Galveston Island State Park is a Texas state park that is located on the western side of Galveston Island in Galveston County. It is on the western Gulf Coast of Texas. It is a beautiful park that is perfect for a relaxing weekend getaway or a family vacation. Visitors can hike or bike on the beautiful trails and enjoy the great views of the sea. You can also enjoy a day at the beach.
The water is protected by breakwater, and the park features hiking trails that are about two miles long. They meander through a bayside salt marsh and prairie. Visitors can also observe rare species of birds that make the area their home. Galveston Island State Park is also an important part of Gulf of Mexico migration.
Galveston Island State Park was severely damaged during Hurricane Ike in 2008. After the storm, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department recognized the need for a new master plan for the park that would improve public understanding and enjoyment of the area. The new master plan not only provides recreational opportunities for park visitors, it also sets a new standard in Texas environmental master planning.
Galveston Island State Park has several different habitats and attracts hundreds of species of birds. Those interested in birding should bring binoculars and a checklist so they can identify the different species they encounter. Typical species of birds seen at Galveston Island State Park include red-winged blackbirds, hawks, clapper rails, and great blue herons.
Galveston Island State Park was closed following Hurricane Ike damage on September 14, 2008. It reopened in July 2009, and is once again available for camping and outdoor recreation. ABC 13 Houston recently reported that the park is home to a sea turtle nest for the first time in a decade It was an incredible environmental triumph.
The park offers two campgrounds: one is located on the Gulf Coast beach side of the island and the other is located on the bayside. The cost of either site is $20 or $25 per night. At the Bayside campground, visitors can enjoy a variety of activities such as fishing, swimming, and kayaking. There is no fishing license requirement at state parks. Visitors also have access to a fish cleaning station. There are 66 campsites to choose from in Galveston Island State Park.
The park is home to several wetlands. There are also several paddling trails and the Gulf waters are typically calm. Oak Bayou Trail is more challenging and features secluded bayous and open coves. Seagrass beds are also common along the trails. The park protects 2,000 acres of upper Gulf Coast barrier island ecosystem. It is possible to see raccoons and other wildlife in the park. There is also a small equestrian area.
Galveston Island State Park is located on a barrier island between Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. It contains over two thousand acres and twelve different ecosystems. It is popular with beachcombers, surfers, and birders. The park also contains riparian areas and marshlands.