Last summer, a young couple joined me on my exercise session kayaking in Galveston Island State Park, and I noticed that they had two off-road bicycles strapped to the back of their car.

Since there were just the three of us, we got to talk a lot more than if there were a larger group. I mentioned the bikes, and they said that they were always looking for places to ride that were out of the ordinary and off traffic-filled streets.

That set me to thinking that the state park — with its more than 2 miles of paved roadway and 5 miles of packed earth and manicured grass hiking trails passing through and by beach, dunes, freshwater swale, coastal prairie grasses and shrubs and bayou bayside brackish marshes — would provide a peaceful and non-stressful day’s ride.

About the only threat of being picked off by a speeding car would be when you cross FM 3005 to go from the beach side to the bay side to take in the entire park.

Still in a thinking mode, I sat down at my computer, and with a digital file of the park trails map and my Corel Draw, I proceeded to map out a park tour along the roadways and trails.

While still in a thinking mood, I wondered, “Why not drive a car on the roadways between the points of interest and park to hike the trails?” So the map and tour were titled “Car/Hike or Bike Tour.”

Before the thinking totally exhausted me, I rummaged through my photo collection of almost every inch of the park and produced a slideshow-type movie of the tour and put it on DVD. Then maps were printed and disks were copied.

We’re still conducting the free Beach Walk on Saturday mornings and the Bay Walk on Sunday mornings.

Just show up at the Nature Center at 10 a.m. either or both days.

If you want a guided kayak tour of the bay side any day, call me at 409-737-5567. Remember that getting into the marshes requires high tide, so the time of day depends on the tides.

You can pick up a copy of the tour map and disk of the virtual tour in the park office next time you’re down there.

You can see what’s to be enjoyed along the tour before using the map to guide your bike ride or combination car ride and hiking tour. Just ask the ranger at the desk for the map and disk.

They are free compliments of The Friends of Galveston Island State Park.

Frank Bowser is a member of the Friends of Galveston Island State Park.

(1) comment

Steve Fouga

Nice job, Mr Bowser!

I ride the trails, roads, and beaches of the State Park, and I can attest to the heightened interest as well as the greater challenge compared to riding on the road. Anytime I tire of walking my neighborhood, the seawall and the beach, the State Park provides a welcome change of pace, with, as Frank says, miles of trails with animal and plant life you just can't see in town. And as far as kayaking goes, I haven't found another place on the Island that combines the variety of scenery and fishing opportunities with the ease of access that the Park does. Galveston Island State Park is a true gem that Island residents as well as tourists are very fortunate to have.

Of course you have to pay for it, but it's a bargain.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.