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19 Texas State Parks Near San Antonio

19 Texas State Parks Near San Antonio

It’s no wonder that San Antonio is one of the top tourist destinations in Texas. But when you’re ready to get out of the city, then plan an escape to the many state parks near San Antonio?!

Within a short drive, you will find yourself surrounded by beautiful crystal clear rivers, sprawling fields, and gorgeous forest land in the Lone Star State. These Texas parks are amazing!

In this guide, we are going to show you some of the fabulous state parks close to San Antonio.

This is one of the many reasons that San Antonio is one of the top places to visit in Texas!

Let’s dive into the best state parks near San Antonio!

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    State Parks Near San Antonio Within a 1-Hour Drive

    Blanco State Park

    Distance: 50 miles

    Drive Time: 1 hour

    Park Hours (at time of publication): Open Daily-reservation is required

    Entrance Fees:$5/day adults, 12 and under are free

    You will find Blanco State Park located about an hour north of the Alamo City in the Texas Hill Country.

    Situated on the beautiful spring-fed Blanco River, you can enjoy swimming, fishing, camping, picnicking and more!

    Honestly, Blanco State Park is one of the state parks near San Antonio that make for a great day trip from San Antonio!

    Government Canyon State Natural Area

    Driving Distance: 27 miles

    Drive Time: 30 min

    Park Hours (at time of publication): Open Fri-Mon 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.

    Entrance Fees: $6/day adults, 12 and under are free

    Government Canyon State Natural Area is one of the Texas state parks in San Antonio!

    Boasting over 12,000 acres of forest land, Government Canyon offers more than 40 miles of hiking and biking trails in Central Texas for you to explore!

    During your time exploring, be sure to walk to the historic Zizelmann House and check out the 110-million-year-old dinosaur tracks!

    This is one of the best Texas state parks to do geocaching and bird watching while you are enjoying the nature trail.

    Read Next: Weekend Getaways in Texas

    Guadalupe River State Park

    Distance: 39 miles

    Drive Time: 45 min

    Hours: Open Daily 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

    Entrance Fees: $7/day adults, 12 and under are free

    If you mention Guadalupe River State Park to native Texans, they will immediately associate it with tubing thanks to the four miles of Guadalupe River frontage land located in Spring Branch, Texas.

    Guadalupe River State Park also offers more than 13-miles of trails hiking and biking trails, including the .3 mile River Overlook Trail that provides a great view of the Guadalupe River.

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    Lockhart State Park

    Distance: 67 miles

    Drive Time: 1 hour

    Hours: Open Daily 6 a.m. – 10 p.m.

    Entrance Fees: $3/day adults, 12 and under are free

    Lockhart State Park is one of the state parks near San Antonio that is great for escaping the summer heat.

    Lockhart State Park has a great swimming pool that is open during the summer and a nine-hole historic golf course!

    Of course since it is a Texas state park, you can also enjoy fishing, hiking trails, camping and more.

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    Old Tunnel State Park

    Distance: 61 miles

    Drive Time: 1 hour from downtown San Antonio

    Hours: Sunrise – 5 p.m., After 5 p.m. with a “bat viewing ticket”

    Entrance Fees: Free, bat viewing tickets are extra

    Old Tunnel State Park is one of the best Texas state parks around.

    Over 3 million Mexican free-tailed bats have made their home in the abandoned railroad tunnel on the property.

    You can visit Old Tunnel during bat season, May-October, for a chance to see the bats emerge from the abandoned railroad tunnel for their nightly feeding.

    This state park also offers hiking, bird watching, and wildlife viewing from the half-mile nature trail on site.

    Palmetto State Park

    Driving Distance: 65 miles

    Drive Time: 1 hour

    Hours: Open daily (reservations recommended)

    Entrance Fees: $3/day adults, 12 and under are free

    Palmetto State Park offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful San Marcos River, the swamps, and a small lake all in one spot.

    In addition, you can also enjoy the many trails on the property, including Palmetto Trail which takes you past the dwarf palmettos that are the reason this state park received its name.

    Read Next: Weekend in Austin: The Perfect 2 or 3 Day Austin Itinerary

    State Parks Near San Antonio Within a 2-Hour Drive

    Choke Canyon State Park

    Driving Distance: 87 miles

    Drive Time: 1 hour 15 min

    Hours: 6 a.m. – 10 p.m.

    Entrance Fees: $5/day adults, free for children 12 and under

    Choke Canyon State Park is short trip from San Antonio, Texas that offers first class fishing thanks to the 26,000-acre Choke Canyon Reservoir.

    Like most Texas parks, Choke Canyon also offers camping, swimming, geocaching, birding, and more. This park even has basketball, tennis, and soccer facilities!

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    Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

    large pink granite rock-enchanted Rock State Park

    Distance: 88 miles

    Drive Time:1 hour 30 min

    Hours: 6:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.

    Entrance Fees: $8/day adults, 12 and under are free

    Head about 1.5 hours from downtown San Antonio and you will find Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. This is one of the unique Texas parks thanks to the large pink granite rock that is Enchanted Rock.

    The Native Americans that once called this land home believed that Enchanted Rock was inhabited by spirits who protected the land and there are many tales surrounding it.

    Visitors love to come to Enchanted Rock State Natural Area because it is one of the best state parks for rock climbing in the Lone Star State.

    After a few hours of exploring the rock, don’t forget to go hike some of the the trails as well.

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    Garner State Park

    Distance: 94 miles

    Drive Time: 1 hour 30 min

    Hours: 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.

    Entrance Fees: $8/day adults, under 12 are free

    Garner State Park gives visitors easy access to the beautiful Frio River. The Frio River is another Texas favorite for river tubing in the summer.

    In addition to the great water activities, Garner State Park also offers guests the opportunity to fish, geocache, picnic, play mini golf, and participate in the summer dance!

    Goliad State Park & Historic Site

    Distance: 92 miles

    Drive Time: 1 hour 45 min

    Hours: 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.; historic buildings 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

    Entrance Fees: $4/day adults, under 12 are free

    Goliad State Park and Historic Site one of the Texas parks located just under a two hour drive from downtown San Antonio, Texas.

    Goliad offers visitors the opportunity to learn about the Spanish missionaries and the Native Americans that helped to shape this area. You can visit the restored colonial-era mission, Mission Espíritu Santo, to see first hand what life was like for the early missionaries.

    While visiting Goliad, you can also enjoy fishing or kayaking on the San Antonio River before enjoying their walking trails.

    Hill Country State Natural Area

    Distance: 64 miles

    Drive Time: 1 hour 15 min

    Hours: 8:15 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.

    Entrance Fees: $6/day adults, 12 and under are free

    If you are looking for one of the more rugged Texas parks, the Hill Country State National Area is perfect for you.

    Located on a former ranch, this is the perfect place to go horseback riding on the 5,000 acres.

    Mountain bikers love visiting this area thanks to the rugged trails that are here.

    You can make a weekend out of your time here and enjoy their primitive campsites or the lodge that sleeps nine and has a kitchen and bathroom.

    Lost Maples State Park

    Distance: 91 miles

    Drive Time: 1 hour 45 min

    Hours: 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

    Entrance Fees: $6/day adults, 12 and under are free

    The Lost Maples State Park is a great experience year round, but this is one of the most popular Texas parks when the leaves are changing colors in the fall.

    During your time here, you can go fishing, do some bird watching, camp, geocache, or just enjoy a relaxing day out in nature!

    Take note that you need to definitely stay on the trails at Lost Maples as the area contains steep terrain.

    Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site

    historic schoolhouse in Johnson City

    Distance: 74 miles

    Drive Time: 1 hour 15 min

    Hours: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Oct.- May), 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. (June – Sept.)

    Entrance Fees: Free

    This is one of the Texas parks that history buffs will love to see as it is the birthplace of our 36th United States President. Lyndon B. Johnson State Park is located in small town of Johnson City, Texas in the Texas Hill Country.

    You can tour the LBJ Ranch and see Johnson’s birthplace and visit the Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm.

    When you’re done, cool off in the seasonal swimming pool!

    Read Next: Driving from Dallas To San Antonio: Best Stops and Tips

    McKinney Falls State Park

    Distance: 71 miles

    Drive Time: 1 hour 15 min

    Hours: 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.

    Entrance Fees: $6/day adults, 12 and under are free

    McKinney Falls is a gorgeous state park located just over an hour from San Antonio.

    Locals flock to McKinney Falls State Park in the summer to enjoy seeing one of the Texas waterfalls and swimming in Onion Creek. Of course, you can also enjoy the miles of hiking and biking trails, try your hand at fishing, and camp here.

    While hiking, don’t miss the Rock Shelter Trail to see where early visitors camped at McKinney Falls.

    Pedernales Falls State Park

    Distance: 77 miles

    Drive Time: 1 hour 30 min

    Hours: Open daily 8 a.m.-10 p.m.

    Entrance Fees: $6/day adults, 12 and under are free

    Located on the beautiful Pedernales River, Pedernales Falls State Park is the perfect place to come and recharge for the day.

    This area also allows you to swim, fish, hike, ride horses, geocache, and more. Take the .5 mile Twin Falls trail to get to a popular scenic overlook.

    Pedernales Falls is really close to the Lyndon B. Johnson Site, so you could easily combine visiting these Texas parks.

    South Llano River State Park

    Distance: 121 miles

    Drive Time: 1 hour 50 min

    Hours: Open Daily, see website for details

    Entrance Fees: $5/day adults, 12 and under free

    Visitors flock to the South Llano River during the hot summer to float in the cool blue waters. This is so popular that this park even supplies tube rentals.

    You can also bring a paddle boat if you prefer to paddle the river. Of course, the are itself also has hiking trails, loads of wildlife, and is an International Dark Sky property.

    Devil’s Sinkhole

    Distance: 133 miles

    Drive Time: 2 hours

    Hours and fees: Access by reservation only- see website

    Devil’s Sinkhole is an easy drive from San Antonio, Texas, but visiting this park means you have to plan in advance as it is only accessible with a reservation.

    Like Old Tunnel, bats are the main attraction here. From late spring to early fall, you can see the Mexican free-tailed bats emerge from the cave at sunset.

    They also offer guided nature walks and birding tours of the 1,860 acre property.

    Texas State Parks Near San Antonio Within a 3-Hour Drive

    Kickapoo Cavern State Park

    Distance: 151 miles

    Drive Time: 2 hours 40 min

    Hours: 8 a.m. Friday to 5 p.m. on Monday 

    Entrance Fees: $3/day adults, 12 and under free

    Head west of San Antonio to find Kickapoo Cavern.

    Given its name from the two caves that are on the property, Kickapoo Cavern and Stuart Bat Cave (entry to the caves if not permitted).

    Here you can explore the trails, do some hiking and mountain biking, camp, and in the evening view the bat colony leaving the cave (mid-March to end of October).

    Seminole Canyon State Park & Historic Site

    Distance: 194 miles

    Drive Time: 3 hours

    Hours: Open daily

    Entrance Fees: $4/day adults, 12 and under free

    Seminole Canyon State Park and Historic Site tells its own story thanks to the pictographs left behind from the early dwellers on the canyon walls.

    This fascinating park will allow you to peek into history while also enjoying the outdoors. You can camp, hike, mountain bike, geocache, and more.

    Don’t miss the chance to hike along the rim of the Seminole Canyon or to see the Rio Grande River!

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      Michelle Snell founder of That Texas Couple and Totally Texas Travel

      About The Author

      Michelle Snell is a travel writer, history buff, wine lover, and enthusiast of different cultures. Michelle enjoys bringing places to life through her informative writing style on her blogs, That Texas Couple and Totally Texas Travel.  Her practical tips and suggestions help make travel dreams a reality while immersing her readers in the history, culture, and food of a region.  She is happiest sipping wine in Italy or chilling on a beach with her husband, Marty.

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      SS

      Sunday 9th of January 2022

      Wow, I am a native Texan and haven't heard about most of these places. This is a treasure trove of amazing parks I'd love to visit!

      texasonly

      Monday 10th of January 2022

      Aren't they great! I am so glad we could introduce you to new places in our home state! Enjoy!

      Nancy

      Saturday 8th of January 2022

      Whether it's state parks or national parks, I love visiting them all! Thanks for sharing all these great spots to get outdoors when it's so important.

      texasonly

      Saturday 8th of January 2022

      I do too, Nancy. They are such a great way to connect with nature. Thanks for reading and taking time to comment :)

      Yvonne

      Saturday 8th of January 2022

      We were just in San Antonio last month and I wish I would have known about these parks. Guadalupe River State Park looks beautiful! I look forward to visiting the next time I am in the area.

      texasonly

      Saturday 8th of January 2022

      Oh man, I guess that means you have to go back!! Thanks for visiting and taking time to comment!

      ANUKRATI DOSI

      Saturday 8th of January 2022

      Garner state park looks so so dreamy. I would love to visit a place like that.

      texasonly

      Saturday 8th of January 2022

      That is a great one for sure!

      Megs

      Saturday 8th of January 2022

      Wow! All of these places look like amazing places to visit! I didn't realize how much diversity there is in Texas. Thanks for sharing 💚

      texasonly

      Saturday 8th of January 2022

      They really are great! Thank you for reading and taking time to comment! :)