We visited the LBJ State Park & Ranch on the 4th of July, which seems to be one of the top attractions in Texas. Whether you are looking for historical landmarks, hiking, free things to do in Texas, or dog friendly things to do, LBJ State Park & Ranch earns a spot on the list. An entire day or more could easily be spent wandering this 700 acre park in Stonewall, Texas. The former home of our 36th President has something for all adventurers and lovers of history. Here are three reasons to visit LBJ State Park & Ranch in the Texas Hill Country.
LBJ State Park Is Free
Unlike many of our Texas State Parks, LBJ State Park is free to visit. The Pedernales River cuts through the park. On the north side of the river we found the LBJ Ranch, along with the Texas White House (not free). On the south side of the river we found a nature walk and Living History Farm. Online reviews were a bit confusing and lacked details coming from various perspectives. Some people stated the tour was self guided within their own vehicle, while others said they walked through nature trails and a farm. It turns out that both statements are true, and both are free.
If you stop at the Visitors Center on the south side of the river, you can obtain a map of the State Park. The map reveals a Living History Farm, trails through wooded areas, trails through wildflowers, and other athletic activities such as tennis, baseball, and swimming. There are also exhibits as well as a playground for the kids. All of these activities are free and take place on foot. However, if you would like to see the LBJ Ranch, you must cross the Pedernales River. You will follow LBJ Ranch Tour signs in your own vehicle through the Ranch.
LBJ State Park Is Dog Friendly
If you are looking for dog friendly things to do in Texas, LBJ State Park is one of them. Dogs are allowed anywhere inside the park, except for indoors. We began at the Visitors Center and headed through a nature trail which spat us out at the Living History Farm. Our girl, Abbey, is well behaved and was not a threat to the farm animals. While going through the farm it is possible to get right up to the animals and tour the buildings as well. We exited the farm on the opposite side and re-entered the wooded area.
The wooded area was very shady and pleasant. Even though it was hot outside, we were much more comfortable under cover of the woods. In most areas I could see the outer edge, so it’s unlikely to get lost in the woods. Upon exiting the woods we found ourselves walking among fields of wildflowers. There are benches on which to sit within the fields, although some of them looked to be overrun by flowers. We also came upon the statue of LBJ and took the opportunity to get the perfect picture. Overall, the walk through LBJ State Park was very enjoyable and great for dogs. If your dog is not well behaved, you may want to avoid the farm animals. Abbey thought the Longhorns and Bison were quite spectacular, albeit scary if they moved.
LBJ State Park Contains Great History
Here in Texas, LBJ is known as one of our greatest Presidents of all time. If you spend only a small amount of time here, you will undoubtedly learn some things you did not know. What kind of man was LBJ? Why is the river known as Pedernales? What was it like to live life on the farm? What kinds of people lived in this area? You will learn the answers to questions such as these and more. Next to the Visitors Center on the south side of the river you can find various exhibits. On the north side of the river, there is another Visitors Center at the Ranch.
You cannot miss the Ranch Visitors Center, as it is right next to the jet. Drive around the paved, one way loop through the Ranch and past the Longhorns. This is a good opportunity to enjoy the air conditioning if it is hot outside, assuming your A/C is operational. Once you reach the jet you have the option to park and view the area on foot. Being a big fan of aircraft, the jet was a must see for me.
Afterwards, I checked out the Ranch Visitors Center. At this Visitors Center you can view historical objects, use the restroom, watch a brief video of LBJ, and purchase tickets to tour the Texas White House. I cannot give you any info. on the White House because I did not take the tour. I imagine that it’s very retro. If you tour the White House, come back and let us know how it went. Feel free to post a pic or two. They may not allow photos inside, but there are plenty of other great images to capture at LBJ State Park & Ranch.
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Even though I promote places, or things, and emerge from the woods unharmed, I am not at all responsible for you, your family, your friends, or your pets. You are solely responsible for following in my footsteps and trying things I have described on this site. I wish you good fortune on the trails to come.