Palmetto Interpretive Trail

Palmetto State Park, Texas

Distance0.2mi
Elevation Gain4ft
Trailhead Elevation318ft
Top319ft
Elevation Min/Max317/319ft
Elevation Start/End318/318ft

Palmetto Interpretive Trail

Palmetto Interpretive Trail is a hiking trail in Gonzales County, Texas. It is within Palmetto State Park. It is 0.2 miles long and begins at 318 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 0.4 miles with a total elevation gain of 4 feet. Near the trailhead there is a water tower. This trail connects with the following: Ottine Swamp Trail.

Palmetto Interpretive Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

60 Hikes within 60 Miles: San Antonio & Austin (Menasha Ridge Press)
Charlie Llewellin and Johnny Molloy
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"This loop follows the upgraded trail system at this old-time state park. You’ll travel bluffs along the San Marcos River on a gravel track and wander through wooded wetlands bridging a jumble of tributaries to come to a swamp forest where palmettos thrive in impressive concentrations." Read more
Best Hikes with Dogs: Texas Hill Country & Gulf Coast (The Mountaineers Books)
Melissa Gaskill
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"This park along the San Marcos River is an area where the ranges of eastern and western vegetation species merge. It is named for the tropical dwarf palmetto plants that blanket a usually swampy area of the park. These are plants found in east and southeast Texas, but rarely north and west of here. Three trails that start within a short distance of each other can be combined for a hike with a variety of landscapes and scenery. The parking lot is next to the picnic shelter, a converted refectory built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s of native rock and, originally, a roof of thatched palmetto." Read more
Best Easy Day Hikes: San Antonio (Falcon Guides)
Keith Stelter
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"Nature lovers will enjoy the trail as it passes near the San Marcos River. The area contains perfect habitat for birds, frogs, insects, and possibly a snake or two. Watch for springs in the swampy area, which many years ago contained hot springs and mud boils. See the remnants of hot springs, which, in the 1930s, people thought cured polio. From the trailhead, pass a small clearing where a few dwarf palmettos are growing beneath taller trees. The woods continue for the balance of the hike and furnish welcome shade. After completing a couple of turns, come to a sign on the left that indicates the presence of a mud boil. Look hard—there is no boiling mud, just a wet depression in the ground near the sign. Prior to the 1970s, this area was wetter and had more thermal activity, including hot springs that created mud boils. This activity probably ended due to changes brought about by the widespread drilling for oil and water." Read more
"Palmetto State Park offers excellent short trail options that can be hiked during a single outing. Palmetto Trail and Lake Trail have been combined into a single hike. The Palmetto Trail conjures scenes from the film Jurassic Park, with clinging vines, dwarf palmettos, and green ponds in the Ottine Swamp. Lake Trail circles the four-acre Oxbow Lake, formed by the meandering San Marcos River, which offers a variety of vegetation and possibly some water snakes." Read more
"Palmetto State Park offers three excellent short trail options that can be hiked separately or during a single outing. East and west Texas ecosystems meet up on these trails. The Palmetto Trail conjures scenes from the film Jurassic Park, with clinging vines, dwarf palmettos, green ponds, and a variety of insects in the Ottine Swamp. The four-acre oxbow lake, formed by the meandering San Marcos River and visited via the Lake Trail, offers a variety of vegetation and possibly some water snakes. The Hiking Trail takes you under a dense forest cover to an operating hydraulic ram-jet pump built in 1935 by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Palmetto State Park is a stop on Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Great Texas Birding Trail." Read more

Palmetto Interpretive Trail Reviews

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11/30/2001
This is a beautiful park. Not crowded at all. Very nice and well marked trails.
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Trail Information

Palmetto State Park
Nearby City
Palmetto State Park
Parks
Dog-friendly, Stroller/Wheelchair Accessible
Accessibility
Easy
Skill Level
Palmetto State Park
Local Contacts
USGS Ottine
Local Maps