Nature

Ducks floating on the river at sunset.Despite its small size, Blanco State Park is home to many plants and animals.

Trees such as Ashe juniper, pecan and bald cypress cover the hilly terrain along the river. Wildflowers bloom seasonally. Look for bluebonnet, Engelmann daisy, Texas paintbrush, firewheel, greenthread and four-nerve daisy.

Wildlife in the park

Three red-eared sliders perched on a log in the river.Watch for wildlife while you’re here. Great blue herons perch atop the CCC dams, waiting patiently before diving into the water to catch a fish. Red-eared sliders, spiny soft shell turtles and river cooters bask on logs along the river. Look for common musk turtles (not as common as the name suggests!) at the bottom of small pools. You may also see green herons, squirrels, cricket frogs, Gulf coast toads and leopard frogs.

Most mammals are secretive and nocturnal. We usually see only their tracks and scat. These include striped skunk, opossum, raccoon, white-tailed deer, cottontail rabbit and grey fox.

Four types of bats appear in the park: Mexican free-tailed, Eastern red, cave myotis and tri-color.

Largemouth bass, channel catfish, sunfish and rainbow trout (stocked in winter) swim the river.

The river

River bank and river in the winter.

Map showing the course of the Blanco River.
Map of the Blanco and Guadalupe rivers, courtesy of the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority

Springs from the Trinity Aquifer feed the Blanco River, which begins in northeast Kendall County.

The river’s name comes from its white limestone ledges and river bottom. The limestone here dates back to the age of the dinosaurs.

The river flows about 87 miles southeast through Blanco and Hays counties, before joining the San Marcos River in San Marcos. It is mostly shallow, except above low water dams like the two dams in the park.


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