On the Cool, Clear Frio River
Garner State Park
What They Are about
Garner State Park is a great place to visit for a swim or hike, or to enjoy a relaxing weekend. With 2.9 miles of Frio River winding through 1,774 acres of scenic Hill Country terrain, the park offers lots to see and do!
Swim in the Frio River or float its waters on an inner tube, operate a paddle boat, and hike 16 miles of scenic trails. You can also camp, study nature, picnic, canoe, fish, play miniature golf, geocache and ride bikes. And, of course, you can dance. Take a virtual tour with our Interactive Trails Map. If you plan to swim or float at the park, read through our swimming safety tips before you come.
Overnight visitors can stay in screened shelters, cabins or campsites. Large groups can rent the screened shelter or group campsite. The park’s concessionaire sells meals and snacks during the busy season, and rents the pavilion in the off season.
In the beginning of the 1930s, the park was originally made to save a piece of the hill country for the public and to give men, suffering from the depression, work. The land for Garner State Park was acquired in 1934 through 1936. In 1934, the Texas State Parks Board approved the location for a future state park, and the Texas Legislature provided funding for state parks. The Civilian Conservation Corps made the park’s original improvements, which included a large pavilion and a concessions building. The property was conveyed to the State Parks Board in 1936, and it opened as Garner State Park in 1941. The park was named for John Nance Garner, former Vice-President of the United States who lived and practiced law in the Concan area. The park's size more than doubled when 790 acres were added in 1976.
The bald cypress trees line the Frio River and can grow to 120 feet and live up to 600 years. They get their name from how long their leaves are gone, since they drop in the fall and don’t bloom until late spring. The bald cypress help the Frio River by slowing down floodwater and trapping sediments and pollutants. They also provide great nesting places, food, and shelter for the wildlife at the park.