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Visiting Blanco State Park:

Video: Blanco State Park

At less than 105 acres, Blanco State Park is one of the smallest state parks in Texas. But don't let its size fool you. There's a reason why folks love this little park. What it lacks in size, it makes up for in history, beauty and location. You won't come across many state parks that are as much a part of their town as Blanco State Park.

Our Campsite at Blanco State Park

Sunset at Our Campsite

It was an easy drive for us to get to Blanco State Park from Choke Canyon State Park by coming up US Highway 281 / Interstate 37. You'll find Blanco State Park about an hour north of San Antonio and west of Austin. In fact, McKinney Falls State Park in Austin would be another good park to pair up with a visit to Blanco.

Our Experience at Blanco State Park

Our campsite at Blanco State Park, site 19, had 30 amp electricity and water. It was long enough to park both our New Aire motorhome and our Jeep Gladiator end to end on the pavement. The parking pad was pretty close to level, but we had some sizeable pot holes in the campground road in front of us.

The entire state park here in Blanco stretches for one mile from one end to the other. The park straddles the beautiful Blanco River, so swimming, tubing, kayaking and fishing are main attractions. The park is rich in Civilian Conservation Corps history and located inside the city limits of Blanco, Texas.

There is one camping loop here which is home to all of the park's campsites and screened shelters. All of the campsites at Blanco State Park have nice covered picnic tables, lantern hooks and fire rings with grills. Some of the campsites offer 30amp or 30/50amp full hookups.

This is the first park we've stayed in that outlines all of its campsite parking pads with concrete parking stops. This turned out to be a non-issue for us since the location of our campsite allowed us to pull up and back straight in without turning. But it might definitely add a challenge for RVs longer than 30 feet while backing into some of the other campsites.

Blanco State Park is a beautiful, historic state park in a great location but we would NOT call it Big Rig Friendly. While the trees were freshly trimmed, there are definitely challenges for bigger RVs here. We'll share some tips we learned on this trip below.

Blanco State Park Sign

Entrance to Blanco State Park

CCC Dam and Pool

1930s CCC Dam and Pool

The small size of Blanco State Park makes it easy to explore by foot or by bicycle. And, its location in the town of Blanco means that it's also easy to walk or ride a bike to anything in the town square. (Just be cautious on Highway 281.)

The dump station was clean, but its location in the center of the campground means that you must drive around the 50amp full hookup section of the campground twice to use the dump station from just about any campsite... once to get to the dump station and another to leave the dump station. We chose to wait until our next destination to dump our tanks.

During our stay in March 2022, the park roads could use some repair. They were paved and not in terrible condition, but there were quite a number of potholes around the camping loop as well as on the road coming into the park.

Hiking at Blanco State Park

We Enjoyed Hiking at Blanco

Spring Blooms

Spring Blooms

Our Favorite Thing About Blanco State Park

Even though Blanco State Park has only two short trails, we really enjoyed our hikes here. The trails are well-maintained and easy to navigate, offering views of the Blanco River for much of the way.

But our favorite thing about Blanco State Park is its location. There is so much to see and do in Blanco and in the surrounding area, and Blanco State Park makes a great base camp for day trips. We spent a busy week here doing as much as we could and still didn't come close to exploring everything we wanted to. There are endless numbers of restaurants, museums, shops, breweries, wineries and distilleries around Blanco. We'll share a lot of what we did during our week here in next week's Blanco, Texas video and post. We found quite a few unique places that we never expected!

Low Water Crossing at Blanco State Park

Low Water Crossing

CCC Bench

Enjoying the View from a CCC Bench

Tips for All RVs Visiting Blanco State Park

Blanco is a beautiful state park, but it's an older park with some features that RVers should be aware of...

  • The entrance to the park is almost like a big U-Turn off of US Highway 281 if you are coming from San Antonio. Pay attention and take it slow. It would be easy to pass up the park.
  • As you pull up to the Park Headquarters, RVs are supposed to pull into the right lane. There are two lanes entering the park, both pretty narrow, and to the right of the right lane is a ditch. So again, take your time pulling in.
  • There are 2 roads inside the state park which have no turn-arounds and would require long back ups. After checking in: Do NOT turn left at the stop sign with your RV and do NOT pass the campground on the other side of the river. Have the park ranger point these areas out to you on the park map before you drive your RV into the park.
  • The low water crossing is a one-lane bridge leading to the campground and additional day use areas. Long vehicle combinations, low to the ground vehicles, or vehicles with long tails (as in RVs with a lot of structure behind the back wheels) should use extra caution.
  • The trees were freshly trimmed during our stay in March 2022, but the campground roads needed some repairs. If it has been raining prior to your arrival, you might not see the potholes. Take it slow.

Blanco State Park Dump Station

Dump Station in the Campground

Scenic Overlook

Scenic Overlook

Additional Tips for Motorhomes Visiting Blanco State Park

There are definitely some things that folks with motorhomes who are towing need to be aware of before coming to Blanco State Park.

  • This is a small, but busy park. Campers checked in every day during our week-long stay. Given the narrow lanes at the check-in area, this is not really a good place to disconnect your tow vehicle. The park ranger suggested we take a right at the stop sign and drive to the big parking lot at the end of the road. During our visit, there was a low-hanging tree branch over that road.
  • Luckily, on our arrival there was a smaller parking lot at a picnic area immediately after our right turn. We were able to disconnect our Jeep there. However, for much of our stay this would not have been possible due to cars being parked here.
  • You can tow your vehicle into the campground, but you must cross the low water crossing bridge to reach the campground. This might be a problem for some vehicles.
  • In the future, I think we will call ahead to the park as we arrive in Blanco and tell them we are disconnecting our tow vehicle at the truck stop on the edge of town. Normally, entering in 2 separate vehicles would mean paying entrance fees on both vehicles, but the park staff that we spoke with agreed that since disconnection points are limited in the park, an exception could be made as long as they knew we had just disconnected to make getting into the park easier.

The History of Blanco State Park:

The Blanco River begins as springs 19 miles upstream from Blanco State Park in Kendall County, and flows 87 miles through Blanco and Hays counties before meeting with the San Marcos River in San Marcos TX. The river was named for the white limestone that make up its river bed and banks by members of the Aguayo expedition in 1721. "Blanco" is Spanish for "white".

In 1933, eighteen local families donated or sold their land along the Blanco River to establish the park. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) arrived here and built much of what you see today in eleven months spanning June 1933 to May 1934. Blanco State Park was one of the first four parks in Texas to receive a CCC company. (The other 3 original Texas CCC parks were Davis Mountains State Park, Caddo Lake State Park and what would become Lake Mineral Wells State Park.) Blanco State Park was also one of the first seven Texas state parks to open to the public, opening just after work was completed in 1934.

Blanco State Park was chosen as a CCC park due, in large part, to its convenience. This was an easy pull-off area for tourists to rest, swim, have a picnic or camp as they traveled across Texas.

Blanco State Park CCC Pavilion

CCC Pavilion

CCC Long Table

CCC Long Table

During their time in this park, Civilian Conservation Corps Company 854 built park roads, bridges (including the low water crossing), two seven-foot high stone dams, a pump house, pools, picnic tables (including the Long Tables), stone benches, fire pits, the original concession building (now a maintenance building), seven campsites, a bathhouse and the park Pavilion (also called the Clubhouse). The 177 men of Company 854 also pruned and planted trees and shrubs. They accomplished an amazing amount of work by hand in a short amount of time. Much of what was built in 1933 and 1934 still remains in active use today.

Blanco State Park underwent a major renovation in 1982 adding 37 new picnic sites, 31 campsites (10 with RV hookups) and the park's dump station. The first solar-heated water system in a Texas State Park was built here during the park renovations. The 240-gallon thermal storage system provided hot water for bathhouse showers and sinks without the use of electricity. Blanco State Park reopened to the public on July 30, 1983.

Perhaps Blanco State Park's biggest challenge came over Memorial Day weekend in 2015. Blanco received over 16 inches of rain in one day and the Blanco River rose more than 30 feet here in a period of hours. While the campground and the park headquarters sit high enough to have escaped damage, the day use area of the park was devastated. Picnic tables and 100 year old trees were washed away. They say that the water reached the bottom of the 281 Bridge! Stories that we found on that storm estimate that 75% of Blanco State Park was damaged. The devastation worsened down river as the wall of water continued to grow.

Thanks to the hard work of the park staff, the Friends of Blanco State Park and other volunteers from the community, Blanco State Park was able to reopen parts of the park to the public in August of that same year. The entire state park was open again by October. You'll find a park sign telling the story of the flood near the playground on the camping side of the park.

Park Store in Headquarters

Park Store in the Headquarters

Bird Blind

Bird Blind

Things to Do at Blanco State Park:

Fishing: Each winter, Texas Parks and Wildlife stocks the Blanco River with trout. For the details on this program, visit the TPWD Trout Stocking Schedule page.

Other fish found here include sunfish, channel catfish, Guadalupe bass and largemouth bass. Check out Blanco State Park's Fishing Tip Sheet for more information.

No fishing license is required to fish from the banks within a Texas State Park. You do need a fishing license to fish from a kayak in the Blanco River. Fishing gear is available for loan at the park headquarters.

Kayaking: Bring your own kayak or rent one from the park headquarters to enjoy paddling between the dams on the Blanco River.

Tubing: Bring your own tubes or rent some from the park headquarters to enjoy some float time on the river.

Swimming: Swimming is allowed in various places along the river. Swim at your own risk. No lifeguards are on duty.

Enjoying the Caswell Nature Trail

Enjoying the Caswell Nature Trail

The Blanco River

The Blanco River

Hiking: Blanco State Park has two hiking trails: the Caswell Nature Trail (listed at .8 miles) and the Pumphouse Trail (listed as .3 miles). In our experience, both of these trails are actually a bit longer than these recorded lengths if you hike the entire trail and back. We greatly enjoyed both trails much more than we expected to.

Both trails are listed as easy and provide nice views. Of the two, the Pumphouse Trail was less challenging and is marked as accessible. It features the CCC-built pump house and a scenic overlook platform with benches. Parking for the Pumphouse Trail is available in the large day use parking lot right next to the trailhead.

The Caswell Nature Trail trailhead is located where the low water crossing bridge meets the campground. Parking is located next to the CCC pavilion (or just walk there from your campsite). This trail takes you past the original park entrance, under the US 281 bridge to the second CCC dam that spans the Blanco River. Complete the entire loop for unique views almost all the way.

Biking: Biking can be a great way to explore this small park and to access restaurants, shops, and museums in Blanco. Bicyles are allowed on the trails at Blanco State Park, but parts of the Caswell Nature Trail may be difficult on wheels.

Birding: You might see fishing birds, ducks or land birds such as cardinals or mockingbirds during your visit. We enjoyed listening to songbirds as we hiked along the Caswell Nature Trail in March. The park's bird blind is located on the Pumphouse Trail.

Wildlife Viewing: Blanco State Park's small size and location between homes and the town of Blanco limit any wildlife viewing. We saw a deer one night on the ranch behind our campsite and we heard animals moving around in the brush on the side of the hill next to us at night. But don't expect to see a lot of wildlife activity here.

The park has reported sightings of grey fox, rabbits, possums, skunks, racoons, squirrels and white-tailed deer. You might see turtles in the river.

Ranger Programs: Check with the park headquarters for a list of scheduled Ranger Programs.

Tube and Kayak Rentals

Tube and Kayak Rentals



Other Amenities at Blanco State Park:

Firewood Sales: Firewood is available for sale from park hosts in the camping loop.

Park Store: The park headquarters contains a small store that carries souvenirs, tubes, fishing gear, hiking sticks and a few more items. This is also where you rent tubes or kayaks for floating in the river or borrow fishing rods and reels.

CCC Picnic Pavilion: Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, this open air stone structure has views of the river and can seat up to 75 people. It has an attached indoor kitchen with refrigerator, sink, microwave, stove, oven and outdoor grill/smoker. It is available for rent.

CCC Long Tables: Also available for rent near the river, the Long Tables seat up to 50 people. These super long picnic tables are quite the sight to see! You'll find them near the end of the park road past the camping area. (Don't take your RV here.)

Day Use View

Day Use View

Downstream CCC Dam

Downstream CCC Dam

Blanco State Park Details:

Open Year Round? Yes

Busy Season: Spring, Summer Fall

Reservations Available: 6 Months Prior to Camping Date

Check-In Time: 2:00 pm

Check-Out Time: 12:00 pm

Park Gate: No

Gate Open Hours: No Gate

RV Campsite Lengths: 29-120 feet

Total RV/Tent Sites: 28

Total Tent Only Sites: 0

Total Screened Shelter Sites: 7

Total Cabin Sites: 0

Sunset Over the Blanco River

Sunset Over the Blanco River

Duck Enjoying the River

Duck Enjoying the River

Contact Blanco State Park:

Park Address: 101 Park Road 23, Blanco TX 78606

Park Phone: 830.833.4333

Reservations Phone: 512.389.8900

Reserve a Campsite at Blanco State Park Online

Visit the Blanco State Park Website

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Pull-Thru Campsite at Blanco State Park

Campsite 16

Back-In Campsite at Blanco State Park

Campsite 31

Full Hookup RV and Tent Camping at Blanco State Park:

50 Amp Full Hookup Sites

Total Sites: 8

Site Numbers: 3-10

30/50 Amp Electricity

Electric, Water and Sewer Hookups

Back-In Sites

Site Lengths: 45-54'*

Campsites include a picnic table under a shade structure, lantern hook and fire ring/grill. Sites are paved. Most sites are shaded. A bathhouse with showers is located in the camping loop.

These campsites are arranged in a circle with all of the RVs backing into the middle of the circle.

30 Amp Full Hookup Sites

Total Sites: 8

Site Numbers: 12, 14, 16, 21, 23, 25, 27, 31

30 Amp Electricity

Electric, Water and Sewer Hookups

Back-In Sites (1 pull through**)

Site Lengths: 61-120'*

Campsites include a picnic table under a shade structure, lantern hook and fire ring/grill. Sites are paved. Most sites are shaded. A bathhouse with showers is located in the camping loop.

These campsites are in the larger loop right next to the 50Amp full hooku-up circle. They are interspersed with partial hookup campsites which we detail below. All of these full hookup campsites are located inside the camping loop. Most of the partial hookups make up the outer loop.

* Note on campsite lengths: Though some of the sites are listed as well over 60' in length, big rig owners should be cautious at Blanco State Park. Finding a place to disconnect a tow vehicle might be challenging for motorhome drivers. Accessing the campground requires traveling over a low water crossing and the campsites all have concrete parking stops in the back and along the sides of the parking pads. Study the reservation map and choose a site with the easiest back-in access.

The largest RV we saw in the Blanco State Park campground during our stay was about 40' long.

** The only pull-through campsite at Blanco State Park is site number 16. It is listed as 120 feet long. The connections for this site are next to the picnic table on the camping side, not on the driver side.

The dump station is near the center of the campground and may be difficult for some RVs to access. We chose not to use it.

Trash and recycling is located in the campground at the CCC pavilion.

Campground Bathhouse

Campground Bathhouse

Blanco State Park Shelter With River View

Screened Shelter 44

Partial Hookup RV and Tent Camping at Blanco State Park:

Electric and Water Campsites

Total Sites: 12

Site Numbers: 13, 15, 17-20, 22, 24, 26, 28-30

30 Amp Electricity

Electric and Water Hookups

Back-In Sites

Site Lengths: 29-68'*

Located within the same loop as all of the other RV and tent camping sites, these campsites also have a covered picnic table, lantern hook and fire pit with grill. Parking is on pavement. Most sites have shade. A bathhouse with showers is located in the camping loop.

* See our notes about campsite lengths under the Full Hookup Campsite details above.

Trash and recycling is located in the campground at the CCC pavilion.

Shelters at Blanco State Park:

Screened Shelters

Total Sites: 7

Site Numbers: 41-47

8 Person Max

Water and Electricity

No Kitchen or Bathroom

Parking at Shelter

Screened Shelters are located next to the camping loop. Each shelter includes a picnic table, lantern post and fire ring with grill. A ceiling fan is inside.

Tents are allowed. No RVs are allowed in the shelter area. Pets are not allowed inside the shelters. A restroom with showers is located nearby in the camping loop.

Some screen shelters at Blanco State Park have a view of the river.

Visiting Blanco State Park For a Day:

Day Use Areas

Day use visitors to Blanco State Park can enjoy hiking, picnicking, swimming, fishing, tubing or paddling. Check with the park headquarters about any ranger programs that may be scheduled.

Day Passes can be reserved up to one month in advance. Day Pass Reservation information for Blanco State Park is available through Reserve America.

For answers to frequently asked questions about Texas State Park Day Pass Reservations, visit Texas Parks and Wildlife's Save the Day Pass FAQs page.

CCC Pumphouse

CCC Pumphouse on the Pumphouse Trail

CCC Grill

CCC Grill

Blanco State Park Information:

Year Opened: 1934

Discount Passes Accepted: Texas State Parks Pass

Friends Group: Friends of Blanco State Park (contact the park headquarters for information)

CCC Park? Yes

Park Store? Souvenirs are available in the park headquarters.

Pet Policy: Pets are allowed throughout the park and on the trails, but must be kept on a leash at all times. Pets are not allowed in buildings.

Lodging Options at Blanco State Park: RV Camping, Tent Camping, Screened Shelters

Blanco State Park Reviews: Campendium, Campground Reviews, TripAdvisor, Yelp, Google Reviews

Amenities: hiking, biking, bird watching, fishing, swimming, kayaking, camping, tubing, picnicking, CCC structures

Shade Tree

Shade Tree

Accessible Shelter at Blanco State Park

Screened Shelter 47

Operated By: Texas Parks and Wildlife

Region: Texas Hill Country

County: Blanco County

Nearest Towns: Blanco TX (0.5 miles), Johnson City TX (15 miles), Stonewall TX (21 miles), Wimberly TX (25 miles), Dripping Springs TX (28 miles), Fredericksburg TX (35 miles), Driftwood TX (35 miles)

View the Blanco State Park Map

See the Hiking Trails Map for Blanco State Park Map

Weather at Blanco State Park, Blanco TX

Tags: Texas State Parks, Texas Hill Country, State Parks, CCC Parks

Where is Blanco State Park?

Where is Blanco State Park?

Approx. Distance to Blanco State Park:

San Antonio: 50 miles

Austin: 50 miles

Waco: 150 miles

Corpus Christi: 190 miles

Houston: 200 miles

Fort Worth: 220 miles

Dallas: 240 miles

Beaumont: 290 miles

Lubbock: 355 miles

Texarkana: 420 miles

Amarillo: 480 miles

El Paso: 530 miles

Blanco State Park Fees

Camping Fees: $20 - $25 / night

Screened Shelters: $30 / night

Day Use Fees (Ages 13+): $5 / day

Where To Find Ice, Firewood, Groceries and Fuel Near Blanco State Park

Firewood is available for purchase from the park hosts in the camping loop at Blanco State Park.

Since this park is located within the town of Blanco, all other amenities can be found within just a few miles of the state park. The nearest grocery store is a Lowe's Market which is about one-half mile away from the park on US 281.

There is an Exxon station just beyond that which sells both gas and diesel fuel. This station would also be a good place to disconnect your tow vehicle before you arrive at the park or reconnect the two after you leave.

There are a ton of great dining options in Blanco as well as several breweries, wineries and distilleries. We'll talk more about many of these in next week's Blanco TX post!

Blanco State Park, Blanco TX |

If You Like Blanco State Park, You Might Also Like:

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McKinney Falls State Park

Garner State Park

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Martin Creek Lake State Park

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Safe Travels and Happy Camping!

Please Note: These details are accurate to to the best of our knowledge. We try our best to provide accurate information, but we are human and sometimes details change. Please check with the park directly to confirm current information.