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Old 04-30-2015, 08:30 PM
 
39 posts, read 63,477 times
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Our family is considering moving to San Antonio for a job. One of our favorite activities is camping.

Are there nice State Parks within 90 min of San Antonio that have good campgrounds for family camping?
What months are comfortable for camping?
Anything critter-wise we should be aware of?

Wondering whether to keep the pop-up if we come down.

Last edited by sailing_st_croix; 04-30-2015 at 09:16 PM..
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Old 04-30-2015, 09:24 PM
 
Location: Texas
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Bring the camper. LOTS of places to enjoy and some are camper only. North you have Kerrville, Llano, Willow City in the spring for the Blue Bonnets, and Fredricksburg with the Nimitz WWII museum and Enchanted Rock. West you have Del Rio, Brackettville, Tarpley, Garner, more than you can go to in several years. South you have the coast, Alice and the King Ranch. East, you only go east in the early spring or late fall. Mosquitoes will kill a weekend trip otherwise. You DO NOT go anywhere within 50 miles of the Mexican border. It's a war zone and despite my warnings to several, they never came back. The exception would be Big Ben. WE normally have lakes around SA that are a fun weekend, train rides in east Texas, just loads of parks along streams and lakes to enjoy. Here's a map of the State parks.
All Parks
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Old 05-01-2015, 05:08 AM
 
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There are several state parks within a 90 mile radius of SA. Garner being the most popular and right at 90 minutes from the west side of SA.

Coming from PA the state parks seem a bit small - PA's state parks are usally abutted to state game lands (something TX doesn't appear to have). Also there are day use fees which can get a little ridiculous if you have a larger family but the annual pass is a bargin and allows unlimited free entry for everone in the car with the passholder (i.e. 2 carloads at a time), 4 50% off 2nd night of camping discounts, and discounts at certain retail stores in the parks.

Texas State Parks Pass
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Old 05-01-2015, 06:37 AM
 
Location: San 'Tone
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Yes, keep the camper! There are abundant camping opportunities here. Just look at the map link TrapperL posted.

Beyond that there are also National Parks: Big Bend, Guadalupe Mountains, Sam Houston National Forest, Padre Island National Seashore. All are further than your 90 minute criteria, but perfect for longer excursions.

Summer can be very hot, even at night when temps may not drop below middle to upper 80s. Parks with water access will be busy, requiring reservations and patience, and gets crowded.

October through April, sometimes May will be the most comfortable months for camping.

Not a whole lot in the way of dangerous critters. We do have pit vipers and coral snakes to be aware of.
https://tpwd.texas.gov/kids/wild_thi...e/snakes.phtml

Scorpions are common. Feral hogs are also common, but moreso in the state parks with longer trail systems. Mountain lion, bear and bobcat are rare and you'd be luck to see any. (Moreso west Texas and Big Bend anyhow) Mostly you're going to see deer, racoon, armadillo, and possum in the campground areas.

San Antonio is really and ideal and unique location for camping enthusiasts. A reasonably short drive in any direction yield a completely different environment. Hill country, desert, forest and woodlands, beach and coastal, plains, canyons. It's all here
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Old 05-02-2015, 01:31 PM
 
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Camping here is almost year round. We camp in every month except Dec, Jan, July, and August. If we wanted to travel as far as the Davis Mountains, we would also camp in July or August. And I bet the temps here in the winter are milder then PAs Fall temps.
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Old 05-02-2015, 09:22 PM
 
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Oh wow. THANK YOU SO MUCH EVERYONE! I honestly had no idea. And certainly did not expect so many awesome options so near by. Also appreciate the ideas further out.

Curious about the actual sites at the State Parks... are they fairly separate/private, with visual barriers from bushes/trees? Or more like a parking lot? Always camped in the former, then moved somewhere where the norm was having campers 6 feet apart.

Another thing... what you all describe sounds like camping with 40-lb dogs is plenty safe. yes? (no worries about dogs getting snatched by bobcats like in California or gators in Florida)

Again, very very grateful for the help!
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Old 05-02-2015, 11:17 PM
 
Location: San 'Tone
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State park sites are generally separate and semi private. There may be some line of sight and voices carrying from adjacent and opposing sites, but nothing of the sort of parking lot scenario you describe. There will be some trees usually and an individual parking space and tent pad/fire pit/hookups for each site. There are different types of sites: primitive, water, water and electric.

40 lb dog is plenty safe. I've camped, backpacked, and canoed with a dog the same size and never a worry. There are dog restrictions in the National Parks, they aren't permitted in the backcountry or on the trails. For the state parks, I've not seen any of that sort of restriction. You will need to keep your dog leashed and cleaned up after though. Don't let them harass the wildlife, and keep excessive barking in check as a courtesy to other campers.
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Old 05-03-2015, 05:12 AM
 
Location: the Permian Basin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailing_st_croix View Post
Anything critter-wise we should be aware of?
This document has most of the critters I would have warned you about, with photos.
http://www.poisoncontrol.org/docs/toxic_bites.pdf

Also, be on the lookout for plants such as poison oak, poison ivy, and poison sumac.
Identify the Plant | The Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, Poison Sumac Site

Be aware that large cats could be encountered north, NW, and west of San Antonio. I'd probably bring the dog inside the tent at night.

If you see a bat during daylight hours, it's probably rabid, so don't touch it. They take flight at dusk, emerging from caves to hunt insects.

Although they try to stay underwater and away from humans, the Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) WILL snap at you if confronted. Other turtles and tortoises are harmless and will try to avoid humans. If bitten by a turtle, wash the area with antibacterial soap, as salmonella bacteria lives in the digestive tract of turtles and tortoises.
http://amc-nh.org/resources/guides/r...20Rd%20057.jpg
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Old 05-03-2015, 09:20 AM
 
4,268 posts, read 8,357,221 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailing_st_croix View Post
Oh wow. THANK YOU SO MUCH EVERYONE! I honestly had no idea. And certainly did not expect so many awesome options so near by. Also appreciate the ideas further out.

Curious about the actual sites at the State Parks... are they fairly separate/private, with visual barriers from bushes/trees? Or more like a parking lot? Always camped in the former, then moved somewhere where the norm was having campers 6 feet apart.


Again, very very grateful for the help!
Depends on the park. I had to get used to the crowded atmosphere at many state parks (having spent most of my time camping in the west and later NE). Some parks' campsites have more privacy than others, none I've been to are very private. There are a couple that feel like a parking lot. We've pretty much camped at all that state parks within a 2-hour drive of San Antonio, and many further afield. We do tent camping so try to avoid the RV sites whenever possible.
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Old 05-04-2015, 02:18 PM
 
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I looked this up a while ago, all the camping anywhere near S.A seems to have plenty of people that come to try to enjoy some outdoor activities and leave disappointed. The reason why is that the local people seem to act like it's a free for all jack around camp ground. Even the KOA has some nasty people there alot of the time. I feel like it's unsafe because you are staying in a tent or a camper and nobody has respectful boundaries and there are plenty of people that will try to go through your stuff while you're away of while you are sleeping. The comfortable times to camp temperature wise are Sept through November and late February through April. You won't enjoy it late in the summer. It's a scorcher out.

( I'm not from here. So I may not be tolerant of the weather like some people that have lived in the South all their lives. But that's why it's my opinion. )
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