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Garner State Park


When we first started planning our spring break trip, Kyle heard about Garner State Park from a buddy of his who recommended it.  So it was on our minds as we headed towards the Texas Hill Country.  

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Situated on the Frio River, Garner State Park is located southwest of Fredericksburg, near the town of Leakey, Texas.

We were able to stay for two nights, but honestly, I would have preferred staying a third day. There’s just so much to see and do!  But, sadly, we were just meandering through.

The first day, we arrived in the afternoon, so we just hung out around our campground, which was the Shady Meadows Camping Area.  But there was plenty to do there!  Kyle walked over to the bird viewing blind and watched turkeys battle it out over lady turkeys. There is a trail that goes up the mountain that the boys had a blast exploring.  The kids ran through the fields and threw the frisbee to each other, and of course, the girls loved the playground.  

The second day, we hiked in the direction of the river, in search of kayaks.  At the top of the hill, we came upon the park store, and Garner Grill—a restaurant in a converted Airstream International!  The food was as good as the Airstream was adorable.  We had a quick lunch at Garner Grill, then walked on to the river.  While the kids played, Dad went on in search of the boat house, then called me to tell us to bring the kids over, he was renting kayaks for whoever wanted to use them.  What a great idea, and what a great day for kayaking on the river!  Even though it was super windy, we had a blast!  I must admit though, I wish I had brought my Chacos.  My niece and her kayak went straight over the dam, and I found myself up to my knees in river water, trying to get her out. (She’s fine. She thought it was a great adventure!)  My dearly beloved Brooks were soaking wet, though, and that made for a soggy hike back to the Monkey Barrel.  

Although the photos on the state park website are great, they don’t do justice to the park.  It is a lovely, quiet spot in the Hill Country. The open meadows surrounded by hills, jutted next to the Frio River—I understand why this place is popular! If we’re ever back that way again (and I assume we will be), we’ll stay there again. There were a few other hikes we were interested in, but the weather prevented us from taking them. However, Garner has made it on our Top 5 Favorite State Parks List, so we’ll just have to do those hikes next time!

Have you ever been to Garner State Park? Which hikes did you take? What was your favorite thing about the park? It became very obvious to us during our stay that we are now, officially, in the market for some kayaks! Do you have a favorite brand of kayak? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section!

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