Goose Island State Park, Rockport, Texas
Has Covid-19 cancelled your summer travel plans? Looking for a getaway that is not too far but a break from your own four walls? This is exactly what my husband and I were after as we headed out to Goose Island State Park in Rockport, Tx this past week. With our stake park pass, we reserved a camping site with water and electricity for only $18. We figured that was a small investment for a potential adventure.
What did we find there? Our campsite was secluded and wooded. We were surrounded by live oak trees, twisted and shaped by the wind. We learned later from the park ranger that 40% of these trees’ canopies were destroyed in Hurricane Harvey and the park is still not back to full capacity since the storm in 2017. Fortunately, the parks’ most famous tree was largely unaffected by the storm. It is one of the oldest and largest trees in Texas. Fittingly called the Big Tree, it is over 1,000 years old and over 35 feet in circumference.
All wooded campsites were open but beach side campsites on the actual island remain closed until September or October 2020 as they continue to repair infrastructure damaged by the storm. Fortunately our wooded campsite was located walking distance from a recently remodeled bathroom with showers. It was clean and well cared for. However, it was the only bathroom facility on site that was open to the public. Daily we saw busy construction crews working on restoration of another bathroom and shower room for the wooded campsites. Hopefully, their work will be done by July. We learned to take our meals in the park down in the picnic area by the bay. The breezes were a welcome relief there.
Texas June heat can be stifling and we countered this by driving into the city of Rockport daily. Rockport is 9 miles down the road and you can find the public beach there. Only $5 for daily pass or $20 for the year and you are able to enjoy the sun and sand. The waters are quite shallow, allowing children and adults of all ages to enjoy themselves. There were some areas with playgrounds for children and piers for those who want to fish. A nice breeze blew there making for a pleasant experience.
Night and day we saw and heard the song of numerous birds in the park. I counted myself lucky that 3 or 4 male cardinals visited our campsite. I made a note to self that I want to return in the winter to see the migrating birds, like whooping cranes that frequent the park then. Beautiful sunrises and sunsets were another pleasant discovery we made at the park.
All in all, with the aid of our air conditioned van for sleeping we had the adventure we desired. It was the reminder we both needed that the beauty of nature can soothe and calm the stresses of this time period. Check it out and let us know what you think!