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Posted on: February 9, 2021

Victoria’s parks system offers something for everyone

Riverside Park sign

As the weather outside starts to get warmer, many Victoria residents are emerging from their long winter’s nap to get some sun and fresh air. If you’re looking to get out of the house, Parks & Recreation has you covered with a variety of parks, walking trails and other outdoor spaces.

The City’s goal is for our parks system to truly be a space for all of us. That’s why Parks & Recreation is working to create a brand-new master plan that will articulate residents’ goals for Parks & Recreation and identify ways to achieve those goals. The department is currently soliciting feedback about its facilities, event programming and more through a community survey that you can find at www.victoriatx.gov/masterplans.

We hope that you’ll take some time to complete the survey and be part of the future of our parks system. In the meantime, here are some fun places you can visit to see what we have to offer:

Riverside Park. Situated along the Guadalupe River, Victoria’s biggest park is a prime attraction for residents and out-of-towners alike, and even frequent visitors can find new aspects of the park to explore. The park includes a beautiful walking trail, two disc golf courses, playgrounds for children, Riverside Golf Course and the Memorial Rose Garden as well as historical markers to help you learn about the history of Victoria.

Be sure to visit our friends at Flow Paddle Co for a guided kayaking tour or sports equipment rentals; call 361-935-2618 or visit www.flowpaddle.co for more information. Riverside Park is also home to The Texas Zoo, providing an up-close look at various exotic species, including many South Texas natives. The zoo is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily, with admission closing at 3:45 p.m. For more information, call 361-573-7681 or visit www.texaszoo.org.

Ethel Lee Tracy Park. A visit to this park will take you down the newly built Placido Benavides Drive near the mall. The park offers a variety of activities: its own disc golf course, a short trail that’s ideal for exercise, a playground area and a pavilion and amphitheater for events.

Our parks system includes a variety of different-sized pavilions that could be perfect for your next event or get-together. To reserve a pavilion, call 361-485-3200 or visit www.victoriatx.gov/parks.

Community Center Park. The Community Center may be best-known for housing the Victoria Livestock Show and other big events, but you can also visit the nearby park year-round for a game of tennis or pickleball. The park is also home to the Victoria Skatepark, which offers a fun place to skate for athletes of all skill levels.

The area also includes the Youth Sports Complex and the Adult Softball Complex—which, in addition to being a great sports tourism site, are often used by Parks & Recreation to host their amateur leagues for youth and adults. To sign up for a league, call 361-485-3200 or visit www.victoriatx.gov/registration. Again, don’t forget to take the master plan survey to let us know what you think of Parks & Recreation’s leagues and other programs! 

Walking trails. In addition to the trails at Riverside Park and other locations, Victoria offers numerous areas dedicated solely to walking or biking. The Lone Tree Creek Hike and Bike Trail stretches from Victoria East High School to the Lone Tree Creek Splash Pad, following Lone Tree Creek through spacious green areas interspersed with neighborhoods. Regardless of whether you plan to walk the full 2.1 miles, it’s a perfect place to get some exercise or simply enjoy the fresh air.

Located adjacent to Riverside Park, the Athey Nature Trail winds through quiet wooded areas where you’re likely to get a glimpse of deer, birds and armadillos. It’s great if you’d like to go for a walk but prefer a little shade now and then.

Splash pads. The City offers three different splash pads—located at Ethel Lee Tracy Park, the Community Center Park and the end of the Lone Tree Creek Hike and Bike Trail—where you can bring your little ones to splash around in a safe environment. The splash pads open up the week of spring break, and they can be reserved for bigger groups: just call 361-485-3200 or visit www.victoriatx.gov/parks.

To learn more about the different recreation facilities located throughout Victoria, visit www.victoriatx.gov/parks and click on “Parks and Facilities.” For updates about the Parks & Recreation master plan and to learn more about all the fun things to do in Victoria, make sure you’re subscribed to The City View, and don’t forget to follow Parks & Recreation on Facebook!

Sam Hankins is the communications specialist for the City of Victoria.

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