Molly Hitchings

Palmetto State Park

Molly Hitchings
Palmetto State Park
  • Drive from Austin: 55 miles // 1 hour drive
  • Where am I? Gonzales, TX - south of Austin
  • Amenities: Campsites have fire pit, a grill, bathrooms (no showers), a lake for swimming, canoeing, or fishing
  • Plus: You can stop in Lockhart and get Black's BBQ

If rain is in the forecast, bring wine. Lots of wine. 

Palmetto State Park is a place we had booked for a while. I had heard great things about it, and was really looking forward to checking it out. Unfortunately, when you book in advance, there's no telling what the weather will be like. The rain was looking heavy, but we decided to make the trip regardless, and I'm glad we did. We were joined this weekend by our friends, Kit and Jillian. Luckily, Jillian brought a few nice bottles of red wine, so we were plenty happy sitting in the car sipping goblets of wine while the boys set up a tarp to protect our fire. 

There is a limited amount of sites which is my personal preference. It's nice to not be surrounded by tons of other people. We set up camp and enjoyed the weather while it lasted and waited for Kit and Jillian to join us. When they arrived, we played round of Taboo around the fire and made a lovely dinner of brats and salad. Enjoying the night outside of Austin, we finished our (many) bottles of wine and beer and company. 

Michelle, the park host, came by to drop off some more firewood and told us the most amazing S'mores trick. Take note, and thank me later:

  • Fill a cupcake pan with different toppings in each space. (Crushed graham crackers, sprinkles, oreo crumbs... etc).
  • Get a huge marshmallow (not the standard small ones) and heat over the fire. 
  • When nice and brown, pull off the marshmallow and then roll the excess sticky on the stick in the toppings to enjoy. Or as Michelle said, "give to the kids"
  • Now take your marshmallow that has a hole in it, fill it with Kahlua, Bailey's, or Fireball, and enjoy! 

Day light savings really threw me off this morning, but we had a lovely wake up call of a fall breeze and early morning birds. After a breakfast of eggs, bacon, and tatoes, we went for a hike around the swamp trail and the palmetto trail. All of the hikes are flat, and accessible for people of all skills. Watch out for snakes though... 

We'll definitely return to Palmetto State Park. It was a great trip and provided exactly what we needed for a weekend outside the city.