Park Alerts…

Trails Information

Many ways to play by the bay.

Large bird with wings spread
Roseate spoonbill

There’s always something to do at Galveston Island State Park. Hike, bike or paddle your way along the trails. Bring your tackle for bayside fishing. And don’t forget your binoculars for the great wildlife viewing the park offers throughout the year.

Trails

All trails and roads can be used for hiking and biking unless otherwise indicated.

This list may not include all trails in the park.

Trail Distance Difficulty Description
Jenkins Bayou Paddling Trail 2.9 mi. (round trip) Moderate For close-up views of many shore and wading birds, it’s hard to beat.
Oak Bayou Paddling Trail 4.2 mi. (round trip) Challenging From secluded bayous to open coves and seagrass beds to wetlands restoration, this trail offers it all.
Dana Cove Paddling Trail 2.8 mi. Moderate Paddle across wide expanses of open water where seagrass beds once covered the floor of Galveston Bay.
Caracara Trail 0.4 mi. (round trip) Easy As you follow this trail around the oak motte, keep an eye out for birds, including the Crested Caracara.
Clapper Rail Loop 0.5 mi. (round trip) Easy Walk this path and see the results of our wetlands restoration work from ground level. Along the way, notice how the slightest rise or fall in the elevation dramatically affects the plants.
Duck Lake Trail 0.3 mi. (round trip) Easy Convenient, short and loaded with information, this short interpretive trail takes you through another section of our prairie.
Egret Loop 0.5 mi. Easy This route offers a good walk for seeing wading birds feeding along the bayous or roosting in trees near where the trail intersects the Clapper Rail Trail.
Freshwater Pond Loop 0.7 mi. Easy Let this trail take you all the way around one of our large freshwater ponds, and be sure to keep an eye out for alligators. They like the ponds, too.
Prairie Trail 0.8 mi. Easy Hike through a little of what Galveston Island once looked like. The prairies this trail goes through on its way to the large freshwater ponds are about all that is left of what was once the main habitat type on the island.
Heron's Walk Trail 0.6 mi. (there & back) Moderate This trail takes you down the bayous through marshes and salt flats out towards the old observation platform that is now a favorite roost for many wading birds.
List of trails

Points of Interest

GPS coordinates shown in decimal degrees.

Point Latitude Longitude Description
Como Lake Access Point 29.2132° -94.9532° The site provides a kayak launch point and access to the park’s best route for exploring the bay on foot. It's also a good fishing spot.
Oak Bayou Access Point 29.2048° -94.9570° Bring your gear! Here you will find some of the park’s best crabbing and fishing. It’s also an excellent place to launch your kayak.
Observation Tower 29.2013° -94.9630° The tower gives you a fine view of the entire park and beyond. Birders delight in the opportunities it provides to observe water birds. From this vantage point, you can even see barge traffic on the intercoastal canal.
Jenkins Bayou Access Point 29.1973° -94.9662° This spot offers another kayak launch point to one of the park's paddling trails. Find more information on the park's paddling trails. 
Duck Lake Viewing Area 29.2007° -94.9551° This site offers great wildlife viewing at a freshwater pond.
Observation Tower 29.2068° -94.9654° This observation tower provides excellent views of ongoing marsh restoration projects and West Bay.
List of trails

Staying Safe

  • Know your limits. Prepare for sun and heat. Wear sunscreen, insect repellent and appropriate clothing/hiking shoes.
  • Drink plenty of water. Your body quickly loses fluids when you’re on the trail. Bring a quart of water per hour of activity.
  • Tell others where you’ll be. If possible, avoid exploring alone. Tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return.
  • Wear a helmet. When mountain biking, check with park HQ to match the trail to your skill level. Wear a helmet to protect yourself in case of a crash.
  • Wear a life jacket. The law requires that all children under age 13 wear one with adult supervision while boating.

Trail Etiquette

  • Trash your trash. Keep the park natural. Pack out all of your trash and Leave No Trace.
  • Leave feeding to nature. Feeding wild animals will make them sick and more likely to harm people.
  • Don’t Pocket the Past. Help preserve Texas heritage. Leave artifacts where you find them and report their location to a ranger.
  • Keep pets on leashes for their safety, and to protect wildlife.
  • Campfires are permitted only in designated rings due to potential for ground scarring and wildfires.
  • Use only your muscles. To protect park resources, no motor vehicles are allowed on the trails or beach.