Destination :: Garner State Park

  • Garner State Park: A view of Old Baldy, a popular hill in the park.

    Old Baldy. December 2017. Image 1/1

Garner State Park is one of the most popular Texas State Parks. In addition to a wide variety of recreational activities—including hiking, swimming, tubing, kayaking, canoeing, playing miniature golf—it has been a popular destination for dancing in the summer evenings.

Brief History

10,000-12,000 years ago
The first primitive people settle in the area.1
The first Spanish explorers make headway into the area. The Comanche and Apache acquire horses from them and become the dominate tribes in the area.
Mid- to Late-1800s
Native tribes dominate the area until they are pushed out by white colonists.
The Magers family allows public camping on their land.
Locals promote the idea of establishing a state park in the area to the Texas Legislature. The land for the park is initially purchased by private citizens on behalf of Uvalde county.2
John Nance “Cactus Jack” Garner, a Uvalde county resident and the park's namesake, serves as Vice President of the United States.
Civilian Conservation Corps Company 879 builds facilities for the park, including roads, culverts, trails, picnic tables and benches, and various buildings and support structures.
December 11, 1936
Land ownership is transferred from Uvalde County to the State of Texas.3
April 29, 1941
The park is dedicated.4
June 1, 1941
The park opens.
The park's concession building becomes a popular destination for jukebox dances on summer nights, a tradition that continues today.
An additional 760 acres are added to the park.5


234 RR 1050
Concan, Texas, 78838
United States



If you are in the area…

While I enjoyed hiking the trails, this is not one of my favorite parks. Even in winter, the trails were moderately busy; I can’t imagine them in summer. Campsites looked numerous and closely-spaced. Graffiti was everywhere. For the type of camping and escapes I prefer, the park is simply too busy and overused for my taste. However, for people looking for a weekend getaway with tons of activities available, I can definitely see why it is so popular.

Visits: 1 Visited: December 2017

Quick Statistics

1,774 acres6
Length of Frio River
2.9 miles7
11 milessup class="fn">8


  1. Unless otherwise indicated, information about the park and park history is from "Park History," TPWD.
  2. Ochoa, Rubin, "Garner State Park."
  3. Ochoa, Rubin, "Garner State Park."
  4. Ochoa, Rubin, "Garner State Park."
  5. "Garner State Park," Wikipedia.
  6. "Overview," TPWD.
  7. "Overview," TPWD.
  8. "Overview," TPWD.


  • "Garner." The Look of Nature. Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. Accessed April 24, 2018. Link.
  • "Garner State Park." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. April 23, 2018. Accessed April 24, 2018. Link.
  • Ochoa, Rubin E. "Garner State Park." The Handbook of Texas Online. June 15, 2010. Accessed April 24, 2018. Link.
  • "Overview." Garner State Park. Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. Accessed April 24, 2018. Link.
  • "Park History." Garner State Park. Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. Accessed April 24, 2018. Link.