We only had three days and it rained all day for the first day but I still really enjoyed this park. The trails are great and our campsite had a path right down to the river. The water hookup was a bit tricky, it leaks all over the place until you turn it all the way. We were not used to this setup so we thought it was broken. We were on site 53. I don’t like the placement of the fire pits, they are off at the road side of the site which makes it feel too close to other campers, rather than tucked into your own site. The bathrooms are probably the nicest I’ve experienced at a state park.
We stayed in loop E on sites 4&5. Theses sites are nice because they are on the side that backs up to the bay so you have fewer neighbors. We had a tiny popup so we maneuvered ok but it’s pretty tight if you have a bigger unit. There’s a nice walk to the bay right off of the site. There’s a small beach with a ton of tiny crabs. It was nice to go sit at night instead of making the longer trip to the gulf coast side. Our kids were in tents and they did get flooded on the first night when it rained. The fort itself is pretty nice, you can even visit at night with flashlights. You can walk to the beach but it’s kinda far , we packed up the truck with chairs and coolers and stayed all day. Awesome beach! Beautiful white sand and clear water. If you’ve never been, plan a day trip to the National Naval and Aviation Museum. So worth it!!! And it’s free! There’s also a lighthouse,but we stayed too long at the museum and it was closed. Just a slight annoyance with the campgrounds was that the bathrooms were surrounded by a sand pit, so when you’re nice and clean after a long day in the sand you have to walk through sand in wet flip flops 😂
If you want to see alligators in their natural habitat this is the park for you. There wer so many. We even came across one on the trail eating a snake. The best part though is the observatory. There’s always plenty of stargazers up there that love to share their equipment, you can also pay for the big telescopes. We visited before Covid, so not sure how things are now. The shelter sites are nicer than most. The bathrooms were average.
We stopped in for a few hours on our drive home from Tennessee. We drove through the campgrounds to scout out our site. The campgrounds themselves seem a little crowded but I think for the surroundings it’s worth it. Can’t wait to go in the spring.
The park is nice but if you tent camp you will hear traffic noise all night long. Each car seemed to take forever to go by and within minutes there was another. It’s worth the visit to go out on the lake. The trees in the water are beautiful and eerie at the same time. There’s a great little restaurant on the water in Uncertain. I think it’s called The Riverbend Restaurant. Worst ticks I’ve ever experienced!!
First time to this park and we liked it. It is very thickly wooded which makes even the smallest sites private. We stayed on site 08 which on the map looks like it’s on the water but the brush is dense so there is no water view. Sites 10-13 are nice waterfront sites. We came here for fall colors but I think we were just a little late, but the park was still pretty. One morning, as I was sitting drinking my coffee, four deer walked right through our site!! We had a regular nighttime visit from some bold raccoons, so definitely put your goodies and trash away. Overnight spider webs cover everything and I’m quite sure we took a hundred spiders home with us!😂 The firewood from the park was plentiful and donation based. It was wet but my husband is a pyro who could probably start a fire with a block of ice!🤪 The only negative for me was the echo of the cars coming over the bridge throughout the day.
We have camped here twice, both times in winter. In 2007 and 2017. Last time was over Christmas break and our group were the only ones in the park other than a few daytime visitors. 2020 has definitely changed that! 😂 When we were there last the water heater in the bathroom wasn’t working so the water was freezing 🥶 temperatures were in the 40’s. I just love the smell of the piney woods and when the sky is clear the stars are bright.
We have been to Garner several times and it does not disappoint. The river is beautiful and the hiking is great. Going to the top of Old Baldy is always fun. We like the Rio Frio loop as it is less crowded and you can tube down to the damn in about 20 minutes if the water is flowing well. It’s a short hike to the water and there is a nice stone river bank. On the negative side, we camped one year with a large group of kids and had “noise patrol” STATE TROOPERS called on us BEFORE 10pm!!!! They hid out in the trees and acted like a swat team trying to take down a suspect. SERIOUSLY STUPID BEHAVIOR!!! Yes it was after 10pm when they showed up, but the kids had all gone in the camper to play games and everything was quiet. One of our group was playing guitar so low that I could barely hear it across the campfire but was told if he didn’t put it away he would get a ticket. If you decide to camp in a State Park by the river please except that there will be kids there making memories of a lifetime and just chill!😂 Most parents do make their kids abide by the noise requirements LIKE WE DID!!!!
This is our favorite local (2hous from home) park. We’ve been coming here almost every year for close to 20 years. We’ve done primitive tent camping, tent camping with power, shelter camping and just recently became glampers!😂 Site 142 in the prairie branch loop is our favorite site. It’s on the water and at the trailhead. It’s recently been designated Accessible so our last two trips we chose the shelter sites 10 and 11. These sites are also on the water and have lots of space. The showers on this side are individual rooms as opposed to the semi private (too small shower curtain) ones in the big restroom. The water is nice and hot but I suggest bringing a broom or you will be sharing with some pretty big spiders. Overall the restrooms are clean but the campgrounds are busy lately so I’m sure it’s difficult to keep up. Staff are super friendly. Firewood is on a suggested donation basis and is available most days before 5pm.