Palmetto State Park

Luling, Texas

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The 263-acre Palmetto State Park was named for the dwarf palmetto that occurs along the San Marcos River in the park’s Ottine Swamp. The area lies at the point where the blackland prairie, post oak savannah, and coastal plains biogeographic regions converge; it represents the western edge of the dwarf palmetto’s range. The Palmetto and River trails are self-guided, with numbered posts. A booklet provides the user with the identification and description of several common plants. Of historic interest are the structures built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, including an outdoor pavilion constructed of native sandstone, a large water storage tower, and a hydraulic pump (one of the few operating ram-jet pumps in existence), needed to maintain a water supply to the palmetto wetlands. Key birds include: Wood Duck, Crested Caracara, Wild Turkey, Greater Roadrunner, Green Kingfisher, Pileated Woodpecker, and Grasshopper Sparrow; Anhinga; Black-bellied Whistling Duck; Purple Gallinule; Chuck-will’s-widow; Scissor-tailed Flycatcher; Prothonotary, Swainson’s, and Kentucky Warblers; Indigo and Painted Buntings; and Dickcissel.

Palmetto State Park Professional Review and Guide

"The 263-acre Palmetto State Park was named for the dwarf palmetto that occurs along the San Marcos River in the park’s Ottine Swamp. The area lies at the point where the blackland prairie, post oak savannah, and coastal plains biogeographic regions converge; it represents the western edge of the dwarf palmetto’s range.

The Palmetto and River trails are self-guided, with numbered posts. A booklet provides the user with the identification and description of several common plants. Of historic interest are the structures built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, including an outdoor pavilion constructed of native sandstone, a large water storage tower, and a hydraulic pump (one of the few operating ram-jet pumps in existence), needed to maintain a water supply to the palmetto wetlands.

Key birds include: Wood Duck, Crested Caracara, Wild Turkey, Greater Roadrunner, Green Kingfisher, Pileated Woodpecker, and Grasshopper Sparrow; Anhinga; Black-bellied Whistling Duck; Purple Gallinule; Chuck-will’s-widow; Scissor-tailed Flycatcher; Prothonotary, Swainson’s, and Kentucky Warblers; Indigo and Painted Buntings; and Dickcissel."

Activity Type: Birding
Nearby City: Luling
Trail Type: Several options
Best Times: Best April and May for spring migrants and nesting activities; November to March for winter birds
Local Contacts: Palmetto State Park
Local Maps: Texas Atlas & Gazetteer, DeLorme
Driving Directions: Directions to Palmetto State Park

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May 2018