Splashing around at Blanco State Park

Blanco State Park is one of the state’s oldest and smallest parks — but there’s still plenty to do at this Hill Country gem.

A swimming hole in the Blanco River peeks through trees.

Blanco State Park is one of Texas’ oldest and smallest state parks.

Photo by ATXtoday

As part of our journey to celebrate 100 years of Texas State Parks, we recently took a drive southeast to Blanco State Park.

This park is unique for several reasons: in addition to being one of Texas’ first state parks, it’s also one of the smallest state parks in the state, and is entirely located within Blanco city limits.

A tree-covered trail disappears into the distance at Blanco State Park.

Blanco State Park has two short nature trails.

Photo by ATXtoday


The Blanco River has drawn area residents for hundreds of years, in part because the springs offer a consistent water source during droughts.

Established in 1933, Blanco State Park was one of the first four state parks in Texas to be built by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps. It took the team 11 months to build the park’s bridges, dams, roads, and picnic areas.

In more recent history, heavy rainfall surged the Blanco River to 30 ft high in 2015, rising over several nearby bridges. The flood uprooted trees as tall as 20ft and littered the park with branches and trash — it took five months to fully clean and repair the park.

Overlooking a swimming area near a stone dam at Blanco State Park.

With several areas for swimming, fishing, and boating, Blanco State Park is perfect for a summertime splash.

Photo by ATXtoday

What to see

Reader Linda S. recommended keeping your eyes peeled for wildlife when you visit Blanco State Park. If you’re lucky, you just might spot a great blue heron, a common musk turtle, or a leopard frog.

Another reader reminded us not to miss the original Blanco county building, located just outside of the park in the heart of Blanco.

What to do

Blanco State Park is a hot spot for campers, swimmers, and picnickers. There are two small trails in the park, but the park’s showstopper is certainly the river that runs through its heart. Spring-fed waters with a series of dams provides easy access for:

  • Swimming
  • Kayaking
  • Fishing
  • Boating

Make a reservation to visit Blanco State Park online.

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