Nature is forgiving. After a winter ice storm, she offers up a beautiful spring-like Sunday as an apology, and we were quick to accept her invitation! We spent a sunny and warm day soaking up the sun at Blanco State Park, and it was lovely!
One of the most unique things about Blanco State Park is that it is located just outside of Downtown Blanco, and on the shore of the Blanco River.
The State Park boast day picnic area on one side of the river, and camping on the other. Although it was sunny and warm for an early February day, there was still a good breeze so we quickly abandoned the covered picnic area for an uncovered table in the sun!
The river is dammed in the park, making for a great area for swimming, kayaking, and fishing.
Below the dam, you can see how clear the water is. I was able to see the fish not biting my hook.
The river had recently been stocked with rainbow trout, and I wanted to try out my new Tankara Fly Fishing Rod. Perfect for backpacking, it is telescopic and only about a foot long when packed away. It also doesn’t have a reel, so it’s a like cane pole fly fishing. I love it but it will take a little practice.
How warm was it on February 5th? Well, warm enough that my son decided to go swimming. Our dogs even thought he was a little crazy, but soon after more cars arrived, and kids were all out swimming in the river. I laid out a blanket in the sun and enjoyed a really nice and well-deserved nap.
Just a little more information about the park:
The river gets its name Blanco (Spanish for white) from the white limestone river bed.
The park rents canoes and kayaks for exploring. Powered boats are not allowed.
The river is stocked each winter with trout, and the park participates in the Tackle Loaner Program, which provides rods, reels and tackle boxes (hook, sinker and bobbers). I know it sounds crazy, but take a can of corn for bait, trout love it! A fishing license is not required while you are fishing in the park.
Have you ever considered fly fishing? The Blanco State Park would be a great destination after taking one of the FREE fly-fishing classes offered by Orvis, which has locations in Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, Houston and Lubbock.
Enjoy some pictures from our previous visits.
A small, shallow pool was built into the river, next to the dam, which is perfect for younger guest!
The park was one of the earliest of the Civilian Conservation Corps projects, in the early 1930’s. The park’s pavilion is one of those projects. Located right on the banks of the river, it would make a perfect group destination!
A view of the river from the back of the pavilion. Can you see the ladder down at the river leading to the water?
The camping loop was just a short walk away from the river. There are tent and RV sites, as well as shelters. and restrooms with showers. The showers, which are only for campers, have a code you must get at the gate or from a park host.
We had a campsite in the camping loop (#13), which was convenient to the restrooms and a very short walk to the river. We were up with the sun the next morning, and out exploring the river and town, so the park’s close set campsites didn’t bother us a bit, but I did envy the privacy and beautiful setting of the shelters that are sitting on the river banks (there are only a few, and more shelters in the camping loop). The shelters have electricity, and a concrete floor. Just bring your air mattress (I prefer the big ones) or cots for a quick set up!
Hiking and Biking
Inside the park is the Caswell Nature Trail, which runs about a mile down and back. Click HERE to see the park’s map.
While we didn’t take our bikes, we would like to return with them. The park doesn’t have any trails, but they would make for a fun way to ride to Blanco’s downtown square for breakfast at Blanco Bowling Club Cafe. No matter what you miss in Blanco, don’t miss their breakfast!
Wildlife Viewing Station
The park has a nice wildlife viewing station, too. It was fun take a few minutes and watch the birds and squirrels at the feeders.
Nestled right off the road, the viewing station had plenty of pictures to help us identify most of the birds at the feeders.
Not that all the park’s wildlife is hard to view. This little duck followed us back to our campsite from our morning walk to the river. Like an obedient puppy, it stayed with us most of the day, encouraged by a never ending supply of grapes being fed to it by my five year old. It even followed us back down to the water to swim! Only when our grapes ran out did it say goodbye and head to other campsites in search of food and friendship.
Blanco State Park
101 Park Rd 23, Blanco
Click HERE to visit their website.
Keep Having Fun in the Texas Sun!
Having Fun in the TEXAS Sun is on PINTEREST! Use it as a quick resource to find activities in different Texas towns! Click HERE!
©Having Fun in the Texas Sun, 2023. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Having Fun in the Texas Sun with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Please click HERE to read our disclaimer.