Parks & Lakes in Victoria, TX
PHOTO CREDIT: Antony Boshier
Unlike other parts of the country, where outdoor spaces see a significant drop in attendance during the winter months, Victoria’s warm climate keeps parks and lakes alive with activity most of the year.
If you’re looking to wet a hook, Coleto Creek Park and Reservoir, located midway between Victoria and Goliad, is a 3,100-acre freshwater lake stocked with everything from catfish to crappie.
“Unlike most of the manmade lakes in our region, the water at Coleto tends to stay very clear,” says Wilfred Korth, chief ranger of the property.
“This is unusual for south Texas, but most of the land around our lake is used for ranching, not agricultural production. Our shorelines are sandy, which is unusual, too. Most have black soil.”
Don’t have a boat? Don’t worry. Try the lighted fishing pier. In the heat of the summer season – there were 50 days over 100 degrees last summer, according to Korth – water recreation is at its peak, including water skiing, jet skiing and swimming in the lake or in the marked-off area near the shore. There are even some who parasail, taking advantage of the lake’s long and narrow shape.
Park Grounds Activities
Off the water, there are plenty of other resources, including a six-mile mountain bike trail, a one-mile hiking trail, a campground with sites for tent and trailer camping, two shelters for company picnics, family reunions and parties, a large picnic area with tables and barbecue grills, playgrounds and sand volleyball courts.
Coleto Creek Park is also a great place for bird watching. “We’re on the path of most of the birds heading towards south Texas and Mexico,” Korth says. “And bald eagles nest around the lake in the wintertime.”
Thirty five miles east of Victoria in Edna, Lake Texana has 125 miles of shoreline up the Navidad River Valley and waters stocked with everything from Florida bass to bream. And just two miles south of Victoria’s city limits, Saxet Lakes is a 95-acre park with fishing, swimming, barbecue pits and boat ramps.
Plenty of Space
Need more space? Riverside Park has 562 acres of “everything anyone would want to do outdoors,” says Doug Cochran, director of parks and recreation in Victoria.
Bordered by four and a half miles of the Guadalupe River, Riverside Park boasts 200 picnic areas, many event pavilions, a duck pond, a lake for fishing, boating and swimming, nature trails for hiking and biking, and playgrounds. There’s also a paddling trail for canoes and kayaks that runs along the edge of the park.
How about some golf? There’s a 27-hole course and an 18-hole disc golf course, too.
“Some groups that lease property from us have a horsemen’s club, so you can also catch a rodeo every now and then,” Cochran says.
“You can also attend a little league game at our historic baseball stadium, which dates back to the 1950s when it was used for a farm team for the Dodgers.”
For flower fanatics, Riverside Park has the memorial rose garden, which features over 1,000 rose bushes representing over 100 varieties, a water fountain, gazebo and walkways.
Read more about outdoor activities in Victoria, TX.