Blanco State Park

Friday, December 6 through Sunday, December 8, 2002

Find more Blanco State Park Pictures here!

Blanco State Park is located in Blanco Texas which is about an hour north from San Antonio on US 281.   The Texas State Parks web site has a map of the park.

Here is a AAA generated trip route.

The Greater Blanco Chamber of Commerce, Blanco County News, and Blanco County web sites are good starting points to finding information about the area around the park.

In the San Antonio and surrounding area, I recommend H-E-B grocery stores.  The nearest H-E-B to the park is in...  Actually, I would recommend the Super S grocery store which is less than one mile South along US 281 from the park entrance.

This is a great park.  We will be back!  Friday and Saturday nights we built a fire.  The Saturday fire was much bigger.

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This park runs along the Blanco river on both sides of the river and on both sides of US 281.  The day use area is mostly on the North shore of the river.  The camping areas (and an additional day use area) are on the South shore of the river.  The park entrance is on the North shore.  To get to the camping area, you have to cross a "bridge."  For those of you not familiar with Texas roadways, there are a number of bridges that are little more than concrete pored on top of culverts.  The bridge below is a perfect example.  There are culverts that run under the roadway.  The water backs up behind the bridge.   When it rains, water backs up behind the bridge and starts to flow over the top.   Then the bridge turns into a low water crossing.  In fact, there is a measuring stick on the right hand side of the bridge.  Something else that is fun about this park.  It is listed as one of the better parks to fish in.  All the people hanging out on and around the bridge are fishing.

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Up river from the bridge is a dam.  The dams creates a nice area for swimming. 

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Friday was one of those crystal clear blue sky days.  The water above the dam was smooth as glass.  The trees turning red are cyprus trees.  It isn't unusual for trees to turn this late in the year here.

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At the far west end of the park is another dam.  The west end dam is used by the City of Blanco for their water supply.  You can walk across an old "bridge" that has been damaged during previous floods.  The river above this dam is smooth as glass as well.  There is a new bridge just a bit down river from the picture below on the left.  you can see the bridge footings in the foreground in the lower right of the picture.  This bridge is a real bridge that would be passable during light to moderate flooding.  That is, this new bridge would likely flood before the 281 bridge would.

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Down river from the US 281 bridge, there is another dam.  This is the dam that keeps the water high at the bridge across the park.  On the ranger station side of the river past this particular dam is a well maintained and traveled trail that doesn't appear on any park maps.  I followed the trail.  The trail follows a creek that drains into the Blanco river.  The trail zigzagged across or over the creek.  I walked up hill, over the bridges from a densely wooded area in the park to a much more open and airy area.

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In the open airy area there was an old large live oak tree.   According to the sign, it is Byars' co-champion largest live oak tree in Blanco County.  In this part of Texas, live oak trees are sacred.  The are slow to grow but once established they are drought tolerant.  I would guess that this tree is over 400 years old.

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I continued up the trail.  I was surprised when the trail ended in the main square of Blanco.

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Saturday morning there was a light frost.

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These wacky ducks were all over the park.  Don't know what they are called but they are lots like geese.  They aren't scared by people.

There is a nice little stream flowing into the Blanco river.

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There was a parade in Blanco Saturday morning.  The Friends of Blanco Park (with the help of the rangers) entered a float in the parade.  They won first place.

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There are a number of private properties bordering the park.  One of the properties, a farm, has sheep and a llama.

We walked the dogs.

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The ranger station was nicely decorated for the holidays.    These pictures are from the same original.  Just processed electronically in a different way.

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Next door, a holiday church service was in progress.  I think they were re-enacting the nativity.  May your journeys be pleasant and safe.

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Merry Christmas!

By the way, we finally got a look inside one of those screened enclosures that are in so many of the parks.  They are rather Spartan.  The table in the lower left foreground is made from concrete.  There are no other features or fixtures in the building.  There is one exception (of course) - the ceiling fan.  If you plan to sleep in one of these, bring more than just a sleeping bag.  You will need some sort of mattress.

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Copyright © 2002 Larry Pearson - All Rights Reserved