San Marcos River, Mesquite Flats, and Ottine Swamp Trails

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Palmetto State Park

San Marcos River, Mesquite Flats, and Ottine Swamp Trails is a 3.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Ottine, Texas that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length3.1 miElevation gain45 ftRoute typeLoop
Dogs on leashWheelchair friendlyKid friendlyStroller friendlyHikingMountain bikingWalkingBird watchingRunningForestLakeRiverViewsWildflowersWildlife
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Getting There

Short, easy, well cleared trail with educational postings about the nature and history of Palmetto State Park. Great for young kids and scouts! The dwarf palmettos transform the land to a prehistoric jungle in the middle of Texas. Take a short tour of the best that Palmetto State Park has to offer, and learn about the indigenous wildlife and history of the local area. Educational postings are located throughout. A historic water tower/pump built by the CCC is a feature of the trail, with information on the workings and engineering of the water tower. Quick access to both the Ottine Swamp Trail and the Mesquite Flats trail by the Palmetto Interpretive Trail.

The state park had designated parking areas, swimming, picnicking and grilling facilities, camping areas, and restrooms. Additional features include fishing, pedal boat and canoe rentals, and a limited use cabin available for rent.

Texas Tourism Division, P.O. Box 12728 , Austin, TX, 78711-2728, Phone: 800-452-9292

Directions from Gonzales, TX: Travel 10 miles northwest on US 183 to FM 1586, then west on FM 1586 for two miles to Ottine, then south on Park Road 11, or go six miles southeast of Luling on US 183, then southwest on Park Road 11 for two miles.

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Reviews (192)
Photos (382)
Activities (166)
Completed (379)
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Lloyd Wells
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Hiking

This is one of our favorite trails close to home. its great for hiking, trail running and an easy, flowy mtb ride.

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Glenda Woodworth
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Hiking

Nice easy trail, mostly shaded.

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Jason Glore
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HikingGreat!

Fun, scenic, easy hike not far from San Antonio. More humid than other nearby parks and fewer cedars/junipers. We like to go to this park in the winter.

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John Castillo
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Hiking
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Jeremy Evans
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Hiking
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Stefanie Loveberry
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Hiking
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James Helt
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Hiking
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Jamie Turner
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Hiking
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George Green
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Hiking
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Anshul Garg
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Hiking
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Charlie Lopez
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Nature tripsGreat!

Loved the trail but didn’t realize the bridge part wasn’t until the end. If you’re looking for the bridges in the pictures follow the OTTINE SWAMP TRAIL. Took us a long time to complete this trail because we stopped frequently to admire the scenery. Overall it was fairly easy and beautiful.

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Forrest Doan
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Hiking

Perfect time of year to do this one

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Kristin Ruiz
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Hiking

Beautiful, tranquil and lots of wildlife. We saw deer, lizards and countless bird species. Take a moment to silently listen to their conversations.

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Elva Zdeb
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HikingGreat!

love this trail. #wineyhikers..say to celebrate it w Champagne and local Bbq in Luling.

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Justin Joswiak
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Hiking
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Marc van Bree
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Hiking
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Jody Doerfler
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Hiking

Almost all flat and smooth. Only one decent little hill. Good for beginners, runners, bicycles, elderly.

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David Rodriguez
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Hiking

Gorgeous trail.

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Whitney Hasler
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HikingGreat!

Well-maintained trails with some boardwalk sections keeping things interesting. Trails are wide enough to pass people without getting in one another's space.

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Estela Fultz
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Hiking

Nice

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Tim Cady
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RunningGreat!

Mostly flat and well-maintained set of trails. Excellent for running.

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Christian Canas
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Hiking

Easy good trees to climb and great river views

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Nicholas Rodriguez
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Hiking
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Michael Johnson
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Hiking
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Daniel Chavez
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Hiking
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Emily Russell
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Hiking

If you're looking for a beginner's hike, or if you're looking for a running trail, this spot is excellent. It is level, well kept, with decent scenery. Pretty much vacant on a Monday morning.

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Jill Bailey
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Hiking
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Frank Tantillo
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Hiking

Very flat trail. Leave hiking sticks behind.

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Kaycee Morganto
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Hiking

Super well maintained trails! Very pretty and very flat. The river trail wasnt as pretty as expected. The prettiest one was the palmetto trail by the water tower. Not too many people, and the reservations pick up process was super easy!!

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Chris Kulakowski
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Mountain bikingGreat!
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