Explore Galveston Island State Park

Freshwater Pond Loop, Galveston, Texas, United States

  • Activities:

    Chillin, Camping, Fishing, Mountain Biking, Kayaking, Swimming, Hiking

  • Skill Level:


  • Season:

    Year Round

Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Picnic Area

1.6 miles of coastline. Escape from the city. Campsites near the beach. Trails for hiking & biking. Paddling trails (must bring own kayak). Plenty of private spots for fishing.

Galveston Island State Park is one of the several state parks in Texas offering coastline to the Gulf of Mexico. The park is good to visit during any time of the year, and offers several hiking, biking and paddling trails. In order to take advantage of the paddling trails you must bring your own kayak.

The park has two different parts. There is the beach side which has sand dunes and prairie type landscape. On the back side of the island, where the majority of the hike and bike trails are, is a great habitat for wildlife such as fish, birds and crustaceans (Blue Crab & Fiddler Crab).

The trails are fairly short, and if you have 2 hours to hike you will be able to hit all of them. We started on the Freshwater Pond Loop trail followed by the Prairie Trail, and finished up with Duck Lake. All of the trails will offer footbridges across the ponds and marshes, and views of the wildlife that call the park their home.

For a look into all of the multi-use trails check out the park's map here.

Pack List

  • Hiking shoes
  • Water
  • Camera
  • Bathing Suit if planning on swimming
  • Binoculars for wildlife viewing
  • $5 for Entrance Fee or Texas Parks Pass
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This state park is a hidden gem. Every Saturday at 10:00 am from March to the end of November free guided interpretive beach walks are offered and each Sunday, bay walks are offered. There are three kayak trails in various bayous on the bay side of the park. You can go on the park website and sign up for a free guided kayak trip. The park has ten tandem kayaks and guides that lead these trips, again all free to the public. The park doesn't rent these kayaks but there are several kayak rental businesses in Jamaica Beach that will deliver the kayaks to the park launches and pick them up when you are done. All fishing in the state park can be done without a fishing license and there are multiple freshwater lakes as well as fishing in the bay or the gulf. The beach at the park has been left to develop naturally and is one of the best beaches on the island. The park has multiple hiking trails through a variety of habitats including the coastal prairie and salt marsh. There is a $5 per person park entry fee but if you have a Texas State Park pass everyone in your car gets in free. This is a must-see park and the only place left on Galveston Island where you can go unobstructed from the beach to the dune and swale complex to the coastal prairie to the salt marsh to Galveston Bay. One of my favorite places.

8 months ago
8 months ago

We have went to the pint indicated in the map, but we only found a camping side and some fisherman alongside the nord part of the peninsula. Afterword we hit the Jamaica beach and it was really cool. Nevertheless if we could have found any of the trails that would have been an awesome experience.

about 2 years ago
about 2 years ago

Sarah Vaughn Explorer

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