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Coleto Creek ...more than a hideaway for ’snowbirds’

 
Coleto Creek  ...more than a hideaway for ’snowbirds’
HARRY & LINDA KAYE PEREZ The 3,100-acre Coleto Creek Reservoir was created by the construction of a dam by the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority. The park opened in 1981.

Arriving at the headquarter facility of Coleto Creek Reservoir and Park, and while waiting to speak with one of the folks there to get information, another guest came in to make his reservation for his favorite campsite “a year from now.” I asked the man behind the counter if that was typical. “You betcha,” was his answer. He went on to tell us that it is not unusual for the park to be booked solid, especially on holiday weekends.

Coleto Creek Reservoir and Park is located halfway between Goliad and Victoria on S.H. 59, just 86 miles from La Vernia. This 3,100-acre reservoir was created by the construction of a dam by the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) to provide a cooling pond for the Coleto Creek coal-fired power plant.

Cast a line, spot a bird

The park was first opened to the public in February 1981 for year-round outdoor recreational opportunities. In addition to the campgrounds, there is a large picnic and swimming area, two covered group pavilions, a 200-foot lighted fishing pier, playgrounds, sand volleyball courts, and 61 miles of shoreline. A four-lane boat ramp provides the only public access to the reservoir.

Activities include camping, swimming, hiking, mountain biking, wildlife watching, and water skiing. The reservoir is 17 miles long, end-to-end, which makes for some great ski runs. But, the big draw here is the freshwater fishing.

Fishing: Largemouth bass are abundant and the most popular catch; white bass like the deeper water near the dam. Also reported being caught are blue, flathead, and channel catfish, as well as bluegill and redear sunfish, and crappie. Fishing is great whether from a boat, the pier, or from the shore and has kept Coleto in the top ranks of Texas Bass Lakes.

Birding: Coleto Creek is a designated site on the La Bahia Loop of the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail. Flooded shoreline vegetation, plus an abundance of aquatic vegetation, draws in a large number of ducks and other birds during the fall and winter.

Stay a while

Camping: There are 58 multi-use campsites with electricity and water. Some sites are more desirable than others closer to the water and shaded are designated as “premium sites,” and are slightly more expensive. There are also four cabins and four travel trailers for rent.

While poking around some of the vacant cabins, we ran into Park Ranger Dan, who was getting one of the cabins ready for the next occupants. He gave us a quick tour of the cabin. It had two sets of bunk beds, a sink, small refrigerator, a table with four chairs, and an air conditioner. Outside there is a fire pit and picnic table.

Dan and his wife, Anna, who also serves as a volunteer Park Host, live in the park. We asked him exactly what his duties were.

“Anything that needs doing,” he said.

On their days off, Dan and Anna volunteer as nature guides and offer guests free-guided nature walks through the park. Now these are people who really love what they do.

Of course, you don’t have to camp overnight to enjoy Coleto Park. For $9 per vehicle, with a maximum of four persons, day-use guests can enjoy picnicking, swimming, fishing, birding, or hiking throughout the 190-acre park.

Or ’glamp’ out

For those who don’t want to be too close to nature and prefer “glamping” to camping, check out the Victoria-Coleto Creek KOA Campgrounds, just before the entrance to the park. This KOA was opened in 2012 and, in addition to all the typical KOA amenities cable TV, WiFi, swimming pool, dog park, and bike rentals they also offer brand-new luxury cabins for rent.

Coleto Creek Reservoir and Park has long been known as a south Texas hideaway for many winter Texans. This quiet rural setting is a great spot for a quick getaway or a longer relaxing vacation.

Harry and Linda Kaye Perez are freelance writers from just down the road from Floresville. Together they share a passion for traveling and writing, and discovering the very best in all corners of the world. Email them at Harry-Linda411@att.net.

 
 
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