Riverside Park offers 100 acres of waterfront and forest with unmatched opportunities for recreation, enjoyment, and the discovery of nature. Riverside Park is a designated “regional park” designed to provide a wide array of recreation opportunities. Large grottos of Live Oak, Pecan and Hackberry provide a dense forest canopy in a natural woodland setting which is home to white tail deer, bobcat, fox, raccoon. There is a mile of trail to observe wildlife (we have over 180 species of birds). The Colorado River offers great fishing for redfish, speckled trout and catfish.
Park amenities include a concrete boat launch with parking; 40 full-hookup RV spaces; 34 water/electric campsites; kayak rentals; picnic sites; two group area pavilions; large clean hot showers; laundromat; fitness trail and the neighboring Rio Colorado Golf Course. The park is only 3 miles away from Bay City which offers many restaurants, shops and businesses to enhance your stay.
Riverside Park was created in 1990 in a cooperative effort between the City of Bay City and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. In August 2017 the park was closed from damage sustained from hurricane Harvey and was completely rebuilt opening in July of 2020.
How to Make a Reservation
There are 3 ways to make a reservation:
- On-line at https://secure.rec1.com/TX/city-of-bay-city-tx/catalog. Click on the Riverside Tab.
- The Riverside Park Office, Sunday – Saturday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- The Parks and Recreation Office (1209 10th Street), Monday – Friday, from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
For More Information
There are 3 ways to contact us:
- Call Riverside Park at 979-245-0340, Sunday – Saturday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- Call the Parks and Recreation Office at 979-323-1660, Monday – Friday, from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Park User Fees
A user fee is a fee charged for use of a facility or accommodations or a service or privilege granted while visiting in our park. There is a $5 convenience fee for all credit cards. Boat Launch is included in Day Use Fee.
Entrance Fee Waivers - Not Valid for Overnight Stays
- To volunteer services.
- To sell, service or demonstrate merchandise to concessionaire or park staff.
- Visit homes of park employees.
- Towed or hauled vehicle is used for transportation while primary vehicle is stationary at campsite.
- Education - Issued to students enrolled in colleges, universities and public or private schools. This free pass is valid for day use only when project of class assignments is directly related to natural, historical, scientific or man-made features of the park. Collecting of plants, minerals, fossils, or animals is not permitted.
- An official or duly appointed adult of the school must supervise groups of this type. For individual entry, a person must present credentials or other identification from the school.
Valid Time Period
For Day Use
Includes Day use operating hours of the park on date for which admission is paid.
For Overnight Use
Begins on date entrance fee is paid and not later than 2 p.m. on the following day.
No refunds will be issued to patron(s) using the day use areas. Camper fees paid in advance may be refunded at park headquarters if notification was given within 72 hours of cancellation or if authorized by Parks Director.
|Facility||Maximum Occupancy||Deposit||Daily Rate||Weekly Rate||Monthly Rate||Extra Vehicle Rate|
|Colorado Cove (Electric/Water/Sewer)||8||$40||$240||$550||$10/day|
|Day Use - Per Car||10||N/A||$10|
|Yearly Pass - Per Car||10||N/A||$100||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Tejas Pavilion (Up to 20 Cars)||50||$50||$100||N/A||N/A||$10/car|
|Colorado Cove Pavilion (up to 20 cars)||50||$50||$100||N/A||N/A||$10/car|
|Group Primitive Area ||100||N/A||$5/tent||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Dump Station (Without Stay)||N/A||N/A||$40||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Camping fees include 1 vehicle and 1 RV/Camper per site|
Riverside Park Rules
All fees must be paid at time of entry.
Camping and Day Use Permits Required
Pets must be on a leash.
Gathering of firewood is prohibited.
Fires are permitted in fire rings and BBQ pits only.
Glass containers are prohibited.
Fireworks are prohibited in the park.
Hunting and firearms are prohibited in the park.
All plants and wildlife are protected.
Do not drive nails into trees.
Alcohol is allowed in individual campsites only.
Smoking is prohibited within 25’ of facilities.
Operating unlicensed vehicles is not permitted.
Speed limit is 15 mph.
Vehicles must remain upon paved areas and no parking along roadway or off camping pads.
Swimming is not recommended.
No wake zone within 100 yards of launch area
Camping permitted in numbered sites only; fee required.
Checkout time is 2 pm. Renewal of permits must be done before 9 am on check-out dates.
Park gates are closed and locked at dark and opened at daybreak.
No more than two vehicles and 8 persons may occupy a campsite overnight after 10 pm.
Peace and quiet will be maintained between 10 pm and 7 am.
Disposing of wastewater onto park grounds is prohibited. Please use holding tanks and/or buckets and dispose of at the dump station.
Riverside Park is not responsible for any lost or stolen items.
Cancellation/Refunds: Office must be notified within 72 hours prior to reservation date or fee is forfeited. There will be a $5 service charge added for processing refunds. On Major Holidays, absolutely no refunds or rescheduling is allowed.
Occupancy Limitations: Long term campers are on a month-to-month basis and must comply with our Parks and Recreation Rules and Regulations.
Give the gift of memories in the Great Outdoors at Riverside Park…
Know someone who loves Riverside Park – camping, fishing, walking or boating? Then give them a gift they soon won’t forget – a gift of a yearly pass or a gift certificate for a weekend away camping.
Now you can give family and friends a gift they’ll never forget.
How To Purchase a Gift Certificate or Yearly Pass
You can purchase either at Riverside Park or at the Parks and Recreation Administration Building, 1209 10th Street, Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
For More Information
Contact the Parks and Recreation Department at 979-323-1660 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Kayak Rentals at Riverside Park
Bay City's beloved Riverside Park has contracted with Rent.Fun for Kayak Rentals located at the park. Rent.Fun is a self-service rental company that provides kayaks and all the necessary supplies to spend the day paddling on the Colorado River. There is a $9/half hour rental rate. Hours of operation are from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.
It is very simple to get started:
1. Download the App from Rent.Fun and create an account in about 30 seconds.
2. Scan the QR code at the station to unlock your kayak, paddle and lifejacket. (Always wear your lifejacket while on the water).
3. Bring your equipment back to the station. Select "Unlock" in the App to return the equipment.
The Colorado River winds some 500 miles through west and central Texas before flowing into the Gulf of Mexico about 20 miles south from Riverside Park. Almost 4 miles upriver is the Bay City Dam which provides a great 2–4 hour paddle and is approximately 8 miles in length. Heading 13 miles downriver is the FM 521 launch which can be accessed by the public and is better suited for all day or one-way trips.
Paddling upstream and back you will see beautiful and varied scenery. Areas that have high banks on one side and a sandbar on the other. Sometimes you will have vegetated banks but often they are river cut banks and are usually reddish or showed bands. The high banks usually have some trees with open fields behind them. You will see many live oaks, hackberry, cottonwoods, willows and other plant species typical of the coastal plains. You can also many bird species including caracaras, the Mexican Eagle that is found commonly in south Texas. A pair of nesting Bald Eagles are also known to inhabit a tall tree nearby. There are many sandpipers, doing their little bobbing walk along the edge of the water or flying weakly about a foot above the water along with other wading birds. Mostly the river looks wild, but you will see cow pastures, and sometimes structures along the way. Slow speed and the quiet allows you to see turtles, woodpeckers, come really close to a spoonbill walking on a log. Watch the deer, raccoons and wildlife while drifting over and enjoy the sounds of the river where it meets downed trees.
Kayak rentals are ready to go and are given out on a “first come, first served” basis. They are only available to registered guests of Riverside Park, so be sure to check in at the Ranger Station when arriving for tips and helpful advice to enhance your visit. Riverside Park is available for camping, RV spaces, party pavilions and group gatherings.