Garner State Park to Add 177 Acres in Land Purchase

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AUSTIN — One of Texas’ most beloved outdoor recreation destinations — Garner State Park near Concan — will be adding a 177-acre tract that includes the iconic bluff known as Old Baldy as the result of a land deal struck with a willing, conservation-minded landowner.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission at its Jan. 28 meeting approved the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s acquisition of the tract owned by Barbara Muennink, whose family has owned the property for more than 80 years. She is selling the tract to TPWD at a bargain price to help keep the land in its natural state.

Over the years, Muennink has never tried to restrict public access to the rocky bluff overlooking the scenic Frio River that most park visitors assumed was part of state park property. In reality, only a very small part of the bluff is state-owned.

Texas Parks and Wildlife staff and real estate broker Morris Killough with Texas Land & Ranch Company in Utopia, TX worked closely with Muennink and her family to structure the deal that will result in the addition of this tract.

When the TPWD completes the pending land purchase, Garner State Park will encompass almost 1,600 acres. The new tract at the southernmost end of the park includes a hiking trail that climbs the 400-foot river bluff and an additional 210 feet of riverfront property.

Funds for the Garner State Park land acquisition comes from monies allocated last year by the 81st Texas Legislature and a matching grant from the National Park Service’s Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Garner State Park records approximately 400,000 visits each year. It ranks No. 1 among 93 Texas state parks in the percentage of park visitors who stay overnight in one of the park’s many campsites, screened shelters or 17 cabins built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Garner State Park is open seven days a week. Entry fees are $6 per person 13 years and older visiting for day use only and $4 per person for individuals 13 years and older who are staying overnight. For camping fees and other information, contact Garner State Park at (830) 232-6132.

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