Goose Island State Park

Table of Contents

Key Information About Goose Island State Park

Contact Info

(361) 729-2858


202 S. Palmetto St. Rockport, TX 78382-7965


Per person 13 years and older $5 Daily



About Goose Island State Park

Goose Island State Park Campground is located along the Gulf Coast’s St. Charles and Aransas bays and provides 126 single family (mixed-use) campsites.

There are 25 walk-in (tent-only) sites, 57 sites with electricity and water (most of which are nestled among some lovely huge oak trees), and 44 “luxury” sites with electricity and water (these sites are located on the bay front). Camping for youth groups is also offered.

Drinking water, flush toilets, showers, and a dump station are all available at the campground. A state park store, recreation centre, picnic area, boat ramp, canoe/kayak launch, fishing pier, and fish cleaning facility are all located here.

There are flush bathrooms in the park, and each campsite has a table, grill, and fire ring.


Goose Island State Park activities

Nature Walks with Guides:

Year-round, guided nature walks are a terrific way to learn more about the species on Goose Island. The guided excursions are mostly focused on the island’s different bird species. Goose Island State Park is home to over 300 kinds of birds, so there’s always something new to discover. Because the landscape is reasonably flat and not too harsh for children, the treks are excellent for the entire family.

Seeing the "Big Tree":

“Gigantic Tree,” Goose Island State Park’s most famous resident, is exactly what it sounds like – a big tree. The “Big Tree,” whose roots have been in the ground for almost 1,000 years, attracts visitors from all across the country. Its broad trunk and flowing branches are distinctive and whimsical enough to captivate onlookers. The trunk diameter of this ancient live oak is 11 feet, and its height is believed to be around 44 feet. It is a natural wonder that campers will not want to miss, so don’t leave the park without paying a visit to “Big Tree.”

Picnicking at Goose Island State Park:

Near the beach of St. Charles Bay, there is a covered picnic area. It’s a terrific spot for a family supper while taking in the scenery of the bay’s fauna. Many birds can be found in this area; however, do not feed them and always clean up the picnic spot after each meal. The picnic space is only accessible on a first-come, first-served basis, so arrive early.

In-Season activities in Goose Island State Park

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Hiking at Goose Island State Park:

Guests can explore the several miles of paths that make their way through Goose Island State Park if the beach is too crowded. The trails are easy to walk and mainly paved, making them ideal for exploring nature and observing native species with family members of all ages. However, there are other unpaved pathways, such as the half-mile Turks Cap Trail, that will take hikers even further into the woods, although they are not too challenging for beginners.

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Marine life abounds in the bay’s waters, including flounder, redfish, speckled trout, and other sea critters. Anglers can fish right from their tent if they have a bayfront spot. The 1,620-foot long fishing pier will provide plenty of space for other tourists. Anglers can either bring their own gear or hire it from a local tackle loaner.

If you want to fish inside the park, you’ll need a fishing licence. If you can’t get enough fishing, drive to Lake Corpus Christi State Park, which is only about an hour away and has a lake covering over 21,000 acres.

Canoeing and kayaking

Guests will have plenty of options to explore the open waters and enjoy a day of kayaking on the bay thanks to a canoe and kayak launch location that is accessible all day. There are no rental sites within the park, so visitors will need to bring their own boats. Enjoy the fresh air while keeping an eye out for alligators basking along the beach.

Goose island state park camping:

Campground in the Woods:

In the Wooded Area Campground, there are 57 standard campsites. These campsites, which are shaded by giant oak trees and have water and power hookups, are only accessible by reservation. Each campground also includes a picnic table, grill, and fire ring. Restrooms are located in the campground’s centre. These campsites are larger and more secluded than those in the Bayfront Area, with lush woods separating each camper from the others. In case something goes wrong, there is also a maintenance area near the forest area campgrounds. Pets are allowed in this campground, but they must be kept on a leash at all times, according to Texas State Park guidelines.

Bayfront Goose Island State Park Campground:

On the bayfront, there are 44 campsites with a fantastic view of the water. A couple of the sites are across the street from the bay, but the most of them are directly on the water’s edge. Water and electricity are available at these campsites. Guests can cook wonderful food on the grill or relax with a meal at the picnic table or under the shade shelter offered at the campsite. Ground fires are not permitted in the bayfront campgrounds.

Restrooms are only a short walk away, and all campers have access to hot showers. Pets are allowed in this campground, but they must be kept on a leash at all times, according to Texas State Park guidelines. Campers may fish right from their tents, and they have unrivalled views of the beach and local animals.

Camping alternatives at Goose Island State Park:

Only Tent Campground:

There are 25 tent-only campsites accessible by reservation only for guests who prefer to spend the night under the stars. These campsites are up to 150 yards distant from the Wooded Area Campground and in an area of the park where automobiles are not permitted, so guests will have to walk in all of their gear and supplies. These campsites offer a grill, picnic table, and fire ring, as well as water hookups. Pets are allowed in this campground, but they must be kept on a leash at all times, according to Texas State Park guidelines.

Campground for Youth Groups:

Goose Island State Park is a favourite destination for youth groups since there are so many possibilities to learn and so much space to stretch out and have fun. This half-acre campground is specifically suited for group camping. Water hookups, nine parking spots, a covered pavilion, neighbouring bathrooms with showers, and a big group fire ring, as well as two ordinary fire rings and two grills, are all available at the campsite. This campsite has a maximum capacity of 64 campers.

Ways of Transportation to Goose Island Park:


The park is easy to find, being only 10 miles northeast of Rockport, Texas, and 42 miles from Corpus Christi. However, the park’s roads are limited, and tourists have complained about low-hanging branches. Depending on the season, some of these conditions may alter. Visitors, even in an RV, should have no problems provided they drive gently and cautiously. The campgrounds themselves are spacious, so parking the RV shouldn’t be an issue.

While camping at Goose Island State Park, there is no need for a second automobile once the RV is fully connected. The park is modest, but the paths can take visitors almost everywhere they want to go. It’s also simple to travel around by bike because most of the trails are paved and well-marked. Visitors who want to spend time on the mainland may find that having a second automobile makes it easier to get back and forth between the island and the coast.

Public Bus

Natural Amenities in Goose Island State Park:

The Texas Gulf Coastal Bend’s bays and estuaries surround Goose Island State Park, which is located near the southern extremity of the Lamar Peninsula. It is divided into two sections: the mainland and the island.


Live oak/red bay woodlands with yaupon holly, American beautyberry, coralbean, and wax myrtle make up the mainland. A section of tallgrass prairie with bushy bluestem and saltgrass can also be found here.

There are numerous opportunities for wildlife observation and photography. White-tailed deer, raccoons, armadillos, foxes, squirrels, cottontail rabbits, and over 300 different species of birds can all be seen. In the coastal marshes near Goose Island State Park, the endangered whooping crane feeds on berries and blue crabs.


A shell ridge and wetlands can be seen on the oyster shell island. Sea ox-eye daisy, wolfberry, sea purslane, baccharis, and seashore dropseed grass grow on the shell ridge area of the island. The marsh is home to smooth cordgrass, marsh-hay cord grass, saltgrass, saltwort, and glasswort. The harbours surrounding Goose Island are filled with seagrass meadows and oyster reefs.

The bays are home to a variety of fish, including red drum, speckled trout, and flounder.

The Big Tree:

In 1966, the State Champion Coastal Live Oak (Quercus virginiana) was named the Big Tree at Goose Island State Park. It was dethroned in 2003 by the San Bernard Oak on the San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge. The Big Tree is still one of Texas’ and the country’s largest live oak trees.

Statistics from the "Big Tree":

35-foot trunk circumference 10.71 metres or 1.75 inches

11 feet 2.25 inches (3.41 metres) is the average trunk diameter.

Crown spread: 27.1 metres or 89 ft

44 feet or 13.4 metres tall

The exact age is unclear, but it is hundreds of years old.

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The whooping crane

The seaside sparrow

Sandpiper, buff-breasted

Curlew, long-billed

Grebe's ear

Cormorant with two crests

Snow and Canada geese

Grebe, Pied-billed

Spoonbill roseate


Railing with clappers

The Inca dove

Titmouse, black-crested

The long-tailed grackle

Caracara cristata

Six hummingbird species are possible, with a buff-bellied hummingbird in residence.

Vireos, warblers, flycatchers, sparrows, kites, hawks, gulls, and terns of various species.

Goose Island State Park History:

Goose Island State Park, on the bays of St. Charles and Aransas, has 321.4 acres. It is in Aransas County, north of Rockport. Deeds from individual landowners were used by the state to buy land for the park between 1931 and 1935. Goose Island, which is owned by the state, was designated as a state park by legislation.

In the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps built the first park facilities.

The Big Tree is one of the largest in the country, having been crowned State Champion Coastal Live Oak (Quercus virginiana) in 1969. The Big Tree, which is hundreds of years old, has a circumference of 35 feet and a crown spread of 90 feet. The tree has a height of 44 feet.

Goose Island State Park's Best Trails:

Looking for the best Goose Island State Park paths for an ambitious hike or a family outing? AllTrails offers two excellent hiking paths, as well as biking and jogging pathways. Enjoy hand-curated trail maps, as well as reviews and images from other outdoor enthusiasts.

Are you prepared to go on your next walk or bike ride? In Goose Island State Park, there are two easy hiking trails that are perfect for the whole family. Are you looking for a more challenging hike? With routes ranging from 0 to 2 metres in elevation rise, we’ve got you covered. Whatever your plans for the day, you’ll be able to discover the right route in Goose Island State Park.

Turks Cap Trail, Goose Island State Park:

Take advantage of this 1.8-kilometer loop trail near Rockport, Texas. It takes an average of 23 minutes to complete this route, which is generally regarded as easy. This is a popular trail for birding and walking, but you can still find some peace and quiet during the day. The trail is open all year and is a beautiful place to visit at any time. Dogs are permitted but must be kept on a leash.

entry fee: $5

Goose Island State Park's Big Tree Loop:

Take a look at this 0.2-kilometer loop trail near Rockport, Texas. It takes an average of 2 minutes to complete and is generally regarded as an easy route. This trail is great for birding and walking, and you won’t see many other people while exploring. The trail is open all year and is a beautiful place to visit at any time. Dogs are permitted but must be kept on a leash.

Goose Island State Park Map:

202 S. Palmetto St. Rockport, TX 78382-7965