The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department manages numerous excellent state parks for public visitation. The majority of these parks offer camping or at the very least are associated with convenient lodging options for visitors. Taking a tour of the great parks within a reasonable distance of Rockport is easy with the large number of state parks in the state.
Brazos Bend State Park
Located just southwest of Houston, this park feels nothing like the big city. It’s a nice space with a ton of different activities available. Hit one of the many hiking trails, go biking, take a horseback trip or kick back and relax with your fishing pole.
The park is really centered around nature and the wildlife viewing is often excellent as well. You might see alligators and river otters in the same areas. The marshlands also draw numerous bird species so bring your binoculars and a bird book.
The Brazos Bend park is a tranquil, nice place to visit that is loved by many Texans. They have basic, primitive campsites, groups sites and even premium spaces with electricity. These are perfect for parking the camper for a few days. You can make reservations online as well to ensure your campsites are ready and available.
Dinosaur Valley State Park
Located near Fort Worth on the Paluxy River, this famous park is a trip back in time. You can walk the river and trails and find actual dinosaur tracks preserved in the landscape. You are literally walking in the footsteps of dinosaurs. Most of the footprints are located in the riverbed and your best viewing takes place during low water. Head over during a dry time of year if viewing the tracks are your primary mission.
Otherwise, hiking and fishing in the river is a great way to spend time in the park. The park is also popular for horseback rides. Campers will find plenty of space with 44 sites that offer electricity. Walk-in campsites are also available if you want to get away. You can even hike several miles to established campsites in the park while watching the birds and enjoying the river bottom.
Goose Island State Park
Goose Island is convenient to Rockport and you have the option to make this one an easy day trip although campsites with electricity are an option. You can even get electricity on a bay front site for the ultimate view.
Head out for a hike, do some bird watching and catch a few fish before returning to your camper for an evening of grilling. Some campsites have shade trees as well for the hot summer months. The park also has a loaner program for fishing tackle so you don’t even need to bring your own gear. Keep an eye out for alligators while hiking around as they are frequently spotted in the park.
Lockhart State Park
If you head to Austin or the Hill Country, this park is a great stop with plenty of fun to keep you busy. It has fishing access for bass and catfish on Clear Fork Creek and you can cool off in the pool during the summer months. Utilize the hiking and biking trails or spend the day golfing on their 9-hole course. The combination of golf and fishing makes this park unique.
Campers will find 10 sites with full hookups and another 10 with electricity. Park your trailer or motorhome and enjoy the services between rounds of fishing, swimming and golf.
Government Canyon State Natural Area
Convenient to San Antonio, Government Canyon is a state managed natural area with 12,000 acres of protected space. The intent is protecting the water source for the city but the entire area is managed as a wilderness area. That makes it available for recreation while being close to the city.
The area has 40-miles of maintained trails for hikers. It also has interpretive displays on the discovery trail and ranger led programs for groups. Many of the trails are limited to hikers but some are also open for mountain bikers. Check the trail status before attempting to bike on a path that is potentially for hikers only.
You can also camp at one of the many walk-in sites or group sites. These are primitive campsites and are not setup for trailers or RV’s. If tent camping for a night or two in a wild area sounds appealing, this is a great park. The sites do have level tent pads and they also have pit toilets and water fairly close to the sites.