San Gabriel Park and Blue Hole Park

Georgetown’s beautiful San Gabriel River provides a lovely setting for outdoor fun, especially at San Gabriel Park and Blue Hole Park. We started out at the Randy Morrow Trail in San Gabriel Park. (We parked at the intersection of Stadium Drive and Lower Park Drive.) The trail is named after Georgetown’s first Director of Parks and Recreation, who had the vision to build a hike-and-bike trail along the San Gabriel River to connect parks and neighborhoods.

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Here’s a map of the trail around San Gabriel Park and its connections to other nearby parks. The park has a unique location: where the South and North Forks of the San Gabriel River meet.

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We couldn’t wait to walk around San Gabriel Park, which was was designated a Lone Star Legacy Park by the Texas Recreation & Parks Society in March 2012.

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We strolled along the riverbank.

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While swimming is not prohibited, there aren’t any lifeguards and it’s “swim at your own risk.”

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The ducks and geese were very friendly.

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We walked about 3/4 mile along the river. The boys just had to cross this dam.

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I walked on it, too. Here’s a picture from the middle of the river!

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Next, we went below the dam.

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My 11-year-old son found a tiny frog. (He is a strong believer in catch-and-release.)

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We were now near the eastern boundary of the park, close to the College Street bridge.

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It appears the old bridge I was reclining upon while the kids played was built by the Works Progress Administration in 1935-37. It’s no longer open to vehicles but is used by bikes and pedestrians as part of the City’s trail system.

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We began our return trip and the kids stopped to take advantage of some of the fun playground equipment. They thought this purple dinosaur–which seats two–was hilariously entertaining.

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This is another small playscape along the trail.

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My 11-year-old son liked walking perilously close to the edge.

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The boys’ generous cracker-throwing attracted an onslaught of ducks and geese.

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We escaped from our feathered friends and drove south toward Blue Hole Park, a lagoon on the South Fork of the San Gabriel River. This park is located just off of N. Austin Avenue, with the entrance at W. Second Street and Rock Street. It’s possible to hike from San Gabriel Park to Blue Hole Park. See route on this map.

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It was quite a sight!

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Like San Gabriel Park, there aren’t lifeguards and “swim at your own risk” signs are posted.

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The wading-depth water was too inviting to pass up!

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It was getting dark so we took one final look around.

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We hope we can make a return trip to Blue Hole Park and stay a lot longer!

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THE RUNDOWN:
Austin Active Kids Opinion: Your kids will love playing and exploring in these two beautiful parks along Georgetown’s San Gabriel River.
Outing Time: About 2.5 hours at San Gabriel Park and 45 minutes at Blue Hole Park. We went on a rainy day, with temperatures ranging from 75 – 80 degrees. In hotter weather, you might not be able to spend as much time.
Outing Distance: About 1.5 miles to walk along the river at San Gabriel Park (3/4 mile one way)
Reminders: San Gabriel Park has bathrooms, picnic tables, water fountains, BBQ grills, playground equipment, and more. At Blue Hole Park, you will have access to bathrooms, a water fountain, and picnic tables but no sinks. To make the most of your trip, pack towels, a change of clothes, sunscreen, water, other drinks, hand wipes, and snacks (and possibly snacks for the ducks and geese at San Gabriel Park). If you want to stay in Georgetown all day, consider visiting some other parks or their historic downtown square.

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