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Galveston Island State Park

Come to the island to stroll the beach or splash in the waves. Or come to the island to fish or look for coastal birds. No matter what brings you here, you’ll find a refuge at Galveston Island State Park. Just an hour from Houston, but an island apart! With both beach and bay sides, Galveston Island State Park offers activities for every coast lover. You can swim, fish, picnic, bird watch, hike, mountain bike, paddle, camp, geocache, study nature or just relax! Visit our nature center to learn more about the park and its programs. Be safe in the water: Review our water safety tips before your visit. Stay at one of the beach or bay campsites or rent one of the lodges.

Fish in the bay area or beach-side. We have canoe/kayak launches and a fish cleaning station. Remember, you do not need a fishing license to fish from shore in a state park. Hike or bike four miles of trails through the park’s varied habitats. Stop at the observation platform or photo blinds, and stroll boardwalks over dunes and marshes. Paddle one or all of our paddling trails! We do not rent canoes or kayaks; you must bring your own. Galveston Island State Park is a Texas state park located on western Galveston Island in Galveston County, on the western Gulf Coast in Texas. The park protects 2,013.1-acre (814.7 ha) of dunes, estuaries, wetlands, brackish ponds, and beaches. It was established in 1975. It is adjacent to the city of Galveston. Habitats include surf, beach, dunes, coastal prairie, fresh-water ponds, wetlands, bayous and bay shoreline. It has numerous trails for scenery and wildlife viewing. There is a public campground in the park.

Galveston Island is a barrier island between Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. The island began to form around 5,000 years ago. It took another 3,000 years for the core to become high enough to withstand typical storm surges. American Indians began to visit Galveston Island around 2,000 years ago. In the 16th century, Spanish exploration initiated European interaction with the indigenous Akokisa and Karankawa peoples. It is believed that Cabeza de Vaca and his crew were shipwrecked here in 1520 and eventually made their way from the island to colonial New Spain (México). The LaFitte brothers, fleeing the prosecution of pirates in the Caribbean, established a “government” here in 1817, with visions of creating a “Manhattan on the Gulf.” Commerce did thrive here, but major storms in 1867, 1871, 1875, and 1886 greatly slowed progress. The Galveston Hurricane of 1900 devastated the island, killing 5000 to 10,000 people, and prompted the construction of the seawall which protects the northern half of the island.

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5306 Avenue O 1/2, Galveston, TX 77551, United States
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