GALVESTON ISLAND STATE PARK
Galveston Island State Park, in Galveston County, is in the City of Galveston on the west end of Galveston Island. It is a 2,013.1-acre site that was acquired in 1969 from private owners under the State Parks Bond Program and was opened in 1975.
NATURE OF THE AREA
Wading and shore birds, mottled and mallard ducks, raccoons, armadillos, and marsh rabbits can be found in the park for observation and photography. Beach or surf fishing for spotted seatrout, sandtrout, redfish, black drum, croaker, and flounder are also available.
HISTORY OF THE AREA
Galveston Island is believed to be approximately 5000 years old and has had an interesting history during the past 500 years. It is generally believed Cabeza de Vaca and his crew were shipwrecked here in 1520 and eventually made their way from the island to colonies in Mexico. The LaFitte brothers, fleeing the prosecution of pirates in the United States, established a government here in 1817, with visions of creating a "Manhattan on the Gulf." Commerce did thrive here, but major storms in 1867, 1871, 1875, and 1886 greatly slowed progress. The great storm of 1900 devastated the island, killing 5000 to 10,000 people, and prompted the construction of the seawall which protects the northern half of the island.
The largest wetland restoration project ever undertaken in a Texas state park , the Galveston Wetlands Project, has been selected to receive a Coastal America Partnership Award.
Dunes Renewal Project: September 10, 1998, Tropical Storm Frances destroyed the sand dunes at Galveston Island State Park. The dunes serve as the only protection that the park has for its facilities. A project was implemented to rebuild the dunes through the use of Christmas trees.
Nearby attractions in Galveston include Moody Gardens (with the Rainforest Pyramid, I-Max Theater, Palm Beach, etc.); numerous historical homes; the Railroad Museum; the Strand Historical District, where the Tall Ship Elissa (an 1877 sailing vessel) is moored; the Seaport Museum; and the Galveston County Museum. Space Center Houston is also nearby, as are the the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site & the San Jacinto Monument, and the Battleship TEXAS. Brazos Bend State Park, Varner-Hogg Plantation State Historic Site and Brazoria County Access Point (San Luis County Park operated by Brazoria County) are within two hours.
The park can be reached from Interstate 45 by exiting right onto 61st Street and traveling south on 61st Street to its intersection with Seawall Boulevard and then right (west) on Seawall (FM 3005) 10 miles to the park entrance.