South Texas Destinations: Lockhart State Park, Lockhart, Texas

I really put the mileage on my state park pass this year.  Alex and I may actually have gotten our money’s worth this year.  One of our outings was when we took a friend to Lockhart State Park.

I wanted to check out Lockhart State Park because of it was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (“CCC”). The CCC was a way for unemployed men between the ages of 17 and 28 to help the nation out and make some money during the Great Depression.  The CCC was founded in 1933 with the goal of not just keeping young employed people busy and help them become more employable, but also to raise awareness of the outdoors. And it worked, on all counts.  There was a maximum of 300,000 young men at a time in the CCC, and in the nine years that the CCC existed, over three million young men worked with them, so each young man was with them for just a little more than ten months. Each young man could enroll for up to four six-month periods if they were unable to find work at the end of each six-month period. In order to end up with an average of 10.8 months per participant, a lot of participants must have found jobs after their first six-month period, and very few had trouble finding work for the entire two years.  And the rest of the population of the United States gained a lot from the CCC as well.  Over 800 parks, 29 of which were in Texas, were built by the CCC.

So, having read about the CCC involvement in Lockhart State Park, and having seen a list of the structures they built, I had to go check it out.  Unfortunately, I decided to check it out in August, so we didn’t get to explore as much as we would have liked.

Alex and I invited a friend to come with us, and we got as early a start as we could, which was around 10 a.m. Lockhart State Park is just south of Austin, so it’s about an hour drive from San Antonio.  We had some trouble getting to the park, as there was construction on Texas 130, and Google Maps apparently didn’t know about it.  We had hoped that the construction would start after our turn for the park, but the road was blocked off just at the turn, so we had to double back.

Lockhart State Park has several amenities, including a swimming pool and a nine-hole golf course.  If you aren’t interested in golf or swimming, it is still a nice park to visit with around three miles of (unfortunately, not handicap accessible) trails and, from what I can tell, around 20 structures built by the CCC, including a recreation hall and water tower, a residence, a bridge, several check dams, and the golf course.  The swimming pool is actually the second swimming pool built at the park.  The CCC built a swimming pool which has been filled in.  You can still see the outline of the pool on the ground, however.

Lockhart State Park pool outline
The outline of the pool at Lockhart State Park

On the whole, we really enjoyed our very brief visit to Lockhart State Park and hope to return now that it’s cooler and explore more. However, unless you are really into state parks, or golf, it might not be worth a special trip.  As a side trip from a trip to Austin, however, Lockhart State Park might just be perfect.