City Corner: Free summer fun in the city

By Jennifer Sourdellia
June 8, 2014 at 1:08 a.m.

School is out, and summer has arrived - what are you going to do?

You don't even have to leave Victoria this summer to enjoy a variety of outdoor recreation and activities.

There are so many fun things for you to do right here in your hometown.

Here are some ideas for things to do in Victoria's parks - that are mostly free - for your summer enjoyment. Of course, you can come up with many more on your own.

Get close to nature - The Tonkawaka Nature Trails are part of the Riverside Park Trail System and are located within a 67-acre area bordered by Vine and Red River streets and Memorial Drive. Two of the three trailheads begin behind the Hiller House, home to Keep Victoria Beautiful. Paths are cleared but primitive and wind through meadows, brush and a variety of woods. Visitors are likely to see a variety of birds, deer, raccoons, squirrels, armadillos and scores of damselflies, dragonflies, butterflies and other insects. Beware of snakes.

Row, row, row your boat - Grab your canoe or kayak and get ready for a fun adventure on the Guadalupe River Paddling Trail. You can launch your water excursion at the boat ramp in Riverside Park and finish your ride at the take-out point located behind the PumpHouse Restaurant. The trail is about 4.25 miles, and float time is one to three hours depending on river flow rate. Or you can continue paddling an additional 1.5 miles past the PumpHouse take-out point to the South Street take-out point, which is an additional 30 minutes to an hour float. Along the way, you can enjoy seeing wildlife or even throw out a line and do a little fishing.

For beginners or those with an interest in learning more about paddling, the Parks and Recreation Department conducts a kayak clinic during the summer at the Gary T. Moses Municipal Pool. The clinic is open to the public for people 12 years and older - children must be accompanied by an adult. Call the Parks and Recreation Department at 361-485-3200 for more information.

Take a stroll (or a bike ride or a jog) - Enjoy the 2-mile Lone Tree Hike and Bike Trail that extends from East High School to Airline Road. Designed for walking, running, biking and rollerblading, the trail is paved and lighted.

Dance in the streets - A free outdoor concert series will be held monthly this summer at DeLeon Plaza as part of the Hartman Distributing Silver Bullet Concert Series. The dances start at 7:30 p.m. on the second Thursdays of the month during the summer. The next concert is Thursday with music by Clay Crockett and the Shotgun Riders.

Splash around - The 2,400-square-foot splash pad is a featured attraction at the 127-acre Lone Tree Creek Park on East Airline Road. The park is near the Tanglewood, Deer Chase and Tangerine subdivisions. The splash pad includes a variety of water sprayers, squirters and spills that can be enjoyed by kids of all ages. Admission is free, and the splash pad is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays, weather permitting.

The city pool also offers a cool diversion from the heat. The pool opens for the summer June 18. Hours are from 1 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. Admission is $1.50 per person.

Make a hole-in-one - If you're looking for something a little different and challenging, you may want to consider disc golf. There is a 21-hole disc golf course in Riverside Park, and there is also a 9-hole disc golf course at Ethel Lee Tracy Park. Check out our disc golf YouTube video at and search for Victoria Texas Disc Golf. Traditional golfers can enjoy the Riverside Golf Course, the city's municipal golf course in Riverside Park.

Do you have a question about the city of Victoria? Please submit your questions and comments about any city department to Jennifer Sourdellia in the Communications/Public Information Office by emailing or mail to P.O. Box 1758, Victoria, Texas 77902.



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