhorn and the bison roam at a state park.

Make your reservations online, link

Glorious Goliad, Gem of Texas

Goliad State Park, video link

Goliad State Park has a heart made of history. It's home to the beautifully restored Franciscan Mission Espiritu Santo, a Texas treasure. Watch this video to see an unusual solar alignment that occurs in its chapel. Texas fought for independence in this area, and related historic sites can be found nearby.

Goliad also offers tons of outdoor fun. Located on the San Antonio River, the park has a floating dock and river access for paddlers. The Goliad Paddling Trail runs through here, and you can see what the trail is like in this video. 

If you feel like fishing, borrow the gear from the park's Tackle Loaner Program. You don't need a license to fish in state parks, just bring bait and a smile. There's also a swimming pool and riverfront space for camping.

If you have any interest in Texas history, Goliad State Park should be on your must-visit list. Bring Dad out for Father's Day! It's located due south of Austin, near the junction of US Highways 183 and 59. See you there!

La Quinta donates 10% of your stay to Texas state parks