Garner State Park, Frio River. Garner State Park is named for John Nance Garner, a lawyer from Texas who served as 32nd Vice President of the United States (1933 - 1941). As a young man (1901), John Nance unsuccessfully advocated for the prickly pear cactus as Texas state flower, earning him the life-long nickname "Cactus Jack".
The park offers camping, hiking, nature study, picnicking, canoeing, fishing, swimming in the Frio River, seasonal miniature golf, paddle boat and kayak rentals (mid-March through Labor Day weekend), and bike riding.
About 145 million years ago, during the Cretaceous era, this part of Texas was covered by shallows seas, which lay down the shale and limestone formations in the area. Throughout the park, the river is lined with Bald Cypress trees, the only deciduous conifer in North America. In the autumn, the cypresses turn a rusty orange, forming a brilliant contrast to the famously turquoise waters of the Rio Frio.