Galveston Island State Park

By: Diana J. Kleiner

Type: General Entry

Published: 1976

Updated: January 1, 1995

Galveston Island State Park is on Farm Road 3005 six miles southwest of Galveston in southwest Galveston County. The park spans the width of Galveston Island and has four distinct ecological zones: salt marsh, coastal prairie, sand dunes and maritime wetlands, and sandy beach. It also provides small freshwater lakes for fishing, two miles of beach on the Gulf of Mexico, and frontage on West Galveston Bay. The 1,921-acre site was previously Maco Stewart's cattle ranch, willed for use as a state park with the stipulation that the state could not acquire the property for more than thirty years. In 1970 state funding and matching federal funds from the Land and Water Conservation Act were used to purchase the heirs' life interest, so that the property could be developed. A 1,700-seat theater, the Mary Moody Northen Amphitheater, built by the Lone Star Historical Drama Association, 150 multiuse campsites open year-round, four miles of nature trails, and ten screened shelters at the park site were opened by 1976. Numerous migratory shorebirds spend time in the area and can be viewed from elevated boardwalks and observation platforms.

In September 2008 Hurricane Ike caused considerable damage to Galveston Island State Park. In 2010 the park maintained sixty-six campsites. The Amphitheater ws closed to the public in the early 90s.

Ray Miller, Texas Parks (Houston: Cordovan, 1984). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Diana J. Kleiner, “Galveston Island State Park,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed January 17, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

January 1, 1995