Blanco State Park is located in the heart of Central Texas. It is about 50 miles west of Austin, 50 miles north of San Antonio, and about 45 miles east of Fredericksburg. The park entrance is located inside the city limits of Blanco, Texas. This makes the park a great place to stay if you want to visit the town and the area attractions.
Blanco State Park was built in 1934 by the Civilian Conservation Corp. It is the smallest state park in Texas. Its 110 acres include both banks of the Blanco river where it intersects with Highway 281, along with a small camping area with water and electric sites. Several of the sites also have sewer hookups.
There are as many things to do around the area as there are in the park itself. The town of Blanco has several shops, restaurants, museums, and even a brewery.
We arrived at Blanco State Park early Friday afternoon so that we could visit the nearby Real Ale brewery. Real Ale hosts a beer tasting every Friday from 2pm to 5pm, and tours of the brewery at 3pm and 4pm. We sampled all of the five beers that they had on tap that day (twice), and took the 4pm tour. The whole experience was great fun and was a fine way to start the weekend!
Before heading to the brewery, we secured the location of our camp site (above) and dropped off the RV. The road to the brewery is only a few hundred feet from Highway 281, but it is only one lane wide and would have been extremely difficult to maneuver around the parking lot pulling a trailer.
After visiting the brewery, we decided to eat at the Redbud Cafe located on the town square across the street from the County Courthouse. The Redbud Cafe has a unique menu of delicious sandwiches, burgers, chili and more. They also had many Real Ale beers on tap, which made our meal even more pleasant.
Saturday morning, after a breakfast of banana wheat pancakes at the campsite, we were fortunate enough to catch part of the Veteran's Day Parade as they were making their way through town. There were several fancy buggies, from the Buggy Barn Museum; horses, lamas, and assorted other animals; trucks pulling flatbed trailers; and many smiling people riding in cars and waving to the crowd.
Blanco State Park is small, but very picturesque. There are large cypress and oak trees growing along the banks of the river. The branches made fly fishing from the bank a little difficult, but I managed to find a few nice open spots to cast.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department periodically stocks the river with various species of fish. I saw (but did not catch) a 16 inch bass swimming along the river bank. Some other fishermen were catching catfish near the dam.
The weather was perfect during our mid November stay at the park. The crisp fall mornings and mild dry afternoons made hiking, fishing, and just being outside, more enjoyable than ever.
Saturday afternoon, we hiked around the camping area and along the river to take in the beautiful scenery and to see what the park has to offer. The picture of the farm with a red barn (below - top left) was one of the views from campsite 18. The overall camping area (top right) is covered with large trees of many varieties. The two pictures in the middle are scenes from the Blanco river. The picture of the lama (bottom left) was taken while walking through the camping area - they have a few lamas pinned up for folks to see. The picture of the birds at the bird feeders (bottom right) was taken at the new Wildlife Viewing Area located on the up-stream end of the park.
After a nice Saturday afternoon in the park, we decided to head back to town (less than a mile away) for dinner. We liked the Redbud Cafe so much we paid them another visit. We split the delicious large "Blanco Burger" and listened to live acoustic music while sipping cold ale. A fine evening it was!
After dinner we walked around the town square and reminisced about the things that we did and saw at Blanco State Park and the town of Blanco, Texas. We're already looking forward to our next visit.
Visit the official Blanco State Park page on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Website.
Visit the Blanco Chamber of Commerce web site.