Summer is coming, whether we like it or not in Texas. We are already beginning to feel the heat some days reaching into the 90’s. Never fear, I have great news! Spring and early summer are some of the best times to grab the family and friends and head for a picnic, go for a hike, go camping, or just get your outdoors on! Or head out solo like I did.
One of my favorite things to do is visit National and State parks and I’ve just come back from the small (105 acres) but beautiful Blanco State Park. Nestled in the stunning hill country you can get to the park from Austin in just about an hour’s driving time and from Houston in about 3 1/2 hrs.
Blanco State Park was one of the first Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in Texas. The CCC was created by Franklin D. Roosevelt to help men get back to work during the great depression. The Blanco River attracted Native Americans and the Spanish during the early 1700’s. Named “Blanco” by the Spanish for the white limestone banks.
Blanco State Park offers RV sites, primitive camping, and screened in shelters. Whether you’re looking for swimming, hiking, fishing, or camping, Blanco State Park is a great choice. Blanco has large grassy areas set alongside the river with plenty of shade for picnics. There is a pavilion for that large family BBQ or reunion.
Fishing At Blanco State Park
The park features shoreline access to the Blanco River which makes fishing a popular activity. The park participates in the Angler Education Tackle loaner program, therefore you can just visit the park ranger to get all things you need for a day of fishing. A fishing license is not required within the boundaries of a state park. The store also rents canoes and tubes if you want to make your way down the river via the water. Below is a link to some fishing tips.
Swimming At Blanco State Park
The water is fed by natural springs which keeps the temperature around 68 degrees. With the heat of the day this will be a nice and refreshing. The main water area is near a dam which separates a knee high area from a much deeper area for those better swimmers and those with flotation devices. There is also a “swimming pool” beside the dam. The water is a good depth for children, so the pool is a relatively safe place to let your kids splash around.
My only two drawbacks of Blanco State Park
- If staying in a screened shelter your pets are not welcome inside. (read the fine print on your reservation, I didn’t)
- When camping you can hear the road noise from Hwy 281, which can take away from that “camping” feeling.
My Top 3 Reasons Blanco State Park should be on your Camping List
- The swimming area is great for all ages, and you can even tube or canoe down the river.
- Fishing is plenty with the large expanse of river banks, and it’s FREE!
- It’s close!! Not far from beautiful attractions all around and not too far from home.