Local News

Garner State Park Celebrates 75 Years

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Tony Maples Photography


Nestled on the Frio River, Garner State Park opened to the public June 1, 1941. The Civilian Conservation Corp constructed the park with locally sourced materials as a way to highlight over 2.9 miles of the Frio River that wind across the Hill Country. The park was actually named after Uvalde County resident John Nance “Cactus Jack” Garner, vice president of the United States from 1933 to 1941. This year, on June 1, 2016, Garner State Park will celebrate 75 years of providing a refuge for Texas residents to paddle down the river, discover wildlife along the nature trails, and dance with their sweethearts under the stars.

75 Years of Texas Heritage

Garner State Park river

Photo: tpwd.texas.gov

The program celebrating the 75th anniversary of the park will begin at 10 a.m. on June 1, 2016. The celebration program will be held by Texas State Senator Carlos Uresti along with Uvalde County Judge William Mitchell, Real County Judge Gary Merritt and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Executive Director Carter Smith. There will be historical accounts of Garner State park through the years, cowboy poetry, dancing music from the decades, and the Buffalo Soldiers. Vendor booths will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and park entrance fees will be waived until noon that day. According to Garner State Park Superintendent, Steve Killian, “This special day gives us a chance to pause and look back to honor the work and dedication of all those who made Garner State Park one of Texas’ most popular outdoor destinations.

Garner State Park Activites, Summer Water Fun

Garner State Park swimming hole

Photo: www.wideopencountry.com

During the Peak Season, (Memorial Day through Mid-August), the park is open daily for a fee of $7 for attendees age 13 and up. Park goers under age 13 are free to enter. The Frio River is open for floating down on an inner tube, swimming, or fishing. There is also an offering of paddleboats and a great opportunity to kayak through the cool river.

Garner State Park Activites, Dry Land Adventures

Garner State Park cabin

Photo: tpwd.texas.gov

With over 1,774 acres of Hill Country landscapes, there are many hiking trails as well as Ranger led nature educational hikes available. The park facilitates overnight visitors with screened in shelters and campsites throughout the park. The concession building and dance pavilion were built by the CCC and have been filled with sweethearts dancing cheek to cheek to the sounds of the vintage jukebox since the 1940’s. The dances continue to this day and the parking lot is often filled with visitors by 8:30 p.m. ready to show off their moves.

For more information on the Anniversary celebration or the specifics of the park services, see the following:


When you go:

Garner State Park
234 RR 1050
Concan, TX 78838
(830) 232-6132