Palmetto State Park


Palmetto State Park sits between Gonzales and Luling, at the center of much Texas history.


Gonzales, established in 1825, was the capital of impresario Green DeWitt's colony. It was the farthest west Anglo settlement until the end of the Texas Revolution.

In 1831, the Mexican government sent a six-pound cannon to Gonzales as protection against the Indians. This cannon was used in the "Come and Take It" Battle on Oct. 2, 1835, when the first shot of the Texas Revolution was fired.

While in Gonzales, Gen. Sam Houston learned of the defeat of the Alamo from Mrs. Almeron (Susannah) Dickinson. Mrs. Dickinson, her baby and two servants were the only survivors of the siege.

Gen. Houston gathered troops and ordered Gonzales burned. He then led the famous "runaway scrape," gaining time and mustering troops before taking a stand at San Jacinto. There, he defeated Mexican president Santa Anna and Texas gained its freedom from Mexico.


Established in 1874, Luling served as a gathering point and supply center for cattle drivers along the Chisholm Trail. Cotton ruled the economy until the discovery of oil in 1922. By 1924, the oil field was producing 16 million barrels of oil per year.

A park between

Palmetto's refectory building, with its original thatch roof.Palmetto State Park, named for the tropical dwarf palmettos found here, is 270.3 acres in Gonzales County, northwest of Gonzales and southeast of Luling. The park abuts the San Marcos River and also has a four-acre oxbow lake.

The state acquired the land from private owners and the city of Gonzales in 1934 to 1936. The park opened in 1936.

Civilian Conservation Corps

The men of the Civilian Conservation Corps built many stone facilities in the park during the 1930s. This includes the entry road (Park Road 11), group pavilion, water tower and low water crossing on the river. Learn more about the CCC’s work here at The Look of Nature: Palmetto.

Explore A New Deal for Texas State Parks (e-book resource for teachers and students).